Saturday, September 17, 2011

Why my life isn't picture perfect, but at least my walls will be

And now for something completely frivolous...

Back when I thought I had a job and disposable income, I decided to spend some of it on one of those Groupon things everyone is always talking about. You see, I had a couch with miles of blank wall space above it begging to be filled, so I bought three of those digital-to-canvas deals that seem to be all the rage, thinking I would simply choose three pictures I had taken "of my travels" (oh, gag, I know) and voilĂ , easiest decorating project ever. Cue smug hand-brushing gesture indicating done and done. Except, as it turns out, it's not just that simple.

Combing through folder after folder of pictures I've taken "of my travels" (gag) over the years, I came to the swift conclusion that, for one, as it turns out, I am not all that great of a photographer. For two, the entire time that I lived in and around Paris, I had a strong aversion to looking like a tourist ("I live here! I am not a tourist! I will not take pictures!") and so carrying such potentially useful objects as maps or a camera was simply out of the question. So, because I am an idiot, not only are there very few pictures of that time in my life, but the few that do exist are mostly of my sister and I acting like fools in front of Parisian landmarks:


Luckily, when I was on vacation and traveling, I did give myself permission to take pictures, and so I was able to find a handful of photos that I hadn't ruined with either my terrible photography skills or shameless muppet-mouth mugging. Only, when trying to select three of them I realized that not only does each individual photo have to be attractive and personally meaningful, but they also all have to look good together. Hanging three photos next to each other on a wall requires that they look somehow cohesive and related by some kind of theme--by color, or subject, or whatever. Trying different combinations I realized that having one photo of mountains, one of the ocean, and one of a building, for example, just looked...odd. And so back to the drawing board I went.

Here's one combination I came up with. I know the theme will be hard to spot, but see if you can do it:




And here is what they look like together:

Let's call it option 1. What I like about these is that they evoke a feeling of calm serenity. Which is good! But are they perhaps...too calm? Too serene? Maybe a tad wee bit boring?

Here's my next set of three. Let's call it option B:


And here's what they look like together: 

Maybe I would shift the order a bit? Anyway, potential problems with this option include the fact that these were all taken on a vacation with the ex-boyfriend many years ago. In fact, I'm pretty sure all of these photos were actually taken by the ex, which perhaps explains why they don't all, you know, suck. So, would having these pictures in my living room serve as a constant reminder of the past? Or would I quickly forget about the person behind the camera, since I spent an extended amount of time living in Paris as a single, and could just as easily have taken these myself? In stark contrast to the first set of three, I like these photos for their grittiness and urban vibe, and how the train evokes a feeling of adventure, and of something new right around the corner. 

Finally, I have some miscellaneous pics that I really like for different reasons, but that don't necessarily "go" together. (Or do they?):


Let's call this option "buildings on cliffs and with boats and weird trees."

I'm leaning towards option B, Paris (duh). What about you? I need help here, people! Please advise.

EDITED TO ADD: Here are the last three together in the order Anonymous suggests. What do you think?

25 comments:

  1. I like your Paris cityscape (the first picture from the Paris set) so much that I just made it my desktop background.

    As a whole, I like the last set. It has a nice mix of colors and a balance of buildings and nature. I don't know where they were taken but I want to visit all of them.

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  2. I like the last set also. How about starting with the top picture (houses/predominantly green color), then the third picture in the middle (mix of blue/greens), ending with the houses/predominantly blue color)? This way you would have a color progression and also balance in subjects: a tree-lined street bracketed by two views of towns.

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  3. 2 or 3, but not one. Nice pics!

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  4. I agree with the other Anonymous, the last one looks really good. I love Paris but I think the Paris set looks too mechanical/twisted steel(ish) and slightly scary.

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  5. Unanimous with anonymous(es)!

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  6. Love option 3 the best!

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  7. Option 3. They look the best together. The Paris ones don't quite go together. And the ocean, it's just too watery.

    Ooh, unless you take the photo from option 3 with the boats and put it in the middle of two of the calm, ocean ones. That might work...

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  8. I think I like option 3 because they are the most diverse. Also, I love the pic of you in profile when you are in front of the Louvre. It is such a happy and fun picture! I just also wanted to add that I have been reading along and feel for you. Don't I know that teaching is hard and stressful... So much so that I am taking a mini-break this school year and am actually in Central America taking a Spanish course. I'll probably supply teach later on this year but doubt that I'll try to get my own classroom again until the 2012-2013 school year. So there you go. You are not alone and your risking your health to teach bratty kids in no bueno!

    Anyway, if you want to commiserate over teaching or just want any job info or job leads (I have a bunch!) just email me!!!

    Hugs, Rachel!

    Oneika

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  9. I've come out of lurking retire to let you know that Option 3 would be the best.

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  10. Wow, that should be 'retirement'.

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  11. DEFINITELY the last 3. The other Paris shots are nice, but they looks like you could have bought them somewhere. The last three are much more original and provoke conversation. I especially like the houses/boats one.

    Glad you're being creative ! :)

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  12. I would take the first picture from either set 2 or 3 and put it on all 3, i do live in Warhol's hometown you know, then i'd wait and see if anyone ever noticed. Now back to hiding in my cave.

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  13. Number three definitely. It's the most interesting to look at.

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  14. option 3 - no question about it

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  15. I guess I'm in the minority here, because I thought it would be great if you picked three of you and your sister making faces, blew 'em up and made them all sepia and serious looking.

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  16. Love this post - I have the same dread of being labeled as a tourist. "I am SO cool - I totally meant to walk around this block in a circle for an hour trying to find the right street without a map."

    Love option 3 - it is serene but also intriguing photos!

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  17. I think you can use any of them, but instead of choosing three landscapes, use two landscapes and a portrait(especially a foolish one). I don't think there's anything really personal about blowing up landscape shots. You know that you, or someone you know took them, and I guess that's nice, but pictures of people and happy times make you smile, and we all need that. I think a mix will say, "I was there and there, and sometimes I felt like that".

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  18. Hmm-I like the 3rd one best, followed by the Paris pics. What colour is your carpet, walls, furniture, etc... where these will be hung? Which set will go best colour wise with the room?

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  19. I like Kono's idea, too.

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  20. Just found your blog and I'm really enjoying it. Your trip to Paris looks wonderful. My wife and I just returned and had a great time. Have you been to Giverny , Monet's home outside Paris? Really wonderful. I look forward to reading more.

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  21. Thanks Stephen! No, Giverny is one place I've missed seeing, but I really want to go.

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  22. Love the photos together! Beautiful

    My hubby takes amazing photos while on vacay I should try to do this for him!

    TN
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/tnave

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  23. Such lovely pictures, everything looks amazing; I so want to go on a vacation after seeing these pictures, I bet you had a great time and I think you girls look cute! You have a lovely blog and I'm a new follower! Hope you'll like my blog and follow back!

    Pop Culture&Fashion Magic

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