lens-artists photo challenge: winter

The Plum-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 Chinese Project Gutenberg

First snow! I see it young every winter, 
Yet my face grows old 
As Winter comes.
~ The Diary of Izumi Shikibu

cited: Trans: Annie Shepley Omori & Kochi Doi Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan

This week’s lens-artists photo challenge – winter – is sponsored by Leya

lens-artists photo challenge: autumn

The grass does not refuse

To flourish in the spring wind;

The leaves are not angry

At falling through the autumn sky.

Who with whip or spur

Can urge the feet of Time?

The things of the world flourish and decay,

Each at its own hour.

cited: The Poet Li Po (AD 701- 762) Trans: A Waley, Project Gutenberg

Autumn 2017
Autumn 2017

Autumn 2018

This week’s lens-artists photo challenge is sponsored by Patti.

lens-artists photo challenge: spring

In the courtyard there grows a strange tree,

Its green leaves ooze with a fragrant moisture.

spring 2020

Holding the branch I cut a flower from the tree,

Meaning to send it away to the person I love.

spring, 2019

Its sweet smell fills my sleeves and lap.

The road is long, how shall I get it there?

spring 2018

Such a thing is not fine enough to send:

But it may remind him of the time that has past since he left

spring 2017

cited: Trans: Arthur Waley. A Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems, Project Gutenberg

spring!

Note: The poem above is one of a series known as the Nineteen Pieces of Old Poetry. Some have been attributed to Mei Shēng (first century b.c.), and one to Fu I (first century a.d.).

This week’s lens-artists challenge (spring) is hosted by Tina

lens artists photo challenge: surprise

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.

contemplating a sunset with…lens-artists (delicate)

isolation retreat 75th day

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.

lens-artists photo challenge: cropping the shot

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.

lens-artists photo challenge: at home

Solitary … day 46

Within our home, the setting sun…a time of gratitude and metta meditation

setting sun
wind chime

My people went to live elsewhere and I remained alone in my solitary home. I was tired of meditation and sent a poem to one who had not called on me for a long time.

Weeds grow before my gate 
And my sleeves are wet with dew, 
No one calls on me, 
My tears are solitary–alas!

She was a nun and she sent an answer:

The weeds before a dwelling house 
 May remind you of me! 
Bushes bury the hut 
Where lives the world-deserted one.

The Sarashina Diary, Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan
silhouette
may all sentient beings slumber in peace

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