The Covid lifestyle…

I’m full of questions.

sunflower with partially opened petals

[ˈintrəˌvərt] introvert

someone who prefers calm environments, solitude, and small circles of friends

It’s easy to see who’s been the most affected by the changes Covid has brought to our global world. Psssst. It’s not us introverts.

In some ways this global wake-up call has put the stamp of approval on being a homebody. I’m curious to see what the lasting effects of this will be, particularly on our youngest people.

It’s a terrifying virus. For some, asymptomatic or no worse than the common flu, while for others, deadly. No one knows for sure what category they’ll fall into.

Masks confer an anonymity to the wearer that presents other issues to society. I miss those little moments of connection that smiling at a complete stranger brought. Maybe we should bring back the peace sign? A small gesture but one that says “I see you.”

Interesting times we’re living in. While watching a movie, it opened on a scene shot in an airplane. No masks. Will everything going forward look so dated? What will the future look like?

Nature…

it’s already amazing!

lightning bolt across the sky

[inˈteɡrədē] integrity

The quality of being honest.

I had a moment this week when I saw an image posted by a respected, long-time photographer who had his start in the days of film, as did I. Now I have no issue with editing a digital photograph, particularly when you shoot it in RAW and the camera has not imposed it’s algorithm onto the image. SOOC (straight out of camera) is often waved as a badge of honor but those images, when shot in JPEG, have already been altered by the camera and the settings that you’ve pre-programmed. I used to be more judgmental about the digital editing process until I’d educated myself about it. Dunning-Kruger effect…google it for more information but essentially it breaks down into you don’t know what you don’t know until you learn more about the subject.

This image I saw was a nature one and was so edited that it hurt my eyes to look at it. As a test I took a similar image I’d taken and edited it in his style just to confirm my thoughts. It matched…I could make my image look identical to his “Oh my God, the most brilliant amazing _________ I’ve ever seen shot.”

Does it matter? Probably not, but as an ethical photographer it irks me. Why? Because it creates a completely unrealistic expectation with people who don’t know better.

The problem with this is, I recently had a photograph widely shared where one individual stated that I’d painted in the lightning strike. Is that possible? Yes. Had I done that? No. Have I ever done that? No. I’d crouched at the edge of a field during a lightning storm to get that shot. Today’s image is a new lightning shot and if you decide to try this, know the risks.

I’ll bring my rant to a close. Be ethical in your photography. I love beautifully edited images but if it’s digitally enhanced or filtered to death, why not admit that? If it’s a composite, say so. Nature is amazing enough as it is. That’s good enough for me.

One…

in three bites.

honey bee on flower

[ˈpäləˌnādər] pollinator

something that moves pollen from the male anther of a flower to the female stigma of a flower

My foray into gardening this year didn’t mean just planting vegetables to feed us. I wanted the bees to have their own oasis. With ongoing reports about their decline, planting a package of seeds seemed a small thing to do. My garden is wildly unmanicured but for me, judging by the variety of bees it hosts, I’m calling it a success.

Pillowy pockets…

of cloud

[ muhmah ] mamma

type of cloud that often forms on the base of storm clouds, towards the back of a weakening storm system, formed in part by sinking air

One of my favorites of the cloud world! On this morning my husband called me after spotting them, knowing how much I love them. These ones were perfection! They lasted for perhaps five minutes before disappearing.

Don’t forget to look up! The sky is but one large canvas…

Extreme…

weather.

[tôrˈnādō] tornado

a mobile destructive vortex of violently rotating winds

Every decision we make matters. Every decision from the simplest one to the most complex makes a difference. Each stop we made, every shot I took on our drive home, led us to the top of a hill as a tornado began forming. I watched this EF1 tornado form three minutes after the initial tuba disappeared back up into the cloud. It lasted maybe seven minutes until it roped out and disappeared back into the cloud. It destroyed a barn that had existed for over a hundred years. No lives lost, two legged or four.

The destination is never the most important part of our trips. I love that. And as cars sped by us parked by the side of the road I smiled thinking we’d just seen nature put on a show, and I’d captured it from start to finish. Was it a once in a lifetime shot? I don’t know that yet. But I’m glad we took the time to enjoy the moment. Don’t be in a rush. Every moment matters.

Atmospherics…

in nature.

rainbow laying on one side of mountain

[fôrˈto͞oədəs] fortuitous

happening by chance

Some days are just like that. I knew the day was going to be perfect when it began with pink fog. Chased a rainbow, and found it laying along one side of the mountain. Wildflowers, mountains, rainbow.

What could be more perfect?

The dragonfly…

and emergence.

[tran(t)sˈfôrm] transform

dramatic change in form, appearance, or character

The dragonfly undergoes an incredible metamorphosis from water dwelling larva to winged hunter during its life cycle.

This year has underscored how important transforming your life is. I’m inspired when I hear stories from people who have met our recent challenges with optimism and forward thinking.

For some, a new or renewed purpose, and for others, an ending. If you’re struggling with the latter, remember that an ending creates the opportunity for a beginning.

Life cycles…

Time…

to explore.

wood bench outdoors water color sketch digital art

 [vyo͞o′point′] viewpoint

a place from where you consider something

Social media’s full of differing ones these days. Perhaps the lens of time will show the right course of action.

Experiences shape our opinions and with every new one, there’s a chance for growth. I’m going to keep an open mind…

After all, I used to think everything had to happen ‘in-camera’ but photography isn’t a stagnant art form. What’s important is transparency and taking each image to the point where it evokes what you feel.

Now is the perfect time to explore from home.

View…

of the future.

[rəˈflekting] reflecting

thinking deeply and carefully about

I’m glad I have an extensive archive of photographs to revisit. I’m always able to find one that hits the mood for the day. A lone strip of land, isolated objects, and in the distance fog–the new normal.