Mini Jigsaws

Recapturing life’s jewel moments

Pieces borrow context from their neighbours, and change.

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The idea is to value add, to get more in return for the investment of time and energy.

The jigsaw puzzle process has positive benefits for brain function.  It hits many hot spots, including memory, attention, focus, observation.  Rather than leave it there, I also wanted to tap into the creative and reflective centres, and the result is the Mini Jigsaw photographic series.

When I opened the latest box, each piece seemed like a little jewel.  The colours shone from their shiny surfaces.  Right away, I selected a few to photograph.  These seemed to jump out from the jumble as particularly striking combinations of colour.

But the photographs didn’t work.  There were technical problems with exposure and background colour.  After shrugging off the disappointment, I proceeded with the puzzle.

Weeks later, puzzle now connected and spread out on the table before me, I’m looking again for those gems … or any gems.

The problem now is that I cannot see the individual pieces as individuals.  Each is encumbered by its context.  What was a striking arrangement of colours and brush marks, a mini abstract full of intrigue, is now a plant or a path.  Even when removed from its setting, my memory and experience bring the setting with it.

With every interaction, there is change.  Recapturing that jewel moment now seems impossible.

Nevertheless, I have attempted to capture the sense of it in this collage of three images.

Jigsaw gems

The Set Up

The background of black textured card is now white printer paper.  The natural light in my earlier attempts had accentuated texture, so today I opted for flash.  The angle of the shot then changed to reduce surface glare.  However, I neglected to change the white balance to the flash setting, so the paper is a little blue.  To compensate, I’ve heightened the contrast in the photo editing software.

In a photographic world where sharpness rules, these seem excessively out of focus.  There may have been some camera movement.  The limited sharpness of the pieces may have contributed – it is a photographed oil painting, and the edges of each piece are rounded.

Perhaps the solution is different camera equipment.  A macro lens might be the answer.

With every interaction, there is also the option of further change.  I wonder how much macros cost these days?

The Puzzle

It is a Crown Andrews puzzle called “Space for Reflection” – log cabin, lake, geese and an imposing snow covered mountain range.  The painter, Chuck Pinson.  A Christmas gift from my niece.  To be honest, it’s not one I would have selected for myself, but it has turned out to be a delight.

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