The beauty in the desert is everywhere. As I walk along, I see volcanic rock outcroppings, struggling junipers, cragged old trees, blue-grey sagebrush, patches of colorful wildflowers, beautiful blue sky with billowing white clouds. I look down at my feet, magic appears.
I enjoy photographing botanical subjects. When reviewing my work, many times I quickly pass over an image that at first does not catch my eye as a “select”. I was going through some images that I photographed a year ago in Hawaii. This image just grabbed me. Instead of a leaf, I saw bright lines radiating out, I saw shadows and voids. I saw a triangular shape inserting itself into a void. The green color did not add anything to the image, I thought black and white. The image emerged.
Today is a special day to reflect. Life’s timeline is multidimensional. The past, current, and future intermingle. As I look back and reflect on loved ones who have passed, a warm, peaceful, and grateful feeling comes into my heart. That feeling transcends into a contemplative outlook of what is yet to come.
“The color of life —
Older under emerging,
as laughing lines play.”
One of the most insightful lessons I experienced during my retreat at Hui Ho’olani was an exercise of creativity. Groups of three were formed. We were told to create a “haiku-type” poem of what we were experiencing at the moment. A little twist was injected; member #1 would write down the first line, #2 would write down the second line, then #3 would finish with the third line. Each member would build on the other. It totally amazed me what beautiful and creative poems were composed in a short time of less than 15 minutes. It all goes to show that there is creative talent in each of us if we just let it flow freely out!
I tried a derivative of this process with a dear friend. I sent her the above photograph. She jotted down several short poems expressing her feelings. The above 3 lines are hers.
Thank you, my dear friend!
I recently attended a contemplative photography retreat at beautiful Hui Ho’olana on Moloka’i. The next several posts will be from the retreat.
Beauty was everywhere I looked. It presented itself along every path, around every corner. It seemed that it was just asking to be photographed.
Red, green and yellow
Spiked leaves shoot out like a star
Just asking to be noticed
The soft early morning light highlighted this scene. The maple tree, grasses, and pine shrub appear very soft. I enhanced the softness in post processing. The image was exposed to highlight the soft leaves of the Japanese maple. The background was in shade which created a nice dark contrast to the light maple. The image warms me all over.
This is what fall color is all about. I was able to photograph in the Washington Japanese Garden almost at its prime this fall. Colors were gorgeous everywhere. This particular scene caught my eye contrasting the brilliant reds and yellows,
I am taking an on-line course, “The Compelling Frame” by Dave duChemin. My focus for this excursion was to explore how different types of light created different effects. Here, the soft mid-morning light set the colors of these trees on fire. I am always searching and exploring ways to help me progress through my never-ending journey in photography. I strongly recommend Dave duChemin’s course.
Today is an overcast dark day. I need a little brightness!
Yesterday I visited the Portland Japanese Gardens. Even though the day was overcast and a bit drizzly, the bright fall colors of this Japanese maple brightened the surroundings and captured my eye. The fall color was past its prime. But, there was still quite a bit of color patches. I thought the gardens were beautiful and can just imagine what they were like during their prime color. Next fall I will return during the peak.
P.S. I was practicing working with light and found this brilliant reflection.
It was mid morning on a bright sunny, hot, dry day. The summer has been one of the driest in history. It was not a typical rainforest day. It was still a beautiful exhibition of nature. I spent a lot of time looking around to find an area that had filtered light without glaring bright spots. This is one that I found.
I processed the image to try to capture the feeling I had: filtered rays of sunshine highlighting background trees, interesting moss shapes in the shadows speckled with sunlight, a soft feeling of the soft moss.
I must go back after a good drenching rain.
Nature is magical! It renews itself. Out of a devastated landscape, life emerges. I wish I had taken photographs when Karen and I visited the devastated mountain twenty plus yeas ago. Everything was grey and brown, mud and ash. It reminded me of what I thought the moon’s landscape was like.
Now, life is emerging everywhere. The reds, oranges, yellows, and purples of the wildflowers scattered about breathe life into the landscape. The greens below are young trees that have sprouted from seeds that have been brought to the surface by the small ground animals that survived the blast underground and from returning birds dropping seeds from above. Life is a miracle! My spirits lifted as I looked down over the valley below. My imagination looked forward to picture a natural forest that will return in the centuries to come.