The part of our community where beauty (the state park) meets the beast (industry). That big fluffy smoke has reared its head here through all four seasons since I was a child and probably many years prior to that. It makes for some interesting texture in a photo, especially on a very brisk winter’s day–but it is the uglier side of the city, visible from the north pier off the bay of Lake Erie. One doesn’t stand on the pier for too long in the winter, unless one is a glutton for frostbite. A few quick photos, and its back to the vehicle. In summer, this pier is filled with fishermen and fisherwomen, and this part of the bay has quite a bit of boat traffic. It is one of my favorite areas to run in the other three seasons, ending with a neat little lighthouse at the end.
Through my windshield on my way to work last week. I thought about editing out the raindrops, but I decided that sometimes raindrops are just a part of life to be contended with, and there was no point to editing them out. They simply exist, no matter what. The raindrops may be on the windshield, but the view down the road is very promising.
Have a great week, everyone.
This photo was taken at a wedding well over a year ago. I was shooting guests at the reception. As I was combing through some of my older photos, I kept returning to this. True, the work I typically like to do is landscape-oriented. I love fog and barns and trees, sunrises and sunsets. I love animals and flowers. All eye candy to me. Rarely do I give much photo-shutter attention to people. I’m not sure why. Every once in a while, though, I am drawn to certain faces. I don’t know this woman, I did not meet her. I do not remember taking her photo. I find myself wondering what she is thinking. She looks very, very serious. Very solemn. Contradictory for the celebratory atmosphere of a wedding reception.
That is the funny thing about photography. You can capture a moment that completely depicts the context of the occasion and requires little imagination. You can also isolate a tender moment that leaves your own imagination to itself. There could very well have been a meal blessing going on at this moment…or, perhaps, this woman is caught thinking about her own marriage, recently gone awry. Hard to say. She appears to be deep in thought, but could simply have been tipping her head down for a moment, glancing at her wine glass and considering a refill. Her next moment might have been smiles and laughter. I’ll never know, I can’t turn back the clock, nor would I want to.
Sometimes, I just like to look at something like this and ponder. The camera captures a very brief moment in time and you are left to fill in the story and punchline. I think, if I look at this photo tonight and not again for another two years, the stories I create will be completely different. When we look at a photo like this, a nameless face, we may very likely see some reflection of our own life and soul, given no other context.
When I run a story about this woman through my own head (cob-webbed, scary place it often is), I find my theory to be true–I see solemnity, perhaps sadness. And as I tell the story to myself, I understand why I see this in the woman’s face. I believe she is grieving or preparing to grieve, the loss of a friend who seems much to young to be suffering. Something she tries not to think about, something that is inevitable. Someone who will not give her the opportunity to say goodbye, isolation being their own way to deal with their grief.
I understand why she is solemn.
I caught this rising over the ridge on my way to work yesterday, just a quarter mile up the road from our house. The golf course, normally filled with golfers at this time in the summer, has only the trees and their shadows as companions for the day. Deer and geese often traverse the course as well. This was one of those crisp and foggy mornings that signal the days confusion–will it be cold today, or will the sun warm the land and melt the heavy frost coating the greens. Moisture hangs in the air until the earth and heavens decide, meanwhile bathing the landscape in haze. Have a great day!
My view coming over the bridge on Saturday’s run, mile 4.45 of a 5 miler. Great way to end a run.
Once in awhile, I like to play with my photos. I have over 4,000 hanging around my hard drive, probably two thirds of which I’ve not given a second glance. I play with my photos in spurts. Lately, I’ve been taking one photo or a few photos of the same scene from different angles and experimenting with them, digitally. I’m having such fun doing this, taking my original photos beyond photography and in to a different realm of creative joy for myself. It fascinates me how one photo, one image, can have so many discrete feels to it. I can only liken this to smashing down my favorite white lump of Play-Doh, smelling its salty scent, and altering it into something completely new.
I spent today flying in to and subsequently walking about Philadelphia for a few hours. I’m due to begin a conference here tomorrow that runs through Saturday (errrrr…..). I’m travelling with four others, three of whom did the walkabout with me. A look at the Liberty Bell, dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and some strolling down some interesting streets.
Strolling and historical oohs and ahhs aside, I have to say: cities. Not my thing.
This is, by no means, meant to disparage Philly. Its kind of neat. I walked through some places that would be cool to live around–particularly a market area that had just about everything you could possibly imagine in it to eat. A nice place to visit, but I am puzzled by what attracts folks to city living. Its noisy. There are odors–like garbage–that conked me on my head like no one’s business. And people. People are everywhere. And I am not sure that anyone has told the local city government–but someone has stolen the trees and the grass. No green, except for the dollars coming out of the ATM machines.
I’m a long way from home, but only in my physical presence. I am at home in my heart, captivated as always by the silence and intrigued by the smells of fall. I count my blessings that I can see the sun set and hear the leaves rustle as the wind kicks up. I become anxious in the city, anxious a bit being away from home, my true comfort zone. I miss it, almost immediately, on a trip such as this.
But I think that’s a good thing.
I took quite a number of photos while on vacation this past week. On top of a mountain, at 3,700 feet, there were some awe-inspiring sights. Sunrises, sunsets. Vistas and valleys. Clouds. Mountain after mountain.
But of all the photos I took, the one that strikes a chord in me more than any other is this one. The mistake photo–where you shoot through a window and get all kinds of reflection and glare. Yet, I am drawn to it. There I am, with my camera, looking out on to the beauty of nature. My favorite season, and the sun is setting. I am in a mountain lodge and I am warm, safe, and comfortable both with myself and among the friends who have shared this trip with me. I am grateful, to be breathing and standing, and to be able to see the sights before me. To have something to vacation from and the capacity to pick up and go, without too, too many worries. For my friends, all their little quirks and all their patience with my own quirks. For my husband, and his ever-present patience with my antics. For the kindness he shows with my silly little whims. And for the commitment he has to being a partner.
I hope that I can take the sense of peace I feel into at least tomorrow and remember how I felt tonight, at 7:38 pm, in the last few hours of my time away from work. Peace in the heart. Love in my soul. Happiness. And gratitude.
With a few weeks left in the season, summer is holding its hot and humid grip on these parts of the country. One of the nice things about living near a great lake is the abundance of water to splash and play in on a hot summer’s night. Most people drive to the local state park, with its miles of beaches and cookout areas. And then there are those spots along the lake that are little known to the visitors and newcomers in the area, where the crowds are few, the setting peaceful and quiet.
This family splashed around under the setting sun for quite some time. Simple fun. No Wii‘s, no iPods, no laptops. Just a weird stranger on the shore, snapping their photo from time to time (that was me, the weird stranger). Didn’t seem to bother them. I’m not sure they even noticed. They seemed completely captivated with the fun they were having while the bright, orange fiery sun slowly tucked itself in to rest up for another day of summer.
There’s nothing like a warm summer morning, filled with haze and sunshine. While I sometimes curse the fact that I’ve tossed and turned all night in heat that wraps itself around you and won’t let go, I simultaneously feel afoul the very moment I see summer slip slightly toward cooler weather. How is it possible that summers of youth last many more months than summers of a later age? The days pass much more quickly than those days when I frolicked into the evening hours, counting the fireflies that lit my way into night. Now, a summer seems as quick to pass as that fireflies momentary light. On and then off. Bright and then dimming, onward to the next season.