Deep November

Cathrin Gressieker_secrets behind a smile
smiles and secrets

November is definitely a special month. Not only because my younger daughter’s birthday is at the end of it and a lot of November is spent talking about how many nights there are still left to sleep before her big day arrives.

November itself is a mysterious month to me, a time for retreat, contemplation, letting go and meditation, which I find a strange. Blame it on my zodiac sign of Gemini, that likes to stay in shallow and preferably tropical waters (or building castles in the air). But now that secretive sting of Scorpio clearly effects my state of mind and my emotions along with all these days getting shorter and the dusk that falls earlier every single day.

No, I am not depressed. I am not even melancholic, clearly I just have no time for that ;-). You might remember my recent dabbling in photography while vacationing on Mallorca and taking iPhone pictures to the prompts of photographer Catherine Just (part 1part 2 and part 3). When she announced that she would be offering a 10-day-course in Conceptual Photography in November with the title Begin Deepening, I thought that this could work together well with November energy.

I was not nearly as productive photo-wise during this course like I was on Mallorca during the Instagram photo challenge, but I learned a couple new things about how to approach Conceptual Photography and what it actually is. Catherine Just gave us guidance how to express inner secrets with photography in the outside world using also different tools like journaling and mind-mapping. How you can work with surrogates, alternative spaces, self portraits and series. You can approach it quite methodically or intuitively (or both).

And one night after I came home from a yoga class, I made some photos before midnight. Intuitively. Can you guess what my secret is?

Cathrin Gressieker - future in my hands
future in my hands

This thing with secrets. I just found it difficult, because I consider myself quite an open book and have no secrets really – or maybe I haven’t digged deep enough. But that air of mysteriousness does linger in these photographs and whatever YOU see in it, is right for you. You don’t have to really know that these things in my hands are toys and crafted gifts from my girls or about my prior stream of consciousness involving a certain change in my body, medical checks, little worries and a general feeling of unknowingness. And all is GOOD now.

What you can see is, that students are always influenced by their teacher’s style – so am I. Yes, Catherine Just uses black and white photography, the square format, certain filters and subjects in her art – that is what drew me to her soulful work in the first place. This photography process is about exploration and learning for me – and my perspective has shifted during this course. One word of advice for me – stay away from the Hipstamatic TinType app – it’s addictive!

Cathrin Gressieker_monday night
monday night

I photographed this series last night on my way to yoga class and back – these stars were just to captivating and do seem to tell a story. A secret they want to tell me maybe?