Over the past few months a rogue plant has been growing up outside our kitchen window. I don't know what it is, but it grows very rapidly. It's already passed the roofline gutter after being nonexistent before February or so. This same plant also appeared last year, and at some point one of the handymen working on the roof killed it - or so we thought. I almost wonder if this is some sort of beanstalk. When I asked my uncle, a biology and plant expert, he only said, "Well, it's non-native."
Yesterday afternoon I was standing at the kitchen sink and happened to notice a wonderful light catching the plant, and quickly grabbed my camera to take a few shots. That quickly turned into about forty-five, but that's the great thing about digital cameras. I always learned from my grandma, a constant shutterbug all the while I was growing up, that the key to getting good pictures is the willingness to take a lot of them. And because I use a digital camera instead of a reflex like Grandma's (one of hers is sitting in my closet, and I cherish it as a photo I got jazzed about photography with as a teen), I can actually take a whole lot more of any subject than she did - except maybe grandchildren and birds. She still has thousands of those.
I printed out three or four of my favorite shots from this batch, and one thing that particularly fascinates me is to see the fractal geometry at work (I know that sounds horrendously geeky): the little cul de sac-like patterns that repeat themselves almost infinitely at a smaller and smaller scale.
And as so often happens without ever really meaning to, I continue to have a pattern of my own in seeking to isolate things with what a reviewer once called "localized scrutiny" to take patterns and textures almost or entirely out of their context. In the third of the shots I've attached here, the most close-up one, I like the idea that if you came to this photo cold, chances are you wouldn't be able to figure out right away what it was. So much of the artwork I review and like the best seems to straddle the line between representation and abstraction. And while I've never said to myself, "That's what I want to do too," it seems to be a kind of thinking without thinking that happens as I'm taking and editing pictures.