Cumulous clouds reflected onto a wavy lake, both simple and complex at the same time. I like to think of optics as moveable art. There’s something meditative about observing how light interacts with the environment. It dances on the surface interacting with the objects found above and below it—never duplicating, always changing.
I can tell you of a place but don’t expect to find this image there. Every time you look at her, she looks different. She’s the sum of every molecule of water that has ever flowed into her.
We’re not that different—everything we see, hear, taste, feel, every moment and every event—affects us emotionally on some level and is woven into our very being.
It’s not possible to go through life unaffected by what we do and what is done to us. Some things pass through leaving a barely discernible trace, while others leave craters, a landscape forever changed.
Wisdom comes in recognizing the latter for what it is, or was, and perhaps Newton said it best, accepting that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.
In a river or creek, the residence time for a molecule of water is about two weeks.
And if relationships are imbalanced, for example, you’re putting far more into one than you’re receiving from one, perhaps it’s time to let that one go—accept its residence time for what it was.
And once again, for me, the images that resonate the most, and allow for introspection, are (almost always) about the water.
Monday will mark a day of Thanksgiving in Canada. It’s been on my mind this week as I contemplate what it means to me, and the word that keeps coming to mind is home.
This word symbolizes different things to different people. For some it’s geographical, sometimes an object itself. For others it’s fluid and changes through the years. For a handful of people it will forever bring to mind one specific place.
The last idea makes the least sense to me—the house does not make a home—if it did, I would never have had the courage to move on. And we all have to move on, whether we want to or not. Life throws curveballs.
For me, what makes a home is that feeling of comfort I get when I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else than right there, surrounded by people that love me unconditionally. And their presence need not always be physical. I’m blessed to have family and friends scattered near and far and every time I speak to one of those people I collectively call family, I feel grateful.
This Thanksgiving comes with some loss but I’m going to reframe it not as a loss, but as an opening for something new. I’ll be spending the day with my husband, and an extended family that I’ve grown even closer to. An unexpected gift, and one that I’ll treasure.
For those celebrating Thanksgiving, I wish you a happy one spent in the company of friends and family. And for those that aren’t, have an extra special day filled with whatever brings you joy.
The image above is of a beaver lodge, photographed during the golden hour of the morning, in a place that oddly enough feels a lot like home.
It’s here—even if you were blindfolded you couldn’t miss the scent of fall in the air. When molecules and memories collide and the sweet sugary smell of decaying leaves fills the air. It’s impossible not to be reminded of childhood moments spent raking leaves into piles and leaping into them afterward.
This walk in the mountains was particularly memorable. Watchful of bears stuffing themselves in the final weeks before hibernation, we entered a clearing just as three elk strolled past navigating the shallow waters of the creek bed.
And just then I heard it. Ripping through the air the bugle call of a bull elk as dawn’s first light began to lift the shadows.
He laughed at the expression on my face after hearing the sound for the first time and my hand reached for his as we soaked up the moment.
Life goes on—enjoy the ride.
The beauty of light as it interacts with a creek. The rays refract and converge through the water’s surface—their flickering forms created by an almost infinite combination of depth, wind, solar angle, and surface.
It’s (almost always) about the water.
Caustics… envelopes of light waves reflected or refracted from a curved surface and projected where they can be visualized. Some of the earliest drawings were done by Leonardo Da Vinci, as he drew reflected caustics from a circular mirror in his notebooks.
I’ve photographed these types of images for years, drawn to them perhaps because of their transient nature. Fleeting, ever changing, flashing prisms of color—they’re related to rainbows.
My father, who was an artist, would have enjoyed this conversation but he’s not here. He died twenty years ago and even after the passage of two decades, I keep him close. He wasn’t perfect, but he loved me and made sacrifices in his role as a father.
Fathers…they step up in ways that can go unnoticed. They stay when they should go, they give when they should take, they abandon dreams in their quest to provide security.
Happy Father’s Day to the amazing men who are fathers, or filling in for fathers. You make the world a better place!
a little love.
On a walk with nature
Glacial rocks sheltered by ice
the study or contemplation of clouds.
Nature is ever at work building and pulling down, creating and destroying, keeping everything whirling and flowing, allowing no rest but in rhythmical motion, chasing everything in endless song out of one beautiful form into another.
I love a good storm. There’s something about it that makes you feel alive. It engages all of your senses in a way that never happens on a sunny, clear day.
Clouds scud across the sky and if you’re lucky some of the more unusual cloud formations appear. These mammatus clouds appeared ever so briefly, perhaps 4 minutes, but it was amazing to watch them develop and slip away into a swirl of gray.
So excited to add them to my ever growing collection of clouds.
a living meditation.
My wish is to stay always like this, living quietly in a corner of nature.
What if you could live a quiet life? How much of the stuff around you do you really need? How much of it actually brings you joy?
I’ve been on a mission for the past couple of years to simplify and move towards living quietly. It’s so easy to get caught up in the stuff and to form attachments to things that have long ceased to enrich your life in any meaningful way.
Another component of this way of living is being mindful of time. How do you spend your free time? Who do you spend it with? Are you stretched thin accepting every invitation that comes your way whether or not it’s something that you really want to be doing? While it is important to not be closed off to human interaction, to get out and to interact with people socially, it’s also okay to say no to doing everything.
How does this relate to photography? I make conscious choices when heading out the door to shoot. I don’t need to carry every lens in my arsenal and just that very act jump starts the creative process, sets the tone for the images.
A living meditation.
from under a bridge.
“First you must have the images, then come the words.”
Robert James Waller, The Bridges of Madison County
I photograph first and then I write, for it’s the images that speak to me.
I rarely go out with expectations of what I’m going to photograph. It’s far more interesting to look around and see what’s there, which was how I ended up under this bridge. I can’t even begin to estimate the amount of travel this bridge sees as it leads to one of the most picturesque mountain sites in the country.
Great movie, by the way, the Bridges of Madison County. Written in eleven days after the author spent some time photographing bridges proving once again that inspiration can come from the most simple of events.