reflection & i

growing side by side

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reflection & i

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as I read the news today…

As I read the news from multiple sources about children being taken away from family and placed in detention, I find myself stunned at the denial of harm, the justification of inhumanity, and the rationalization of the negation of compassion, all under the banner of Christian compliance with law.  Whose law?  The law of man?  The law of God?  The law of nature?

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The laws and procedures in place today…are man made.  And thus are to be questioned by all of humanity.  Would you blindly comply with the laws regarding children in 18th century England?

If a child was not sold into employment he or she would inevitably end up homeless and living on the streets, in all manner of weather amongst the raw sewage, rotting animal and vegetable waste, rats, disease, and bad water. Many slum children had to endure filthy conditions as they fought a daily battle for survival.

Age 11: 14 days gaol + 5 years Reformatory for Stealing a Coat
Age 12: 14 days gaol + 5 years Reformatory for Stealing Boots
Age 11: 1 day gaol and whipped, for Stealing Pigeons
Age 9: 1 day gaol and whipped, for Stealing Pigeons [three boys]
Age 13: Trial at the Assizes, accused of Murder
Age 12: 21 days gaol + 5 years Reformatory, for Stealing Money
Age 13: 14 days gaol, for Stealing an Umbrella.

Source: Old Police Cells Museum

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John Greening, age 11 charged with stealing a quarter of gooseberries  (growing). Punishment:  one calendar month of hard labor and five years reformatory.

John Hillesley, age 15 charged with stealing a coat.  Punishment: transportation to a penal colony in a different country.

Joseph Lewis, age 11 charged with simple larceny for stealing 28 pounds of iron.  Punishment:  one calendar month of hard labor.

Source:  The national Archives

Just for a moment image the fear that would have you leave home, family, friends and run to the unknown?  And then…imagine for another moment having your child removed from your arms and not knowing where she is or if you will ever be reunited.

Why are we not guided by the laws of compassion, loving kindness, equanimity…or even empathy?

an egg…

“An egg?  Really…an egg?  Why an egg for this meditative photography project.?”

Many, many years ago, I was brave enough to attended an introduction to drawing class offered through a local art museum.  The first drawing lesson included the use of charcoal with a single subject–a white egg.   This elementary endeavor to draw an egg opened my world to the gradients of the whitest white to the multiple shades of grays and then to the blackest black.  The other art lessons within this art class also served to be an  introduction to the dynamics of perception and awareness that flow within moments of silent contemplation.

So, why not use an egg as a subject in a mediative photography project?  Two minutes “being with…looking at…contemplating” a white egg, a small white bowl, on a white piece  of cloth for each image.  Ten photographs within 20 minutes.


My commitment to the single egg wasn’t able to silence the whisper and restrict the impulse to, “include a small yellow ball.”

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a photo study: street photography

What is street photography?

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Nikon D750   f/22    1/25s    35mm    800 ISO

Nick Turpin writes that “…When a child picks up a camera and pushes the button that simple spontaneous image is a Street Photograph, it is, first of all, a raw reaction to the scene in front of it, a person, a car, a color. That primitive urge to react, to make a picture is at the heart of Street Photography beyond any other area of picture making, it comes before any other agenda.

“So we are all Street Photographers before we narrow our sights and impose conditions and rules on ourselves to become Portrait photographers, Fashion Photographers, Landscape Photographers, Art Photographers (whatever that really means) etc.”

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Nikon D750    f/20    1/25s    35mm    800 ISO

Eric Kim defines street photography as the “…candid photography of life and human nature. It is a way for us to show our surroundings, and how we as photographers relate to them. We are filtering what we see, to find the moments that intrigue us, and to then share them with others. It’s like daydreaming with a camera.”

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Nikon D750    f/1.8    1/10s    35mm    800 ISO

Within “The Ultimate Guide to Street Photography” James Maher writes “…the best image of your life can pop right in front of you on the way to get your morning coffee. This spontaneity is what’s celebrated. That is why grainy images, slightly off-kilter framing a-la Garry Winogrand, or import focus will not alway ruin a street photography. Sometimes they will, and we must aim for technical mastery, but other times they can add to the realness of the moment. Sometimes these deficiencies may actually improve the image.”

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Nikon D750    f/2.5    1/2,500   35mm    800 ISO

Sometimes the best way to understand something is to put aside the book, silence the mind, and visually explore the creative works of others. With this in mind, I would like to introduce three of my favorite street photographers.

To journey through Salle de Shoot — Photographie’s blog is to inspired by his creative and unique examples of street photography.

The Streets of Nuremberg.com identifies street photography as “…a free creative design in which the artist’s impression…experiences are brought to life…the aim of street photography to depict reality unadulterated, whereby the specific artistic aspect is expressed in the conscious selection of the detail of reality and the design with photographic means.” To take the time to visit this blog is to view amazing street images as well as educational posts.

And finally,  Reinhold Staden Photography’s gifts us with inspiring photography as well as a super visual journey through Berlin.

How do you understand street photography? Do you have one or three street photographers that inspire you? I would love to see your street images and read your ideas about street photography.  Let’s tag with #aphotostudy.

the dawn is here…

In the summer night
The evening still seems present,
But the dawn is here.
To what region of the clouds
Has the wandering moon come home?

~Kiyohara no Fukayabu

Meditative photography with an iPad, John F Simon’s “Drawing your own Path,” a pair of reading glasses, a fountain pen, and the dawn.  Edited in Lightroom CC.