Musings & Threads. Minding the Minutiae.
Minding the Minutiae
I have a bit of a fascination with spiders. Not quite at the entomologist/arachnologist level, and not so much that I let them live when I find one in my home (though sometimes I’ll put them outside if they look friendly enough on my completely subjective, and admittedly unjust, scale). But I’m fascinated by them just enough that if I happen upon one outdoors, and the lighting is right, I’ll probably try to photograph it. I just find their delicate structures, colors and patterns so interesting and beautiful. Adding to their intrigue is the fact that they can spin webs made of silk so strong that if they were pencil-thick they could catch a fully loaded Jumbo Jet Boeing 747. That is seriously amazing!
Just ask companies like North Face and Lexus who are already using spider silk in concept products. In 2012 a yellow cape made from the silk of 1.2 million golden orb spiders was on display in London. They say it’s almost weightless, like an invisibility cloak. That is crazy cool! Spider silk is also being studied for use in tougher-than-Kevlar military armor.
Spiders are spectacular creatures. But I’ll move this along for the sake of the arachnophobes I’ve already triggered and others whose skin is now crawling. I apologize, by the way, but stick with me here, it’ll (hopefully) be worth it. Spiders are just one example of something that applies very broadly, that if we take a closer look at something - anything - and see beyond the obvious, we’ll get to know the subject as we never have. And when that happens, a sort of magic occurs.
A couple of years ago I started becoming interested in macro photography. I don’t even own a nice camera, mind you, I have an iPhone X. You can purchase macro lenses that fit cell phones and I’m planning to get one soon, but in the meantime I’m just having fun zooming in on everyday things. Professional macro photographers would probably get a chuckle out of my shots, but that’s ok. Looking back at these photos conjures up great memories for me, and I realized I usually get inspired to take them while trying to savor an experience. These moments - sipping blanc de blanc with my dear friend visiting from San Francisco, ducking out of a downpour at the fort-turned-garden club in Key West, discovering Austrian Alp Blossom cheese while preparing a surprise celebration meal for my husband…they’re all about soaking up the intricacies so as to fully appreciate something.
Looking at things from unfamiliar angles can reveal exquisite details that are usually unseen. Of course, looking at something up close also makes it difficult to hide any flaws. That’s true of people too, I suppose. By taking the time to look closely at people, soaking up their intricacies, we begin to understand them, and thereby appreciate them, more fully. Sure, their flaws are going to be amplified, but the beautiful details and nuances about them will likewise be revealed and magnified.
Note: All photos above by Nicole Emmi. Please click on the images to enlarge.
As an aside, the last photo, button minutia, is from a World War II Navy peacoat that Nicole wears. It belonged to her grandfather. He, her father, and brother were all sailors.