contemplative photography 6 copy

Intentionally, I set my mind upon the engagement of self with the process of reading the words of another with a knowing that I have accepted an invitation to consider an author’s worldview; that is, to place reality upon a shelf or to open a unique window of understanding.

…distraction, from this engagement as I become aware of a shadow presence – a transparent here-ness tinted with memories of you. It is as if you emerged from the printed page calling forth shared memories.  I feel you sitting silently beside me. Within this silence, I begin to search for words, sentences that covey meanings and insights that awaken the joy that comes from an easing of longing and I hear myself whisper, “Here, a treasured story of thought that reconnects us, reflects a past time of us together, that validates words, ideas—you—and messages, ‘I have heard you within the sharing of love.  I delight in knowing you.  I wish to thank you for simply being…you are the joy that accompanies a gift in transit to being received.’”

…awareness, the words on the page have faded, I have disengaged myself from the invitation to consider the worldview of another as I entered imagined moments with you.  I miss you.  I miss us.

…accepting that what I yearn for can never be for I’m in the autumn of my life while you, my child, have now entered your summer as your children dance within their spring.  Seasons flow one into another—their circular, repeating patterns defined by an unseen guiding hand—births expectations, hope and trust created from past consistencies.

History is remembrances re-emerging like the youthful sprout fragile in its newness, in its responding to life’s call.  Yet, in time this newness will fade and become fragile as one’s autumn yields to their winter.

First posted on September 26, 2013


Photography is an art form and as such need not rely on rules.  Yet, it is important for the photographer to keep in mind that the composition rules help create balanced, dynamic, and interesting images that invite a viewer to stay and visit in comfort.

The Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is the element of composition that begins with dividing an image into thirds, horizontally and vertically, creating nine imagined sections.  


The theory is that if you place your subject in the intersections or along the lines, your image becomes more balanced and will enable the viewer to interact with the story more naturally.  

With the rule of thirds in mind, it is recommended that the photographer should compose a photographer by asking, 

“what are the points of interest in this shot?”

“where am I intentionally placing them?”


Studies show that the human eye naturally is drawn more to one of the four intersection points than the the center of the image.  Yet, sometimes a photographer finds that placing the subject right in the middle of the frame makes for a more interesting composition. 



“Breaking” the rule of thirds opens the door to symmetry, creating balance on both sides of the image as well as the top and bottom. 

We find beauty in natural symmetry. A butterfly, for example, has perfect symmetry when it opens its wings. Snowflakes, flowers and seashells also gift us with the beauty of balance.   


Depth of field

Scenes that feature a shallow depth of field may also not require rule of thirds placement. That’s because a shallow depth of field creates dimension in a photograph, and our eyes are drawn into images that have dimension. You will look into a shallow background even when you can’t identify what’s there, because your eye automatically wants to move through a scene that seems to have depth and dimension.


Love to hear your thoughts about rule of thirds and see how you use this basic composition tool in your creative endeavors.

I hope you enjoy Saurav Sinha’s discussion about composition.

There is a peaceful community

in a place of burned up hopes,

whiteblossombeside the tracks of dreams 

that drifted away

on the edge of a village

where crowds pass by.

There, men gather in harmony

to gaze like sheep and fawns.

On all the beautiful flowers

a sun comes and goes

through the clouds in freedom.

~Mitsui Futabako*


Women Poets of Japan

K Rexroth & I Atsumi