Saturday, January 31, 2015

Photos in pairs, shared while I am on my way to England

post #227
          The photos I have saved for this weekend's blog are in pairs.  Initially I saw this pairing in terms of how we often see a photo as being about one unique thing, but, when we see two or more versions, somehow the image become part of a bigger picture, so to speak.  Then, during this time of making preparations to go on a trip, I began to see how pairing speaks to my current condition.  On the one hand, I am pulled to stay and tap into the energy I have going at home.  But I also know I usually love the new experiences possible at my destination.  In other words, it's all about the tug of digging into daily life vs going for adventure and a time without routine.
        Oh well, that paragraph is pretty wordy for something that is going to happen no matter what spin I put on it!!  I am flying to England tonight after this 6 (!) hour layover in Atlanta.  I will be spending a week with my British stepmother, in the Cotswolds.  I have shown photos before on this blog of that place, with its wonderful light year round.  Next week I will have some more to show, I am sure.
          By the way, here's a shout out to the Atlanta airport for installing free wifi as of last June.  And placing a few plugs in the floor next to very comfortable chairs, all in a low key section near my gate, with few announcements to interrupt whatever chain of thought I can muster after leaving home early this morning....  

      A. two similars, but different, and I include these because so often birds come to this black walnut tree and stay around long enough for me to get them in different poses.

      B.  I loved this tree in the evening sky, but I think it needs the church it keeps company with.

      C. Some friends walking up from the edge of Cave Run Lake, before seeing me, and after....  This was in September, during the annual Cave Run Storytelling Festival. (This is also a test to see how long it takes for one of them to take a look at this post on my blog!)

      D.  Now the youngest grandchildren, first in Massachusetts, at Christmas:

       E. and next from Colorado, over Thanksgiving, quickly shifting moods and moments:

          F.   Marie Bradby, in my writers group, brought her recently completed revised draft of her young adult novel to our monthly meeting in November!!  BRAVO!
Her very first book, More Than Anything Else, may be in your local library - it continues to get recognition and mention. It is a picture book about Booker T. Washington's intense childhood desire to learn to read against all odds.

          I am especially pleased with what I'd call her "serious smile," captured in this second photo. 

        G.  Now two pairs, from home.  First the snake swallowing the egg photo, in the hens' nest, which definitely needs to be paired with that same egg, rescued, with the snake not killed but departed.  I don't think the slime shows up well enough, however, in this format.  Thank you, Frank!

         To finish up, two photos from Monday evening. I stopped on our ridge so that the car following me could catch up as we got close to making the same turn.  I got out and took a photo looking ahead, and then, looking back, one of the car behind.  I guess it is obvious I love photos that tell a story.  I also love it that there is not much traffic on that road!!  

      I know I usually post on Sundays, but if I post a day early, like right now, it is a sure thing for this week.  So enjoy!  Meanwhile, safe travels to me, and to everyone, with thanks for hanging out with me at the airport.  I now need to go for a good long walk about. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

waterfalls, part 2, and all about frozen

post #226
      Last week's post explained our treck to see waterfall #1, the one frozen from its top ledge to the bottom pool.  I'm starting with some photos that Debbie Abell took then, since she "saw" things in a different way than I did.  This fascinates me.  Given half a chance, we each have a personal vision of what is around us.  Art gives us a way to share those unique points of view.
      First, a photo of Debbie at work:

frozen bubbles, by Debbie Abell

frozen bubbles 2, by Debbie Abell
This is very similar to one I posted last week, except the water behind is more visible, and, to me, the whole thing looks more fluid and flowing.
frozen reflection, by Debbie Abell

frozen bubbles, by Debbie Abell  (I think these were in the creek, but I am not sure.)
 Here is the photo I lost and have now found. I love this detail. Debbie calls it "frozen globules."

     The second section of today's post has a few images from that same area but a week later. It says something about the importance -- when working outside -- not to assume that your "subject" will ever look the same tomorrow or next week.  Stuff melts!  Or it dries up!  A tree falls over!  Fire!  New buds, blossoms and bugs!  Clouds change the light!  Whatever!
     Get out there NOW.  Go vision yourself.
perhaps unrecognizable -- the creek and waterfall #1 after a week's meltdown...

a shell of its former frozen self

winter greens

checking for ice at waterfall #3, the "big waterfall"

      My last section today is a link to some recent photos by John Flavell, who yesterday won First Place in the General News Photo Story/Essay catagory at the Kentucky News Photographers Association convention. Click on "SLIDE SHOW" for captions, and admire both the photos and the hard work of getting the photos over a period of time.  (One of the images is in my home county!  I could have been there that day but didn't make it.)  Way to go, John!  Congratulations!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

waterfalls, icicles, and a photographer friend

post #225
     At the end of last week's post, I said I was off to the waterfalls, before they began to melt.  I did go there that day, but it wasn't the right waterfall!  So, Friday morning, before yesterday's sun, a friend and I set out to check out what is called the first waterfall.  I have shown several photos of this area over the years, including the elegant black and whites by John Flavell. But this was my first time to make photos of it with my new camera, and I am devoted to color, so today I'm sharing some of my tries.  We had sun here yesterday and rain here this morning, so I am glad I hadn't needed to postpone the outing.  

the creek, last Sunday, and the waterfall at the end, where it looks as if the ice stops

the bottom, melting and changing shapes before our eyes and lenses

Debbie is watching the ice in motion. I happen to like the way her hair continues the line of the falls. Since this time was also a "lesson", we had spent some time talking about what interested each one of us the most, and what we wanted to show in a photo. I feel a photo is vastly improved if the photographer actually cares about what is in the image. By cultivating an awareness of our personal vision, we bring something vital to what we are looking at and noticing.

These icicles hang from the ledge, to the left of where Debbie was sitting. The freedom of the branch fascinated me.
even farther to the left on the overhang -- good time for color in the photo

The creek continues to a second waterfall. This is looking back toward #1.
This view shows the creek going over the second waterfall, which, actually, has several sections, one after another.  We decided not to risk our lives just then to get what might have been the most dramatic photo possible. Sorry!
This is from the side of the second waterfall, and that is an overhang just in front of me!
     For those of you who have made it so far, here is a video (I hope) that might be of interest, since you can hear the water... I would wish for clear water for all the world.  (That phrasing echoes the title of George Ella Lyon's recent picture book called All the Water in the World.  Look for it in your library or indie bookstore. It is beautifully illustrated by Katherine Tillotson.)

Sunday, January 11, 2015

pixels and posterity, saying it again

post #224
     Last weekend, our community celebrated the long life of Mary Foley Carew, who at 97 had a small stroke and died two weeks later.  I am sharing this because, as a photographer,
a lily on my daughter's table, taken with my iPhone4s!
one of the things I think about is the photograph the family will want to use for the service or perhaps for the obituary in the newspaper.  Her family are close friends of ours, so the photo they chose was one I had taken almost 6 years ago during a visit to our home.  I then discovered that for some as yet unknown reason the photo did not have quite enough pixels to be blown up to a large size!  But otherwise her photo was just right for the occasion.  I am honored that they were able to make good use of it.  Mary, we miss you and love you always.

         What I have said before, and I am sure I will feel called to say again, is that everyone should keep a fairly recent photo around that has adequate pixels, and, even better, have a print made.  I am not sure yet if the Carews needed to scan the print they had in order to get a high resolution version or if they made do with the pixels I emailed them. 
       After Mary's lovely service, I was talking to a friend there who also loves photography. I shared with her my concern that having a photo on one's cell phone is NOT the same as having a reliable print or a guarantee that there is a photo if needed for public occasions. 
        I asked my friend "Do you have a photo if you were to need one next week?"  She said no.  "Well", I replied, "I happen to have my camera right here and you look great.  Do you want me to shoot a photo for you?"  Most people had left the church by then so she decided to go for it.  Here are two of the photos I took and will send to her to print or keep on hand.  (She hasn't seen these yet...) So I say again,

      It is getting to be late afternoon, and I haven't yet made it down to our waterfalls to take a photo of their being frozen from top to bottom!  So I am going to finish this post for today, after this one last photo.  My neighbor's eggs.  An egg basket from Lou Martin years ago.  And a timely comment, that these eggs are different colors on the outside, but they are all good eggs on the inside.  My heart is with the people of France as they stand together today after so much tragedy.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

warmed by so many beautiful butterflies

post #223
      A wonderful Christmas present - a family outing to MAGIC WINGS, in South Deerfield, Massachusetts.  I have heard about such places but this was my first time to go to one.  We went from winter's chill into a warm and steamy building populated by 50 kinds of butterflies! and flowers! and other creatures! 
      I had brought my camera.  However, I didn't realize that my lens would do the fog-over thing after the change from outside to inside.  This slowed me down some, though I know I could have prepared better for that possibility.  But, in any case, I don't just take photos in such a place.  Or even a lot of photos at one time.  I enjoy just being there and experiencing a new adventure -- sitting and watching and listening to the quiet butterfly music and exclaiming at some unexpected discovery.  Thank you, thank you, sweet family.

Notice: winter trees, blue sky, no real hint of the beauty that awaits within
  The transition room has some bugs in cages, a hint of wonders to come:
These "leaf bugs" look like, well, leaves!!  The yellow one and, parallel to it, the green one!  These hungry "buggers" are obviously NOT Massachusetts natives.....
     There is a butterfly in here, but I took the photo because I love waterfalls and lush plant growth.  Another visitor commented that in the spring the flowers at Magic Wings are even lovelier.

    We found the chrysallis cabinet. We were there in the early morning, so, after hatching, several butterflies were hanging around letting their wings dry.  I had visions of those nurseries in science fiction, or in The Giver.

the view looking up, to be reassured that no snow was falling

This "largest" moth had the largest signage!  I wonder if the sign follows the moth from sleeping place to sleeping place.  And do larger moths take longer naps?

NOT a butterfly

recent buffet offering

a buffet discovered, seen through my steamy lens

gathering eggs while there are not many human visitors nearby

speaking of visitors -- when was the last time you had a butterfly land on your head or elbow???  

I was particularly taken by this butterfly with see-through wings.  They can't live in cold climates, I was told, because they can't hold enough heat in their wings.  The next two photos show the same species.  

This is a photo of a photo in the lobby.  I guess I am not the only one to be fascinated by these beauties!

a very special hatched and growing creature, trying her wings