Chasing Beautiful Light, Finding Dragons

Dragon fruit still life as done for Chase the Light featuring beautiful light and finding dragons, by Carol Schiraldi, June 2024
“Dragon Fruit” done for “Chase the Light, by Carol Schiraldi, iPhone image, June 8, 2024

This weekend is the annual “Chase the Light” fundraiser. For those who don’t know, this is an annual fundraiser held by Photographic Center Northwest (PCNW.) It’s called “Chase the Light” because photographers who participate all create the images over the same weekend. We “Chase the Light” for one weekend in June, after which we submit our work to the curators who select images to go into the show.

To raise funds for the center, there is a pop-up exhibition where the prints are sold and there is also a slideshow of the work. Last year, they had 600 participating artists from 15 countries and 29 states across the US to help raise over $20,000 to help the center. You can read more about “Chase the Light” on their website.

Last year, when I did the fundraiser it was unbearably hot. You can read about my ordeal in “Chasing Beautiful Light, Finding Scorching Heat.”

This year, thankfully, it was a bit cooler, although this being Texas the light was still a bit bright for my taste. Earlier in the week, I had gone over to the garden center and, oh what wonderful light we had! It was incredible. I opted to go back to the “Borrowed Garden” and shoot some more, since they had such wonderful water lilies, and even tried to get over there early in the morning so I would maybe miss that glaring midday sun. No luck in that department, as the sun was already too bright for my liking, but I did manage to get a few interesting shots anyway.

We’ve also had a banner year for dragon fruit so, as part of this, I decided to sneak into my local grocery store and photograph some food items. I have always wanted to do a big series of shots in the grocery store but never got this going. Maybe I will have to revisit this at some point. In the meantime, I did manage to get a few shots from the grocery aisles for “Chase the Light.”

I’m including my five submitted images here along with some runners up so you can share in the fun. I always like to ask folks which image they would pick if given the opportunity. For this show, there will the curators who pick out the work and hopefully I can share with you (at some point) which image they picked out.

Until then, here are my submissions:

This is “Maple Left Softness” and was shot over at the Water Gardens. I love the Japanese maple trees and they have an exceptional offering of them this year. The shape and delicate nature of the leaves really captivates me so this is my next submission.

Red Japanese Maple Leaf study done for "Chase the Light" photography fundraiser, by Carol Schiraldi.
“Maple Leaf Softness,” Japanese Maple Leaf study done for “Chase the Light,” June 8, 2024 by Carol Schiraldi

Next up we have “Peeking,” a close-up botanical study. When I started my “Borrowed Garden” series, I felt like I was sneaking around in the garden center. It’s not my garden, right? So, instead of the sort of sweeping vistas or grand views, I opted to do this sort of soft close-up images. This is what I thought it would look like if you were to sneak a peek at a borrowed garden. Over the years, of course I’ve changed it up a bit but I still sometimes do these. I love the colors in them so this was included in my submission.

Peeking, a close-up botanical study as done for Chase the Light
“Peeking,” botanical close-up by Carol Schiraldi as done for “Chase the Light”

Next up we have “Potter’s Bowl.” This is an unusual shot for me. Lately, I’ve been shooting a lot of the pottery and plant holders at the garden center. Playing with shapes and abstraction, I’ve been having some fun here. This one is a bit less abstract and a little bit graphical but I liked it so opted to include it in the submission.

Potter's Bowl, a graphical study of a bowl perched on a stand, done with limited colors for "Chase the Light" by Carol Schiraldi
“Potter’s Bowl,” by Carol Schiraldi, June 8, 2024

Finally, we have “Linear.” This one is a bit of a twist for me as well. It’s a black and white image (I think I have always opted to submit color work for this) and it’s fairly minimal. Lacking a sense of scale, this is a more graphical image. I saw these pots at the garden center and decided that I wanted to do an abstract with them so that’s what I did here.

A graphical abstract featuring lines in a pattern along with an off center expanse of space.
“Linear,” by Carol Schiraldi, June 8, 2024 for “Chase the Light”

These are my submissions so now I get to ask YOU which one you might pick? If you are so inclined please drop me a note or otherwise let me know. Some runners-up images to share here also. These are some that did not make the final cut but I shot this weekend and had some fun creating.

Blown glass twists in various colors at the water gardens
“Glass Twists,” by Carol Schiraldi, June 8, 2024

These are some glass twists at the water gardens. When I was over there earlier in the week we noticed them and I did not photograph them all that much. Returning for “Chase the Light” I noticed they were in the sun a bit so I opted to get a shot of them.

Then there are the tomatoes. At the grocery store, I noticed them and decided to get a shot. As a child, Mom always made some kind of Italian food on Sundays, it was always something like a big spaghetti dinner or the like. Tomatoes somehow remind me of Sunday so I shot them this weekend for “Chase the Light.” This year too, they are doing a special study of food related items so there will probably be more food photographs than usual in the pop up show.

Tomatoes on display as seen for "Chase the Light" by Carol Schiraldi
“Nice Tomatoes,” by Carol Schiraldi, June 8, 2024

Watch this space or check out the “Chase the Light” website for news of the pop-up show. If you are in the Seattle area, it will be held on June 15th at PCNW which is located at: 900 12th Avenue in Seattle. I hope you can either view the show in person or check out the slideshow featuring all of the work to see which images have made the cut as it were.

Until next time…

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