This week Patti at P.A. Moed invited photographers to “look up” and share what we see..I saw a smiling face. What do you see?
Standing at this Threshold
With uncertainty, I question:
What is it that I seek?
Protection? Compassion? Acceptance? Forgiveness? Completion?
Who is it that I beckon?
A father? A mother? A sister? A brother? A companion? A child? A god?
To be? To endure? To offer? To embrace? To validate?
An intentional presence that is drawn upon
A place and time of shadows, myths, and dreams?
Birthed within a family?
Matured within a relationship?
Nourished within a community?
Where the Stillness within Silence,
Affirms the exchange of life’s giving and taking,
Embraces the connection of life’s emotional threads, and
Observes the interdependence of life with non-judgmental awareness,
Yet, knows of a united oneness with another that can not be?
Since it can not be, do I yearn
To know integration through the formation of thought;
To see clarity through the flowing of ink; and
To feel completion through the act of creating?
And then, finally, within the stillness of silence,
An internal companion with whom
There is an honoring of the who and what of which I am;
A woman, a daughter, a sister, a niece, a wife, a mother, an aunt, a grandmother, a great-grandmother.
With reverence the presence of all that was, is, and will be.
The seeking, the beckoning, the yearning to the Winds of Change.
I with uncertainty, Step over this Threshold
Foreseeing a return
Oh leaves, ask the wind which of you
Will be the first to fall. ~Soseki*
*cited in Jonathan Clements, The Moon in the Pines
…a group of children were crying. An adult came along with a handful of yellow leaves and said, “Don’t cry anymore. I’ll give you a pile of gold.” So the person gave the children a handful of yellow leaves, and the children thought they were real pieces of gold. They were happy and they stopped crying. ~Thich Nhát Hanh (Zen Battles)
Memory bridges our past with the present and awakens us to an awareness that life is created by minute moments that often go unnoticed as our minds are frequently elsewhere. Photography offers us a means to awaken to these temporary moments and to create priceless keepsakes of our yesterdays.
Who speaks the sound of an echo?
Who paints the image in a mirror?
Where are the spectacles in a dream?
Nowhere at all–that’s the nature of the mind!
~Tree-leaf Woman (J. Hirshfield, Women in Praise of the Sacred)
Over the past couple of months I’ve found that postings of bloggers I follow are not always coming up in my WordPress Reader. One of those missed postings is Raj’s photo lesson on lenses. In that xdrive photo lesson Raj invited us to “really access the capabilities of your camera and find out what exactly is your stumbling block, is it a camera or a lens?”
So with this lesson in mind along with the recent discussions about photographing in raw, I set out on three separate nature walks with a different lens on each occasion.
On the first day of this assignment I used a Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR lens with a Tiffen 0.6 neutral density lens.
This first image is a representation of the raw image. I see this image as a bit underexposed.
This second image was created with Raj’s discussion regarding the consideration of sharpening and color saturation within the initial editing of raw images in mind.
While I love bokeh – the way the lens renders out-of-focus points of light – I experimented with opening up the f-stop to explore Raj’s recommendation that an “open aperture would have created better isolation of leaves.”
During the second day of this assignment I used a Nikon AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G lens with a Platinum natural density lens.
The first image is a raw representation prior to any editing. This image seems a bit muted.
This second image was again edited with the intentional inclusion of sharpening and color saturation. As Raj noted an open aperture does allow for a greater isolation of the leaves. The f/1.8 setting also seems to offer a softness to the image as well as gentle depth of field.
In my limited experience and knowledge I find that a prime lens invites me to zoom in using my legs which is okay when photographing leaves…but not so much during street photography.
On the third day, I set out with a Nikon AF-S 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5 G ED VR lens.
A raw representation prior to editing. Again, muted.
In the edited f/4.2 image the shadows on the leaves are brought out; yet, I find the background a bit distracting. Sharpening and color saturation was also intentionally included in the editing process.
In the f/7.1 image below the detail and sharpness of the leaves seems to offer a greater isolation of the leaves and isn’t as distracting as in the f/4.2 image. Also, it is interesting to note that both images have a bit of bokeh.
Over to you Raj…I am finding great value in your lessons and feedback. Thank you for expanding my understanding of this never-ending learning experience.
jump on over to Jen’s to participate in this week’s photo challenge, glow