The example set for this challenge is exceptional. Please take a look at Krista’s post on WordPress.
I am thrilled when someone sets the bar high. “We can do better,” Steve often says, as a sort of mantra to a deeper call to “do no harm”. Here he is in Canyonlands National Park, just outside of Bears Ears National Monument. Can we ascend to higher thinking about how we treat wild places?
The newest addition to the National Park system is Pinnacles National Park. What is our goal for protecting the natural beauty and balance of this place we call America? Have we reached that summit? Are we striving to ascend towards it?
“We can do better.” It doesn’t matter where you start. Ascend, and see how your perspective changes.
“Loss is nothing else but change, and change is nature’s delight.” — Marcus Aurelius (Roman Emperor)
“I am the joy in change and movement.” – Steve Wiencek (Milwaukee guy)
Celebrating my place in Nature has long been my way to transcend losses and feel grounded. When my husband died, it was like my identity died with him. Transitioning to a new life was very difficult, but spending time pursuing my hobby, photographing the changes in nature, certainly opened my eyes to new life all around, even in unexpected places.
Change is the characteristic of Life. Everything is transformed, even sadness, loss and fear. There is always something new, in a new state of being, to discover. In my case, I discovered Steve, in the state of Wisconsin.
When my son asked me to do a photo shoot with his fiancee, and casually mentioned that they had already gotten the marriage license, I was (1) elated and (2) terrified that I would disappoint them. Without a ceremony, the photo shoot was likely to be the most public and enduring record of this important milestone. I wanted it to be very special. And I was totally unqualified. I have never done portrait photography. This was one grand experiment – and turned out to be a ton of fun and very successful by all opinions gathered. Whew!
To start, I practiced trying out portrait settings. I knew we’d be outdoors. I live on 56 acres of conservation property, so my front yard was a great stage. My test subject was Jimmy Bear, appropriately clad in his concert tuxedo. He made a fine and very patient groom, but he’s a little short. My music stand gave him a boost.
I learned a lot about fill-in flash, back lighting and bokeh. The wedding entourage of 7 people helped with carrying in props and equipment and providing support of all kinds…and were great photo subjects as family. Here are a few of my favorite results of this joyful experiment.
This is my absolute favorite time of year. Fall colors resonate deeply with me, and I feel like I belong on this tapestry. Browns and golds and greens reflect in my eyes, red and burgundy flow in my veins. I always feel a little sad as the season begins. I feel even sadder as it ends. There’s something about this heroic explosion of color as the world marches slowly toward winter that makes me feel triumphant and nostalgic to the point of tears. This moment is temporary, but it holds the seeds of eternity and the losses of the past in its grip. It is a complex and fleeting experience, a poignant mood that sweeps by like a leaf on the wind.