One of my favorite places to sit, relax, and read is in our family room by the window. I frequently look up and gaze over the our garden and the ridges in the distance. Most times I see something that catches my attention and causes me to pause and contemplatively think about what I am seeing. The more that my mind is open, the more that I see. The more that I see, the more I appreciate the wonderful world we live in.
“Autumn Brilliance” Heatherwood Japanese Garden, Fall
A Gift A slice of light, Autumn’s color Such a delight!
Just before the sun fell below the western ridge above Heatherwood, it broke through the clouds and lit up this thin sliver of our Japanese Garden with its radiant rays. A few moments later it was gone. What a wonderful gift!
I would like to pass on this message from Dewitt Jones, a photographer that I follow (dewittjones.com). How many times have we sat and watched the beauty of a sunset? Remember the warmth, peace, and happiness it has brought. Some evenings it will be bright and glorious. Some evenings it will be gentle and peaceful. But, it is always there.
There are so many good and wonderful things in this world to celebrate. In times like these, it is extremely important not to forget to celebrate what is right in this world. Dewitt asks why can’t we be like a sunset to the people and world around us. Why can’t we bring beauty, brightness, peace, and hope to the world … every day? Are we too busy? Will people care? Are are efforts good enough? Why can’t we be like a sunset, showing up every evening without any expectation of the result? The essence is being there, celebrating life, and bring forth happiness to whoever may be there.
This tree has an unseen story to tell. The photographer did not step back to include the rest of the story. On the tree’s left is the Little Blue Church. On its right is an ancient Hawaiian heiau.
Here I stand, catching the evening’s last light, Spreading it gently to the souls of the present on my left, And to the ancient spirits of the past on my right
Lesson Learned: I need to take my time to contemplate what I am seeing and feeling, then raise my camera to record the story. I should have used a wide-angle perspective to include the church and the heiau. Always learning …
Just to the north of the “Little Blue Church” is the remnant of an ancient Hawaiian heiau (temple). I came to see the church, but my interest quickly turned to the adjacent heiau. How long ago did the ancient peoples worship on this ground? Was it in use when Cook first landed on the island just a few miles south of here? What do these protruding wood branches and line represent? So many questions …
Warm, calm, relaxed
Eyes first close, then slowly open
A new perspective appears
I set up to photograph the sun setting over the horizon. I anxiously waited as the sun descended slowly. Every so often I would shoot a set of exposures for a HDR combination later. I started to relax and just enjoy the scene. Then the idea came to take a long exposure. This resultant image best depicts the peaceful feeling I had watching the sunset.
Today, December 31, is the sunset of 2017. Looking back over the year, it has been a good one. It was a year of travel: Orlando, Central California Coast, Phoenix, Palm Desert, Hawaii, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Washington Coast, and Oregon Coast. It was a great year to be back close to my family in Central Washington. Many fun times were had with old friends (the Whizzies). Several old friendships were reestablished.
I do miss close friends from our wonderful years in Pennsylvania. Hopefully next year I will make it back for a visit!
As the sunset of 2017 passes, many happy memories of a great year remain!
After the excitement of receiving the view of the gold patches shown in my post yesterday, I turned around and saw my neighbor’s trees silhouetted against the clouds. Quickly, I pulled out my I-phone again and received this additional gift. Seconds later the beautiful sunset pastel disappeared.
I am thankful to have my I-phone camera ready at all times. I can never anticipate when a gift will present itself.
When an unique opportunity presents itself to me, I try to drop whatever I am focused on and create an image from that special gift. This evening, I was practicing Black and White, long exposure photography. I was struggling with the waning light. As the sun dropped below the horizon, this wonderful gift appeared before my eyes. I immediately pulled off my 15-stop neutral density filter, refocused, reset my exposure and was able to capture and create this special moment. This wonderful light lasted for just a few seconds.
Lesson Learned: Always be ready to immediately step back and take advantage of the wonderful gifts that are presented to me