Photography 101: Street

street

Highway 4 near Jemez Springs, New Mexico

The Photo 101 prompt says, “try to capture an establishing shot: a wide-angle photo that sets up a scene. It might mean moving back some steps, or finding higher ground (like climbing stairs) to fit all of your scene in one shot.”  Here’s the ‘higher ground’ I used to get this shot:

scilla in NM

photo by Steve

Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument

This week’s prompt page from The Daily Post says this about monuments: “They insist on their own importance, but at the same time allow locals and tourists, pilgrims and accidental visitors, to share a moment and to get a taste of each other’s stories.”  The same can be said of the photographs we take and treasure and post.  They are monuments of our journey, where we’ve been, what we’ve seen, the stories we’ve told and heard.  So, I’d like to share some monuments from my journey on Friday.  Steve and I are trying to take a weekly field trip out into the more rural areas of Wisconsin.  We are researching a new life, a new home, a new way of embodying what we value: simple, honest work in a lifestyle that respects the planet and is less dependent on human systems.  We drove up into the North Country, beyond the oak savannas of southeastern Wisconsin, through the Driftless Area (unglaciated during the most recent glacial event) with its windswept sandstone outcroppings, and into the cranberry bogs and pine forests of Ho-Chunk land.  The monumental feeling of this expedition is built of adventure, re-connection with the Earth, the joy of being alive, and the peace of being open to whatever we encounter.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Curves

Curves…

How many internet “news” headlines associate that word with female celebrities on the red carpet?  SOOOooo not my style of subject.

The curve ball?  The cosmic 2 by 4 upside the head?  Ah, yes.  That experience is one with which I am familiar.  I appreciate a good twist of fate/destiny/plot/philosophy.  I’ve been reading a 1917 copy of Best Russian Short Stories compiled by Thomas Seltzer.  Intense!  Revolutionary!  Profound!  I recommend The Shades, A Phantasy by Korolenko:  Socrates investigating the justice of religion, and for lighter fare, How a Muzhik Fed Two Officials by Saltykov: like Mark Twain satire, only Russian.

Visually, curves are naturally graceful.  Is there anything in nature that is completely straight?  I’ve thought about that several times, and the closest thing I can come up with is a pine needle.  Any other ideas out there?

So, here are some curves from my photo files:

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Historic Before Pre-historic…Trip Phase 4

Leaving the National Forest and re-entering the 21st century was a bit of an adjustment.  How ironic that we fled from a generator only to find ourselves in a modern hotel room with no less than 14 electrical appliances to its 60 square feet of space!  I immediately turned off the heater and fan and also a separate air purifier.  I unplugged the refrigerator.  Still, every 15 minutes, something made a punctuated whooshing sound.  Eventually, I figured out it was an air freshener mechanism above the door releasing a neutralizing odor into our “smoking Queen” like clockwork.  I learned how to sleep through it for a few hours. 

Since we had traveled so far north in search of room in the inn, we decided to keep going on into Ohio.  We crossed the Ohio River at Portsmouth and found our way toward Wayne National Forest.  We stopped in at the public library in a light rain to do a bit of research, and there, Steve made a discovery that changed our course.  We had promised ourselves a “splurge” portion on this trip.  Paying more than $100 for a room at a franchised motel off the Interstate did not count.  But now, we were within 2 hours of a bonafide historic hotel in a state that Steve had never visited.   We decided to go east to Parkersburg, West Virginia, to spend the night at the Blennerhassett Hotel and then return to Ohio the next day to visit the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park.  From there, we decided we’d head back home directly.  There comes a time when you know that your adventure has taught you something important and you need to pull back to your interior to focus on that.  It’s like a mythical journey: leaving home, learning, and returning changed.  But every hero needs some time and a place to figure out what he’s learned.  We figured we were close enough to use home base as that place.

Nestled deep in our gear, we found dress shoes, a long skirt for me and a tie for Steve.  We were off to enjoy a dash of historic elegance and some truly fine food, not cooked over  a campfire.  We were not disappointed.

Final phase: the Pre-historic.  That’ll be my next post.  Thanks for following so far!