ThePlum-blossom is the first of the “hundred flowers” to open. It symbolizes the beginnings of things, and is also one of the “three friends” who do not fear Winter’s cold, the other two being the pine and the bamboo.
cited: Fir-Flower Tablets Poems Translated from the Chinese Trans: Florence Ayscough & Amy Lowell Project Gutenberg
A Winter night, a cold Winter night. To me, the night is unending.
I chant heavily to myself a long time. I sit, sit in the North Hall.
The water in the well is solid with ice. The moon enters the Women’s Apartments.
The flame of the gold lamp is very small, the oil is frozen. It shines on the misery of my weeping. ~Li t’ai-Poa Woman Sings to the Air: “Sitting at Night Fir-Flower”
excerpt: Trans: Florence Ayscough & Amy Lowell Fir-Flower Tablets Poems Translated from the ChineseProject Gutenberg
First snow! I see it young every winter, Yet my face grows old As Winter comes. ~ The Diary of Izumi Shikibu
Each night as I watch the sunset, I am surprised to see the the western sky’s limitless wardrobe of clouds.
I have found that taking the time to sit on the veranda to watch the sunset and photograph the impermanence of clouds offers me moments of peace during this time of uncertainty. Thank you Leya for this week’s photo challenge: surprise.
This week Patti has invited us to share “A Quiet Moment.” She writes, “During these past few months while the pandemic has raged around the world, many of us have rediscovered the value (and necessity) of finding quiet moments during the day to reflect and recharge.”
I’ve found that my daily walks through a community park has become impacted by the increasing number of people who are gathering without masks, disregarding distance recommendations, and (confusingly) allowing their dogs to run free of their leash.
Seemingly, resistance to limitations has no boundaries.
I’m a bit more anxious about dogs especially when walking with my great granddaughter as we have the choice to distance ourselves, refrain from touching our faces, and engage in the ritual of washing hands and masks upon returning home. Dogs on the other hand are know to bite… and a bite will result in an emergency room visit and a confrontation that most likely will be tinted with ugly aggression. These imagined potentialities serve to intensify anxiety even more so than the possibility of stepping into dog poop and imagined consequences… Oh dear!
So…with the intention to journey through this delicate and uncertain time with a mindfulness that focused more on gratitude than on negative thoughts and feelings, I have chosen to spend my evenings photographing sunsets from the security of my veranda.
Gatha for Donning a Mask
Putting on my mask I think of protecting and caring for my community. Seeing someone wearing their mask I think of how they are caring for me. Smiling at each other with our eyes, waving hello with our hands We are even more connected in care Despite the distance. ~ Prajna Choudhury
skyscape photography: Nikon D750 f/8 1/25s 32mm 400 ISO edited in Capture One
This post was inspired by Leya’s lens-artists photo challenge: delicate. Thank you Leya and all the lens-artists photographers.
Generally my editing begins with cropping an image with a “focus” on the points of interest using a crop tool set for either a golden ratio, rectangular, or fibonacci spiral grid. The times when there is a pesky “thing” poking in from the edge(s) which somehow was either ignored or not seen in the camera lens, I will either crop or use a software program to removed the unwanted object.
I like the composition of the first image so kept the image at the original aspect ratio and cropped with a fibonacci spiral grid.
The above image was cropped with a ratio of 6×7 which seemed to invite me to move from a stilled contemplative mood to a sense of an ocean’s dynamic energy.
The monochrome cloud images were created with a Nikon D750 (f/8 1/500s 190mm 400 ISO ) and edited in Silver Efex Pro 2.
This week’s Lens-Artists photo challenge is offered by Patti who discussed the photo editing technique and benefits of cropping the shot followed by, “Show us how cropping helped to improve an image and create a desired effect. Include the shot ‘before’ and ‘after’ so we can see the difference.
Amy (The World is a Book…) writes that because of “the lockdown, we are spending more time at home. But, hopefully this isn’t limiting our interest in photographing. This week, we invite you to share photos taken at home.”
above images created with a Nikon D750
setting sun: f/7.1 1/1250s 65mm 400 ISO
wind chime: f/5.6 1/15s 125mm 400 ISO
silhouette: f/5.6 1/3200 230mm 400 ISO
may all sentient beings slumber in peace: f/8 1/20s 25mm 400 ISO