Weekly Photo Challenge: One Shot, Two Ways

This photo challenge is actually quite a useful meditation on perspective.  I had thought about my options in taking up this challenge, ranging from skipping it altogether because it’s not an obligation, to spreading it out over a whole week to give me time to find something I love dearly enough to photograph it on purpose.  I had thought about visiting the place where Steve & I had our first date, Glacial Park, while on my way to visit my kids back in Illinois.  That is a place dear to my heart, and closer to being worthy of Jeff Sinon’s incredible nature photos of New Hampshire (I’m a big fan and follower.  Do check him out!).  But it would mean not posting until at least a few days from now.  I browsed around the Internet for a while and lit upon a few threads that interested me.  What is it that catches my attention?  Perspective.  I read a bit about Marfan syndrome.  Ever meditate on how perspective changes quality of life and the level of fear you feel about something potentially life-threatening?  I read about an American couple jailed in Qatar under suspicion of murdering their adopted daughter.  The perspective on adoption is quite different in Muslim countries.  How you think and feel about something is altered dramatically based on where you stand.  I began to take that idea closer to home.

My partner, Steve, owns and operates an online book business.  I might consider Scholar & Poet Books to be the “other woman” in our relationship.  I don’t feel about her the same way that Steve does.  To him, she represents his autonomy; she is a huge financial asset, and endlessly fascinating.  To me, she is a dominating presence that crowds me out of closet space and Steve’s attention.  She is also somewhat boring to me, as she doesn’t touch or speak.  But I would like to make friends with her.  I would like a different perspective on her.  So I chose her for my subject. 

I don’t know if you feel you only get one shot at life, one shot at any given problem.  I do know that there are always at least two ways to take it on.  Perspective.  You can get a different one by moving just a little.  It’s well within your range of powers. 

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreshadow

Interesting theme….had to think a bit on this one, but I’ve decided to post a shot that I took during the introductory photo class that I got with the purchase of my camera last September.  Literally the first digital pictures I ever took, foreshadowing many years of happy clicking and editing, right?!  It suits, I think. 


Weekly Photo Challenge: The World Through Your Eyes

This week’s photo challenge was a tough one for me.  The “assignment” was to show “a visual interpretation of one’s vision. A story, captured in a frame.”  This seems to me to be something close to photojournalism.  I think black and white.  I think action, or a reference to action.  I look through my portfolio, and most of what I have is nature portraiture and still life.  The world through my eyes would seem posed, maybe even inert.  Hmmm.  This IS a challenge.  In order to capture a story, I would have to show more of a scene, not just a subject.  The backdrop, the context.  That would probably mean I have to be more ready with my camera, “quicker on the draw”, so to speak.  I will keep that in mind.  Tomorrow, I go to my daughter’s Bridal Shower, and I intend to bring my camera.  Maybe I can practice this assignment in that setting.  For now, I will give you my best approximation at photojournalism, taken last October on our adventure to “Metaphorical Maine” (which actually turned out to be Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio).  Here ’tis:

My vision

Weekly Photo Challenge: Pattern

This week’s photo challenge theme is Pattern.  Visually, this is a very strong subject in photography and has been illustrated in countless dramatic and stunning ways by much more talented artists than I.  But what an interesting philosophical theme as well!  Are patterns created by humans, or are they natural?  Humans have a special knack for identifying and arranging patterns as well as re-creating, extending, and imposing them on all kinds of things.  Is that a function of our orderly brains, our consciousness?  Of course, there are also examples of patterns in nature….but, again, the concept of ‘pattern’ is something we invented.  It wasn’t as if a DNA string said to itself, “I think I’ll create a pattern.”  It was a human who saw what was in front of him/her and said, “Eureka!  A pattern!”  So, pattern…is it a real phenomenon or a construct of our consciousness?  Discuss.  (or just look at the pictures!)

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Future Tense

The challenge for this week is Future Tense.  I admit, thinking about the future often makes me tense, anxious, sometimes panicky.  I have a vivid imagination and a lot of irrational fears.  And I’m working on breathing, living in the present moment, all those Buddhist practices that address those thought patterns that Western Pragmatism put into my head.   The OMG! your children, your finances, your health, your retirement….you must have a PLAN for the future, you must be PREPARED, if you’re not anxious, you obviously haven’t grasped the situation!!!!  There are DANGERS out there in life!   

Do you think life is something to be feared?  Do you think life is a wonderful adventure, naturally unfolding, peaceful and harmonious and without judgment?  How do you want to live your life?  You have a choice. 

path to the dark side

Weekly Photo Challenge: Resolved

When Steve asked me on Sunday if I’d made New Year’s resolutions yet, I grumbled at him, “I don’t jump on that bandwagon.”  I had a sore throat that turned into a head cold and was definitely sending out the “leave me alone!” vibe.  I make resolutions to do better every single day of my life, and it often becomes an exercise in self-flagellation.  Someone I admire does this kind of thing much better than I do: visit her New Year’s post here. (plugging my daughter’s blog – I typed ‘blugging’ first; suppose I can coin a new word?)  

Actually, Steve and I had spent quite a bit of time last week discussing and deciding on goals for this new year.  We call it “pointing our canoe”.  One of the things I put on my list was to submit something to a publisher every month of this year.  Another thing on our mutual list was to plan a weekly field trip to learn and research and engage in our love of the land (land ethics, land management, environmental education) and to get outside every day for a walk.  I skipped the first two days of this year with a head cold, but I’ve managed in the last couple of days to walk to the car repair shop, the grocery store, the bank, and the cafe where we breakfast with his mom.  Now, this might not sound like a big accomplishment, but let me add one bit of info – I live in Milwaukee.  And this is what is forming outside my upstairs window:

tri cicle

That, my dear readers, is a tri-cicle (three-pronged icicle; just coined another word – where do I collect?) photographed through the screened window.  The center section of this bad boy is about 4 feet long now.   This is what outside is like here, and this is where I want to be every day.  I don’t want to make it more comfortable, I don’t want to avoid it.  My resolution is all about facing the world as it is and appreciating its wonder as a thing that I don’t comprehend or control.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections

I do a lot of reflecting in my mind.  Every so often, I also do it with my camera.  This week’s photo challenge prompts me to share a few shots.  It’s not coincidental, probably, that my reflections show the natural world off some man-made surface.  A window.  A puddle in the pavement.  How often do you feel that you’re looking at real life through the rear-view mirror?  What is it that keeps you from turning fully around and facing it head on? 


reflections 2