Lens-Artists Challenge: Seasonal

Winter in Wisconsin can be very monochromatic. I do tend to feel SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and remind myself to take Vitamin D and get outside on any day when the sun shines. The challenge is to embrace this fact and celebrate it. So then why not embrace all the seasons in monochrome? It seems counter-intuitive, for the colors of the rest of the seasons are, I think, their most spectacular features. But a challenge should be challenging. Can I find visual interest in photos of all the seasons without color? Let’s find out.
Here we go…WINTER.

SPRING…

SUMMER…

and FALL. 

You know what? That was pretty fun. I do mourn the loss of color, but without it, I appreciate form, texture, and contrast all the more.
Thank you, Tina, for hosting this seasonal challenge!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Open Sesame – Doors and Doorways

I’m an out-of-doors sort of person, and my photo albums reflect that. This photo immediately popped into my mind when I saw the challenge theme today. This is my idea of a doorway, and it’s almost the only door I’ve ever photographed.

Maybe I just don’t like doors. They represent separation, closing off, exclusion. They can be so imposing when they’re closed, and so limiting even when they’re open.  I like this door. It invites but does not insist. It gives you options, but it is interesting enough not to ignore. And it is humble in its surroundings.

This is the door I choose. Thank you, Tina, for focusing my attention on doors today. 

 

Lens-Artist Weekly Photo Challenge: Magical Light

“Light! More light!” – last words of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Was Goethe, the celebrated poet and scientist and author of The Theory of Colors, crying out his final request in an effort to quench his thirst for enlightenment of the mind, the soul, or the eye? Or all three?
I am sure they are all interconnected.
Coincidentally, his deathbed wish became the motto of Lawrence University in Wisconsin, where I sent my oldest child to college. 

Three things converged earlier this week to illustrate to me the power of light and its affect on my soul.

First, on Sunday, we switched our clocks back from Daylight Savings Time. The sun slips further away from the Northern Hemisphere, and daylight hours are noticeably diminished. Nights fall early, and mornings are dark.

On Tuesday, the U.S. had midterm elections. An ominous gloom has settled and hung over this country since our last election. I am anxious for my children, the planet, and the future. I feel the grip of darkness in my soul.

I suspect that I am susceptible to Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. I feel physically drained, deeply depressed, cold and vulnerable. Cloudy, dark days bring questions of personal survival to my mind. And then, Thursday night, temperatures dropped and the first snow fell. 

Fortunately, the next morning I was scheduled to volunteer in a Nature Center class of fourth graders. I drove carefully through the falling snow, noticing changes all around. The minute I arrived in the parking lot, I saw a small child lifting her face to the sky with her tongue out, hoping to catch a falling flake. Her face was lit with joy.

Light from the souls of the children flooded my day. Snow angels, snowball target practice, a hike through the woods to the river, and the emergence of a distant but brilliant sun made my mood by the late morning sparkle. There is magic in light, in warmth, in proximity to the energy of our home star, the Sun. The magic brings life to every living thing. I am aware of its sustenance and my dependence on it. And I give thanks for it every day. Thanks, also, to Amy for inviting us to share the magic with this Photo Challenge! 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Blending In and Standing Out

The environment. Ecosystems. We are in them and of them and we are them. We are interconnected with everything around us. We blend in and stand out simultaneously. 

May all beings appreciate their surroundings, their selves, and the relationship between all things. May this appreciation grow into respect, affection, and peaceful harmony. 

Thanks, Leya, for inviting us to see the ways things Blend In and Stand Out. Enjoy your forest!

Lens-Artist Weekly Photo Challenge: Just For Fun

The most fun I ever had with my camera was doing my son’s wedding photo shoot one year ago. Well, I was a bit nervous…at first. I’d never done a portrait photo shoot before. Much less a wedding one. But all the logistics came together beautifully, and these kids are just so darn photogenic, that I knew I was getting seriously excellent shots. So I relaxed and had an absolute ball. I really enjoy being with my kids. They’re full of fun…and youth.

 Thank you to Patti at P.A. Moed for inviting us to have fun with this challenge!

Big Is Beautiful

Who’s afraid of the big Badlands? Not me and Steve! 

How about big ungulates? No problem! 

Or big dinosaur bones?

And big rocks? The bigger the better, and more beautiful than a camera frame can take in. 

And all these big, bold, wonderful things can be found in our National Parks. Preserving them is our biggest, best idea ever. 

Thanks, Tina, for this Lens Artist challenge!