It was six men of Indostan To learning much inclined, Who went to see the Elephant (Though all of them were blind), That each by observation Might satisfy his mind.
From my photo archives, I found an album of pictures taken five years ago next week on my “birthday cruise”. I had been working at Discovery World, a museum in Milwaukee that owns a replica of a 19th century cargo ship they named The Denis Sullivan. For my birthday, I was gifted a short trip out of the harbor and back to dock. There was absolutely no wind that day, so though we unfurled the sails, we didn’t go very far or very fast. In the calm, I found that taking photos from all different angles became the excitement of the day.
My perspective on sailing Lake Michigan, therefore, was all about tranquility and discipline. The crew had everything “shipshape” and moved like clockwork. However, I’ve read accounts of shipwrecks on the lake that must have been the picture of chaos and terror.
Perspective makes a huge difference. In this complex world, we must remember the danger of a single story and humbly leave room in our imaginations for something outside of our own experience.
So, oft in theologic wars The disputants, I ween, Rail on in utter ignorance Of what each other mean, And prate about an Elephant Not one of them has seen!
I got inspired by Amy‘s response to Ryan Photography‘s mid-week photo challenge and converted some flower photos to monochrome. Bren Ryan’s photo is truly dramatic, which is hard to achieve with most flowers, especially pastels in bright light. Here are my attempts:
“What have you learned, Dorothy?” That we’re back in Kansas? And that dramatic lighting contrast, simple structure, and sharp focus are pretty essential for a good-looking monochrome flower.
Tina at Travels & Trifles illustrated her challenge with a beautiful opening photo of shadow that evokes spaciousness, loneliness, and the passage of time. As the Earth turns and the Sun’s light falls at different angles, shadows lengthen, shade increases, and cool darkness creeps over stationary objects.
There’s something mournful in that, although it needn’t be. Change is not all good or all bad. Monochrome isn’t really black & white. It’s gray.
In the end, shadows cast depth and perspective on our view of our selves and our little lives. They keep us humble.
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.
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!