These cotton candy clouds appear almost everyday at this time of year here in Florida. The skies are clear in the morning, cotton candy at noon, thunderstorms in the afternoon and sunsets at night. It's a pattern that repeats itself each day with minor variations. So I headed down the street one day to catch the cotton candy part of the day.
This is an example of how I can go to the same place time and time again and get different results. Some of it has to do with the clouds or time of day, but just as much is my state of mind. I see the same old thing in a new way. Sometimes what I see is more in my mind than what's really in front of me. I take the picture and idea and work on it until I have a new picture of a familiar scene. It's a challenge, but there are infinite ways of portraying any one thing. So I have a lot of options ahead of me.
Lets face it, we live in a complicated world. We do many things to counter that. We dream about things constantly throughout the day, at least I do. I like taking a scene and turning it into a dream. It's the same thing as a dream, only I make a picture of it. And from that I temporarily escape from the real world, if just for bit.
When I was young I remember playing late into the evening during the summer. The days were long and it gave my friends and I an opportunity to stay out late, it was a good feeling. It's strange because I never really thought about it until recently. I suppose this image reminds me of that just a little. I took this at dusk and the children were squeezing every last minute of fun out of the day, like I did when I was their age.
We lose that when we grow up, but at times we can glimpse portions of it. I get that magical sense sometimes when I go on vacation. I have no responsibilities and the evenings are for having fun. Maybe we all need to play a little more. Maybe play connects us with something important we've lost.
In the meantime I keep taking pictures of people and scenes at dusk and sometimes it reminds me of long lost memories. And then I think the only way to get those back is to go on vacation. And then I never get anything done. But pretty sure I'm happy in that world.
I have this place I go to take pictures but I go there so often that in the back of my head I think I'm repeating myself. But with the sky on fire like this, how could I possibly repeat anything? I could come here every day of the year and the images would be different; which is not so much my doing as that of mother nature herself. The display of clouds changes completely from one day to the next.
As a photographer who is interested in art I think about these things a lot. I think about scenes and what they mean. I try to extract a little perspective. It's an exercise in self discovery because to interpret something as abstract as an image of clouds requires imagination, vocabulary and some self awareness. And therein lies the heart of the matter.
Self awareness is about as ephemeral an idea as they come. But I find just a little bit goes a long way. That's because the ideas and thoughts about self awareness are best described in metaphors. Bingo, images make good metaphors. So if you think about it, we're not interpreting the image, rather ourselves through the image. So, in the case the this sky, it's really just a metaphor for something within.
Put that in your pipe and smoke it.