Through The Lens Thursday #21: Street

posted in: Life, Photography, Through The Lens Thursday 52 comments

Through The Lens Thursday is a one-year photography project, where every week, my project partner, Greta of GFunkified and I, will post a picture (or pictures) we have taken based on a prompt. Our hope is that together, we can teach and learn from each other, stay accountable to our goal of improving our skills, and hopefully, be taking some gorgeous photographs. 

A photography project

This week’s prompt is ‘Street’.

1/60, f/10, ISO 100  

This is the street I drive up and down on, to and from home. 

When you drive through a place long enough, you stop noticing things. Like how green it actually is. That the paved road has a decidedly attractive pattern. That on any given day, you are so lucky it’s a pretty quiet street. That you’re pretty lucky to live where you live, despite certain…. well, challenges.

It’s like when you’ve been married or in a relationship for a fairly long time. You stop noticing your other half’s eyes, their smile, the small things they do for you quietly. You stop noticing that you pass each other by like ships in the night, and that you barely touch anymore. You stop saying please and thank you.

Or when you’re so busy zooming through your children’s activities and school and friends, you stop noticing that they’ve grown a few inches taller. You don’t realize that their hair has grown, or that their shoes are getting tight. You stop noticing that they’re reading books that aren’t covered in pictures anymore, and that they can grab their own snacks from the refrigerator. 

It’s like when you get so caught up in social media, you stop noticing that you’ve not spoken to anyone on the phone just for fun, and you’ve forgotten how to write a letter with pen and paper. You stop noticing when your regular exercise buddy drops out, or that you haven’t actually been out of the house to meet with someone in real life.

It’s when you stop to take a breath, and look through a lens (of anything, and in my case, a camera), that you see what you’ve been missing. The small moments, the bigger ones, and maybe even the monumental ones. 

Stop, breathe, look. 

(What do you think of the ‘street’ photo? This is a photography exercise, so any critique is appreciated and welcomed!)

Next week’s prompt: Home

For the full list of prompts, check out my Through The Lens Thursday page. If you’d like to join Greta and I, but not necessarily blog your picture, join our Flickr group, where we upload our photos, and give comments, or helpful critique on each other’s photographs.

Alison Lee is a former PR and marketing professional turned work-at-home mother. After a 10-year career in various PR agencies, and of the world’s biggest sports brands, Alison traded in product launches and world travel, for sippy cups, diapers, and breastfeeding. Alison's writing has been featured on Mamalode, On Parenting at The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, Everyday Family, Scary Mommy, and She is one of 35 essayists in the anthology, My Other Ex: Women’s True Stories of Leaving and Losing Friends. In 2012, she founded Little Love Media, a social media consultancy specializing in blog book tours, and because she doesn’t sleep, is an editor at BonBon Break, an online magazine. Alison lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with her husband and four children (two boys and boy/ girl twins).

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  • May 22, 2014 Shannon

    I love this, Alison. The photo and what you wrote. It is so easy to take the daily things for granted. Thanks for the reminder.
    Shannon recently wrote…Strands of TimeMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Thank you so much, Shannon.

  • May 22, 2014 Kim

    I do get caught up and then suddenly come to the realization that things have changed or the boys have grown or I haven’t left the house. Sometimes we don’t notice the things that are right in front of us. What a wonderful reminder to notice those things.
    Kim recently wrote…Glory DaysMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      It’s like a cold smack in the face when the realisation hits us, isn’t it?

  • May 22, 2014 Stephanie

    This is a great reminder – almost every spring I realize, “wow! she’s taller” or “how can you not have any shorts that fit you?” or something similar. It’s amazing how you can be here every day and still not be present. It takes effort and it’s so worth it. I’ll be posting my photo shortly!
    Stephanie recently wrote…PowerICE – A Love StoryMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Those moments just sneak up on us, don’t they? Thank you for playing along this week, Stephanie!

  • May 22, 2014 Angela Youngblood

    Oh my gosh, yes. I am feeling this so much right now (because of social media and just running around so fast trying to keep up with busy kids’ lives). Love the picture, the words and the reminder. Thank you!!!
    Angela Youngblood recently wrote…Pinterest Poser Challenge Is Back- Lights, Spray Paint and ActionMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Angela!

  • May 22, 2014 Kerstin

    Truth! I’ve been making an effort to quit multitasking and pay more attention – everything else is exhausting! xox
    Kerstin recently wrote…42.5My Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Life is exhausting! So it’s nice to just stand on a quiet street and reflect. πŸ™‚

  • May 22, 2014 Stasha

    Great depth. I wish I stopped noticing my double chin if I stare at it long enough in the mirror πŸ˜‰
    Stasha recently wrote…Monday ListiclesMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Hah! I don’t see a double chin on you, beautiful. πŸ™‚

  • May 23, 2014 Jennie Goutet

    Wow. How true is this!! Sometimes I forget to breathe (in the yoga way) and awaken my senses. In the same way, I stop noticing things.

    (wish you could see my green garden right now)

    Your street is really calm and fresh for KL!
    Jennie Goutet recently wrote…Happy People Everywhere!My Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      We are very lucky, we live in a very green area, despite its density.
      Show me your garden! πŸ™‚

  • May 23, 2014 Clare

    I like your street trees, but what I really want to know is did you stand in the middle of the road to get the photo?! x
    Clare recently wrote…Genesis Moment for CatsEatDogs Jewellery (that’s me!)My Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Hah! I was actually standing at the side, almost onto the road πŸ™‚ I did consider standing right in the middle though!

  • May 23, 2014 Greta

    Your street is gorgeous. I read this this morning and loved it, but even more now…before I took the big two to school, I took their last day picture. Only then did I see how much they’ve changed in the last nine months! Really, it’s hard to take it all in and really notice things.
    Greta recently wrote…Through the Lens Thursday: StreetMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      It is, because daily life can be exhausting and overwhelming. All we can do is to stop occasionally and just look.

  • May 23, 2014 Andrea

    It’s a very pretty street. So lush! You are so right about the moments that we let slip away when we are focused on the details. I do get it, especially the part about not meeting with another adult in some time.
    Andrea recently wrote…RSVP: The Art and The AgonyMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      I’ve been making a concerted effort to see someone other than my husband and kids, at least once a week. It is SO nice.

  • May 23, 2014 angela

    You know I’m not a photography person, but I feel like the detail in the trees is very, very clear. That’s a good thing, yes? πŸ™‚

    And I absolutely get what you’re saying. Living on autopilot isn’t always fun.
    angela recently wrote…BreezeMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Yes, yes it’s a good thing, and thank you.

  • May 23, 2014 Elaine A.

    I always like photos with linear stuff like this. Nice perspective. In both your photo and your words. πŸ™‚

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Me too! I have SO many pictures of streets and doorways πŸ™‚

  • May 23, 2014 Tamara

    The photo is very appealing – like you want to walk down that street. Very much.
    And I love your poetic descriptions of how life can go by unnoticed.
    Tamara recently wrote…How You Know Your Youngest Is Nearing Two.My Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      It is a very walkable street. I only wish the weather was nicer to us, it’s so hot!

  • May 23, 2014 Melanie

    This post so speaks to my heart. So, so true. We end up missing those meaningful details because we’re so caught up in the rush that is Life. Love the angle at which you captured the street as it slopes downward.

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Melanie.

  • May 23, 2014 Roxanne

    The photo is gorgeous, but what I really like are the words you wrote. I love the reminder to stop, breath, and look. There’s so much ordinary beauty that gets missed because we’re “used” to it.
    Roxanne recently wrote…Today I’m writing for #WorldMomsBlogMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Roxanne. I miss a lot of things, and as I stood on that street taking that photo, it struck me that *I* really need to stop, look, breathe.

  • May 24, 2014 julie gardner

    I left a comment (making a joke about having been with Bill for 20 years and sometimes forgetting he, too, has a decidedly attractive pattern) but it didn’t go through.

    So, in the interests of not looking like a dork who tries to recreate her joke in exact words (in case the comment DOES go through eventually and I appear in this section twice in a row) I’ll just say HOORAY kids grabbing their own snacks from the refrigerator.

    Except for the fingerprints.
    Dang. It’s always something, isn’t it?

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Haha, I love that. And I’m sorry about the silly commenting system.
      Oh fingerprints. That never goes away, does it?

  • May 25, 2014 Rorybore

    to everything. the picture. the words. the reminder.

    technically, I love that you captured the perspective. the feeling that you are actually walking down this street. very nice.
    Rorybore recently wrote…4 Fill in Fun: Get Up, Got Gone EditionMy Profile

    • May 26, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, I was actually driving up it, heading home, and decided impulsively to park, hop out and snap a picture. The words only came to me when I started the post, going in a direction I didn’t expect.

  • May 26, 2014 Rea

    Oh it’s so true that if you’ve been so used to something, you don’t notice the small and beautiful things anymore. Such a great reminder to stop and talk a while. I love your street photo and love that you’ve captured the pattern so well!

    • May 27, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Rea! I kinda love my street too, a little more than before.

  • May 26, 2014 Janine Huldie

    I love this prompt, especially for someone like me that sometimes has trouble seeing seeing the small details and such (may need to try it). You are right though we definitely do take certain things for granted and have found myself especially with my kids only realizing how much they have grown by looking back at old pictures from a year ago and seeing it right there as it is as plain as the nose on my face.
    Janine Huldie recently wrote…Tumble Leaf – Amazon Prime’s Entertaining & Educational Kid’s ShowMy Profile

    • May 27, 2014 Alison

      It’s easy to let the day-to-day things go, because, life. It’s always a blessing to be able to sit and reflect, then realize we do need to soak it all in.

  • May 26, 2014 the fashion dress

    Beautiful post, I agree πŸ™‚
    the fashion dress recently wrote…Make upMy Profile

    • May 27, 2014 Alison

      Thank you πŸ™‚

  • May 27, 2014 Chris Carter

    Look at that road! Amazingly beautiful- and yet you are so so right. Our sight dulls with monotony- and capturing and embracing what we forget about that are treasures in our every day things, people, and our experiences is so key in realizing these moments matter.

    Thanks for the reminder to do this- sometimes we forget to ‘clean’ our lens and take notice.
    Chris Carter recently wrote…Ten Years of ThankfulMy Profile

    • May 27, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, sweet Chris. I knew that if anyone ‘got’ this, it’d be you. xo

  • May 27, 2014 Katie

    The photo is lovely, but the words are so amazing. They are true too. Eddie sat on my lap today and his legs draped down almost to the floor. When did that happen?
    Katie recently wrote…Project 365 {week 21}My Profile

    • May 27, 2014 Alison

      I still remember when I first read your blog, Eddie was a tiny 2 year old. I can’t believe he’s so big now.

  • May 27, 2014 Jennifer Humphries

    Allison what a great reminder. Your street is beautiful, the cobblestones are amazing! So glad you stopped by my blog so that I could find yours. We are PR sisters. Gotta love that! Have a great day. I’ll be back πŸ™‚

    • May 27, 2014 Alison

      I do love when I find a fellow PR sister! Thank you for coming by!

  • May 28, 2014 Kimberly

    It is so true that you get so familiar with something that it loses its luster. Sometimes we forget to stop and appreciate it.
    Kimberly recently wrote…A Little Bit Of This. A Lot Of That.My Profile

    • May 28, 2014 Alison

      We do. We so need to just stop sometimes.

  • May 28, 2014 Keely

    Keely recently wrote…Incredibly Quick Giveaway For Chicago’s Museum Of Science & Industry!My Profile

    • May 28, 2014 Alison

      Ah lady, you make me laugh πŸ™‚

  • June 2, 2014 Maureen

    Beautiful words for a great perspective shot, Alison. So true isn’t how sometimes we can get so ‘carried away’ that we missed out on little tiny details in our life. Thank you for the reminder πŸ™‚
    Maureen recently wrote…Accepting Myself Unconditionally, Right NowMy Profile

    • June 3, 2014 Alison

      Thank you, Maureen!

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