The Lens Artist challenge this week is to pick three favorite photos, which is almost impossible, but I will show you three close-ups in the avian/animal world that were pivotal in my journey in photography. The memories kept flooding back as I perused my archives.
This seagull duoportrait (2020) was formative in experimenting with the creative editing of a background to fit my vision. Many hours of experimentation and learning.
My first successful chipmunk photo of a creature that rarely stays still. This image only needed a bit of a crop and contrast enhancement. I didn’t learn how to crop until 60 years young.
This one was an emotional choice. Long gone, but always remembered. Monochrome conversion accentuated her sweet eyes and soul. This photo was taken close to her last day. I’ve learned to love the B/W feel of certain images.
Most memorable skyscape of 2021 after an early summer storm.
I didn’t take many photos in 2021 (life happened…), but this cloud formation called to me and I’m so happy I took the shot.
Sometimes images have many lives
Drifting into the future
When curiosity brings them back to life
Creating a new world
For the original to inhabit
I spent many moments playing with editing old photos since my fresh supply was lacking due to mobility issues. Here I present the steps to the final result of one of my creations.
Step 1 – My peace lily from 2016 inspired the final image. I love to explore the alternate world of abstraction and investigate the interaction between shape, light and minimal color. I was very new to exploring the possibilities of photography at this point. Intrigued by the life of shadows.
Step 2– Isolating the shadow shape of interest.
Step 3– Beginning to play with the abstract possibilities of top, floral shadow.
Step 4– Final 2021 image of a starry, fantasy world.
“There is scientific evidence that trees communicate and are sentient beings. Human beings exchange information mainly through sound and vision. … Well, it has been discovered that plants also communicate with each other, have intelligence, and pass information intergenerationally, just like we humans do.”
(This is my daughter’s painting that I edited. She was having difficulty adjusting to her present moments in sobriety and I guided her in the need to tap into her creative spirit. The waterfall scene is a reflection of her meditative, safe and happy space.)
I wanted to remove all extraneous details around the subject and make it look otherworldly. I think the creation of a moody sky adds to the total effect I was searching for. Pyramid power!
“Pyramids are believed to be extremely sacred in many cultures around the world. Many churches are built with pyramid-like steeples and ancient pyramid structures can be found not just in Egypt, but in South America and parts of Asia.
The Native Americans also sat in tipis to conduct rituals and ceremonies, which have a pyramid like shape to them. It was believed that this shape helped to connect them with the earth and the heavens above.” (Tanaaz)
Turned a corner on the drive to Jasper National Park and started tingling with a sense of awe. This was one of the first sightings of many magnificent peaks. I hadn’tbeen to the Rocky Mountains since I was a teen.
“You are not in the mountains. The mountains are in you.” (John Muir)
“Inspiration awakens us to new possibilities by allowing us to transcend our ordinary experiences and limitations.”
Final destination. The gorge at Athabasca Falls. Moving waters churn below the layers of ice and eroded rock. I stand above and I am mesmerized with wonder.
Yesterday, a surprise visitor joined me for my morning coffee.
On my balcony, seven floors up, this monarch butterfly gently landed on one of my knees and then fluttered to the other. I was awestruck.
Within seconds, it flew away and decided to spend some time on my bedroom screen window. I raced to get my camera and enjoyed a few photo moments with this precious creature.
I kept pondering what the universe was trying to tell me in gifting me with this random, magical event.
Was it a sign of a new chapter to begin, a shifting of my consciousness to be open to new possibilities? That life can be so unexpectedly magical as long as I keep being present and open to the whisper of the universe.
I don’t really have one, but this song by Kansas had popped up on the car radio multiple times through the years when it felt like I was in need of a message; after a loved one has died, when my world was caving in or when I needed to get unstuck from my worries.
I close my eyes, only for a moment, and the moment’s gone All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity Dust in the wind All they are is dust in the wind
Same old song, just a drop of water in an endless sea All we do crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see Dust in the wind All we are is dust in the wind…
Now, don’t hang on, nothing lasts forever but the earth and sky It slips away And all your money won’t another minute buy Dust in the wind All we are is dust in the wind
Winter and Spring have been holding hands for too long. Frost two weeks ago and now instant summer. Landscape suddenly bursting with green. I took some quick photos at a local lake already being visited by swimmers. Life is good in summer’s warm embrace.
Pondering the theme of cliches, I’ll try to wrap my head around the enigma of time.
Circular and linear
Intertwined in space/time continuum
Affected by speed and gravity
Always a factor
In one’s life
Personal time is fluid
Time can sing to us
Through meaningful cliches
As time flies
One can lose track of time
While dreaming of a timeless love
It can save one
In the nick of time
If one plays one’s cards right
Or reads between the lines
But it’s always a matter of time
In the quietness before the storm
That can seemingly last forever
Change is inevitable
And the future can come
At the speed of light
And one is pressed with the reality
Where did the time go?
As time runs out
The Enigma of Time Elliott Jaques
“The enigma of time is the enigma of life: it has plagued poets and philosophers from the beginnings of civilized thought. For life is lived in time. Without time there is no life. But each one lives in his own time. No two men living at the same time live in the same time. Each one, living at the same moment, has his own personal time perspective, his own living linkage with past and future, the content of which, and the scale of which, are as different between one person and another as are their appearance, their fingerprints, their characters, their desires, their very being.”
Fingers discovering keys into another world… Child’s joy in music and developing skill cut short by rapping on knuckles from harsh teacher, demanding perfection. Told mom at nine years old that I didn’t want to go back. Piano gathered dust. Child’s mind tuned-out to music, until the Beatles and Sound of Silence (1964) appeared on the magic box. I was ten.
“To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold.”
“…in winter…you feel the bone structure of the landscape — the loneliness of it; the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show.” (Athabasca River Gorge, Jasper National Park, Alberta)
– Andrew Wyeth
“The color of springtime is flowers; the color of winter is in our imagination.”
In Sudbury, weekly farmer’s markets display locally-grown food, wild blueberries, hand-crafted items, homemade baked goods and preserves, and sometimes live music. Always fun to experience the community vibe and take some photographs.
Love the look of wooden, bushel baskets that bring back childhood memories.
These unusual, textured gourds caught my eye.
A bit of a humorous touch with the hat on a pumpkin and the 714 pound, prize pumpkin stealing the show.
Just had to get a macro of this chanterelle mushroom.
“Photography is a great adventure in thinking and looking, a wonderful magic toy that miraculously manages to combine our adult awareness with the fairy-tale world of childhood, a never-ending journey through great and small, through variations and the realm of illusions and appearances…”