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.

Nature’s message…

from the atmosphere.

sundog over clouds with crepuscular rays

[pärˈhēlēən] parhelion

a bright spot, sometimes called a sundog, in the sky appearing on one or both sides of the sun, formed by refraction of sunlight through ice crystals

Sometimes when you hear news, whether it’s expected or a bolt from the blue, it’s tempting to look for a sign. Some kind of a message that gives hope that all is not black and white. That there are things we just don’t know yet. On that morning after, I chose to find a message high in the atmosphere. No accompanying halos, one lone sundog. Bright and beautiful, just as she was.

After the freeze on a mountain lake…

pattern [ˈpadərn]

a repeated decorative design

Nature tells us everything that we need to know if we take time to study it. This might be one of my favorite ice views, sculpted by bitter cold and intense winds. Well worth the icy fingertips…

As the year…

is winding down.

winding [ wahyn-ding ]

something with twists and turns

And what a year! This post brings my total of years blogging to five. It’s been a good practice for me and a joy to connect with people from all over the world. I so appreciate the feedback and I love sharing my natural world with you.

New for this month because you know I like to be in full swing of new projects by the end of the year. Focused and already in a routine by the first…

I have 18,340 words written for my book. I am one quarter of the way to my goal! It just means getting up a little earlier, and this time of year that means the day’s writing is well under way by sunrise.

What are your goals for the new year? I’d love to hear them.

Happy New Year and thank you for reading and following it’s (almost always) about the water!