Category Archives: The Arts
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Exposure
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack, a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
– Leonard Cohen, “Anthem”
“Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of men as a whole experience it. Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing.”
– Helen Keller
“I have learned throughout my life as a composer chiefly through my mistakes and pursuits of false assumptions, not by my exposure to founts of wisdom and knowledge.” – Igor Stravinsky
I find that photographic terms morph in my mind to concepts. Being exposed and captured in the Raw is a very vulnerable state. But in the kind hands of an Artist, that’s how beauty can be shared.
Thank you, Sofia, for opening up the possibilities, for inviting the dark as well as the bright, for acknowledging that neither is “right”.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Surreal
My personal world is a bit surreal at the moment. I fell and broke my wrist on a wilderness backpacking trip on Monday. I had to hike two more days to get out to the car and off to a hospital. My hiking buddies were absolute angels, and I have an epic tale to tell. But I don’t have two working hands with which to create photos.
I was hiking a stretch of coastline in Olympic National Park in Washington state. The rainforest of the Pacific Northwest gets an average of 100 inches of rain a year. The trees are giants. The legendary Bigfoot or Sasquatch is said to roam these parts. I would love to have captured him emerging from the fog (or created that impression in a photo), but current limitations make that difficult. So these are very real shots on the theme of Bigfoot, instead.
My attempt at this challenge falls far short. Do visit our host, Tracy, to see Surreal treated well. I wish I had some cheesecake…
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Curves
“Beauty: it curves, curves are beauty.”
― James Joyce
“Curves are so emotional.” ― Piet Mondrian
“My live is one long curve, full of turning points.”
― Pierre Trudeau
The shape of a curve – elegant, delicate, graceful – is so very pleasing to my eye. In calligraphy, cursive is the romantic way to write. All those curvy embellishments just beg you to dawdle lovingly over every letter. Curves are about pleasure, I think. In Nature or in man-made objects, curves lend a sense of the exotic. No wonder I find so many examples in my photos! Here’s a gallery of images, strung together like a love letter in script. I hope you enjoy it!
Thanks to Ann-Christine for delighting us with this challenge theme. Click HERE to view her post and participate.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Interesting Objects
“Remember, the object only reflects a feeling that came from a human. It holds a story from where it came from,
but it’s not alive.” ― Kim Neville
Patti invites us this week to share photos of “Interesting Objects”. I went on a photo hike this morning in the fog up a hill covered with mossy trees with that subject in my mind. I found many interesting things, but I came to make the distinction that what I was photographing was not Objects but Beings. Each mushroom and lichen and spiderweb and bark pattern was exquisite and interesting…and alive. So, I went into my photo archives to find Human-created objects that I’ve discovered on my walks.
I photographed these pendants I found in a Bayside boutique because I love the way the wrapped wire looks like trees. I wanted to show the design to my middle daughter, who makes jewelry.
Owning a beach house gives you the opportunity to show your affection for the sea. I liked this whimsical decoration above one garage in Santa Cruz, CA.
My daughter’s partner is a Bigfoot fan. I had to capture a shot of this chainsaw statue outside of my hotel in Mt. Shasta, CA for him.
This little rock was resting on a bench at the top of St. Joseph’s Hill in Los Gatos, CA. My siblings and I climbed the hill together to mark the anniversary of our mother’s death. She donated to the Mid-Peninsula Open Space District that protects this land. I loved finding this human’s message on that meaningful day.
The things that humans create are not Beings, but they certainly can be created from a place of awe and affection for the Beings that share our planet. I suppose it’s really that interconnection and respect that I find draws me to objects and makes them interesting to me.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: One Image, One Story
“For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn.” – a six-word story attributed to Ernest Hemingway.
Actually, the shoes in the photo above were worn, by my son. Then for years and years they hung from the rear-view mirror of my late husband’s car, until they became quite faded and dry. Now they reside in the Welsh dresser left to me by my grandmother.
“Josh lassos the sun for Daena.” – ala Jimmy Stewart in Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life.
“Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale.” – Hans Christian Andersen
“Tell me the facts and I’ll learn. Tell me the truth and I’ll believe. But tell me a story and it will live in my heart forever.” – Native American Proverb
How marvelous to embrace the photographer’s role as storyteller with this week’s Lens-Artists challenge! I’m grateful to Ann-Christine for suggesting it and posting marvelous examples on her site. Click HERE to visit and learn how to participate.
“Careful the tale you tell, that is the spell. Children will listen…” – Stephen Sondheim (died November 26, 2021, aged 91)
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Street Art
“Art is an evolutionary act. The shape of art and its role in society is constantly changing. At no point is art static. There are no rules.”
― Raymond Salvatore Harmon
My daughter’s partner is working on establishing himself as a club music producer under the label Houseium. He asked me and my sister to do a photo shoot for his promotional material, so we went into Eugene, OR to find some colorful street art as a backdrop for his portraits.
I have become one of Houseium’s top fans on Facebook. I am really impressed by Jake’s ambition to learn to apply new technical skills, new dance skills, and new musical skills to his art. I have a BA in Voice Performance. I studied Classical music and performed my senior recital in four languages, interpreting four different period styles of music from the Baroque era to the 20th Century. Jake is just beginning to learn to read music. But he knows what he likes and what sounds good to him. I have to admit that I don’t listen to his genre of music much or his music in particular. Unless he’s putting on a dance party for the family! Then I dance seamlessly through his array of a couple of hours of music and enjoy every minute!
Thanks to Patti for hosting this week’s challenge and choosing a subject that is new to me and very fun!
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: Seen Better Days
“Autumn wins you best by this its mute appeal to sympathy for its decay.” ― Robert Browning
Last week’s Photo Challenge was all about Autumn color, the beautiful garb of aging, death and decay. How appropriate that Tina chooses for this week’s challenge the idea of how dilapidated, vintage, older things that have “seen better days” capture the photographer’s eye as things of loveliness and interest.
“The love of old things is a way of respecting time.”
― Wu Ming-Yi
“Of all the footprints, that of the elephant is supreme. Similarly, of all mindfulness meditation, that on death is supreme.”
― Gautama Buddha
The more I study the beauty of aging and death, the more I am drawn into the transformation of cells and matter. Consider that Life is marked by change, that change is the continuation of Life in new forms. Below is a photo of a petrified tree stump in the Flourissant Fossil Beds National Monument in Colorado, illustrating the change from vegetable into mineral.
Is it any wonder we photographers are fascinated by the visual evidence of the dance of Life and Time? As humans, we are definitely a part of this process. As humans, we take our experience and create Art to celebrate it.
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: One Photo, Many Moods
“Don’t shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like.”
– David Alan Harvey
Soft color, diffused light, water falling as gracefully as a diaphanous gown over the form of a posed dancer – the picture above puts me in a mood of dreamy peace.
In black and white, water and rock are opposing elements. There is work being done, erosion and the exposure of contrasting light.
In this cropped version, the multiple paths of falling water suggest possibilities, nuance, ambiguity, secret diversions. In monochrome, it suggests a kind of sexiness that distorts reality. Our Lens-Artists host, Tina, says, “This week, we’d like you to think about the various ways you create your images. Show us the same subject captured using multiple, different approaches.” Her post shows fabulous examples of her photographic skill. Click HERE to see!
In working with the photo above, I made a couple of discoveries. First, I converted it to black and white, which felt more nostalgic to me. If I had a sepia option, it might make me think of an historic war zone.
Then, I zoomed in for a cropped version and noticed a spider web with intersecting lines that mirrored the angles of the fence material, creating an abstract I hadn’t foreseen.
This abstract evokes philosophical thoughts about boundaries and materials. How resistant are the fences that keep me from crossing into new territory?
“Photography is about finding out what can happen in the frame. When you put four edges around some facts,
you change those facts.”
– Garry Winogrand
This photo exercise yielded some interesting results. I find it worthwhile to experiment with my vision and allow for unexpected rewards. Thank you, Tina, for the challenge!
Lens-Artists Photo Challenge: On Display
Amy has chosen a perfect theme for this week: On Display. My favorite part of holidays, besides eating and music, is the color and light displayed in joyous abundance, dispelling the darkness of the Winter Solstice. I have always loathed shopping and buying Things, for many reasons, but I am always drawn to an attractive visual array of objects. Salt water taffy in this Oregon shop comes in so many colors, and so do lollipops!
The sparkle of glass and cellophane adds to the magical light captivating the imagination with the promise of sweetness and delight.
You can find beautiful displays in museums, in nature, and in your own home, probably. What have you got on display?