When my better half and I moved to Kansas to be near his family, I looked upon it as a great adventure. I was born in Kansas, but had moved to Oklahoma when just a baby, and lived there my whole life. I was excited about embarking on this new stage.
However, the isolation from friends and family and the vast distances to events and shopping began to take a toll. I loved my new job, which entailed a lot of time along Kansas highways. There were many opportunities for me to appreciate and photograph the landscape, people and sights of the prairie. But still, I felt like Dorothy, sucked up by a giant tornado and dropped in a strange land.
My photography hobby became my photography habit. I made a concerted effort to look for beauty in the remoteness. I began to find it in everyday items: a head of wheat; a flower blossom; the huge tractors that chewed their way across the prairie.
Digital manipulation produced “Kansas KaleidoScapes.” Ordinary things took on a new and fascinating shape. The KaleidoScapes are a special series for me. I have always resisted digital as not being “real” photography, and creating these prints has helped me reach a truce with the digital age. Now my hobby prints are displayed in local galleries and businesses.
The KaleidoScapes (and their cousins, the Okie Occularisms) are a fun way to play with pictures, manipulating photos of everyday items and parts of the outdoors to create art (although I have been jokingly told it’s PhotoSLOP).
Asking visitors to guess what the original image might be is a great conversation starter, and has resulted in visitors becoming friends as they spun tales of farm and outdoor life after viewing one of the ‘Scapes. You can view some of them here at my other blog.
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