Category Archives: Details

Contemplative Photography Lesson

Sunlit Entryway – Yakima, WA

I have been working to develop my process for contemplative photography.  My assignment today was to take a walk with a fresh open mind not looking for any specific thing to photograph.  The practice objective was to just wander and let the world around me catch my eye.  If something caught my eye, I needed to keep my mind open, take my time, and explore specifically what was it that captured my eye, what was important, and what was not.  Only then I could raise my camera and frame the image.

Walking along Front Street, I saw a bright orange flash that stopped me dead in my tracks.  It was in stark contrast with the surrounding area of old stucco and bricks. Shadows from a metal gate added to the contrast.  Soft mottled shadows from a street tree graced its surface.  The vertical bars of the gate framed the brilliant orange.  What a wonderful gift I was given.

Tonight is Christmas Eve

This little reindeer is not ready for his Christmas Eve journey.  It looks like he will be missing it tonight.  A reindeer in pajamas???

We found this ornament in Saks on Fifth Avenue on my first trip to New York City.  I had been dragging my feet to visit the City.  Why would anyone in their right mind want to fight all those crowds.  Being an old country boy, I sure did not!  But my patient Karen finally convinced me to go there to see all the Christmas displays. I was amazed, it was like walking through a wonderland of lights, decorations, music, and people having a great time.  The City was truly alive.  I did not even mind the crowds.

The trip was a great introduction to New York City and the first of many more to follow.  This little reindeer makes me smile as I look back on that first visit to NYC.

My Grandmother’s Heart

My grandmother never had money to purchase “store bought” gifts.  But she always made us something special for Christmas.  I can remember one year when she made all us kids “stick horses”.  They were the best gift of the year.  This heart was the last hand-made gift that she made for me. During her last years, her special gift was a beautiful smile, a hug, and a Christmas kiss.  What could be better!  Her heart is always with me.

Over the years, I have followed her way and made many of my own gifts to family and friends.  The last several years, I have made just a few.  I will return to my old ways.  Thank you grandma for teaching me what gift-giving is all about.

How Van Gogh Would Paint a Boat

Boat Graveyard & Repair Facility – Charleston, Oregon

I spent a couple of hours exploring an old boat graveyard in Charleston, Oregon,  I was fascinated with all the chipped paint on the old boats from a by-gone era.  They had seen a much better time.  I can just imagine the stories these old boats could tell.  I picked an image at random and played with it in Topaz Impression.  I applied a Van Gogh painting style as an overlay.  Today I needed a break from reality

 

Contemplating Back in Time

WWI Soldier Grotesque – Smith Hall, Univ. of Washington

This WWI soldier grotesque has intrigued me since I first attended the University of Washington in 1968. It is located on Smith Hall in the University of Washington Quadrangle.  The figure commemorates WWI complete with the gas mask.

Over the years, I have photographed this grotesque multiple times.  For some reason, my images have not turned out:  out of focus, too light, too dark, or branches/leaves cluttering the image.  During my last visit, I was determined to get an acceptable image.  I was lucky that it was an overcast day.  The soft light on the soldier was relatively even without deep shadows. I walked around to get a perspective that gave me the most eerie mood.

 

“Beartooth”

Beartooth Peak

The sharp peak is “Beartooth.”  It does look like a sharp tooth. I can imagine the size of the bear that would have this peak as a tooth!

As I observe the wonder of nature that surrounds me, I like to let my imagination run loose. Here, I tried to place myself in the footsteps of our Native Americans and the lore that they created to attempt to explain the life around them.  I could spend hours just sitting, seeing, and letting my mind explore.  When I do so, I tend to drive the people around me a little crazy.  Most of my creative work is done when I am by myself.

Yellowstone: Mammoth Hot Springs from Below

Mammoth Hot Springs – View from Below

This image was taken with a 900mm equivalent telephoto lens shooting up at the cascading edge of the upper Mammoth Hot Spring Basin.  What caught my eye were the lines and patterns of the water and mineral deposits.

This image does not capture the grandeur of the basin edge cascading off the cliff.  I went thorough my photos to find an overall image.  I did not find one.  Big Lesson Learned:  Make sure I do not become fixated only with details, I need to capture the overall perspective as well.

Looking Back at Me

Salt Collecting Rocks at Lapakahi Historical Park

I was walking along a path in a historic Hawaiian Village when I saw this face looking back up at me.  I couldn’t resist stopping and capturing an image.  See the eyes, nose and mouth.

These small hollowed-out stones were used by the Hawaiians to collect salt. Sea water was poured into hollowed-out stones like these.  Sun evaporated the water leaving pa’akai (salt crystals.  Salt was used to preserve fish and season food.