lens-artist photo challenge: shadows

in morning shadows
he passes through the barrier gate…
with paper fan
~Issa (www.haikuguy.com)

Nikon D750 f/5.6 1/250 210mm

hop on over to Tina’s to join this week’s lens-artist’s challenge: shadows

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Caution Blind Corner

…If we don’t have journalism, we don’t have democracy. ~Barbie Zelizer, director of Penn’s Center for Media at Risk

The fabric of press freedom in the US has been frayed and weakened by political stigmatisation of journalists and cries of “fake news”, but it risks much greater, and more permanent, damage from other forces, including harassment, detention and criminalisation. (cited: The Guardian The biggest risk to American journalism isn’t posed by Trump)

Nikon D750….Caution Blind Corner

In the context of this new world order of dramatic political, social, and unparalleled technological change, the role of media has never been more important, and it’s also never been more dangerous…Foreign reporters in war zones, as well as domestic reporters and journalists like me in war zones of our own here at home, are facing angry people and the threats of violence.” (cited: Multichannel Don Lemon: Role of Journalists Vitally Important in Today’s Divisive Political Environment.)

Who Will Write Our History

In November 1940, days after the Nazis sealed 450,000 Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto, a secret band of journalists, scholars and community leaders decided to fight back. Led by historian Emanuel Ringelblum and known by the code name Oyneg Shabes, this clandestine group vowed to defeat Nazi lies and propaganda not with guns or fists but with pen and paper. Now, for the first time, their story is told as a feature documentary. Written, produced and directed by Roberta Grossman and executive produced by Nancy Spielberg, Who Will Write Our History mixes the writings of the Oyneg Shabes archive with new interviews, rarely seen footage and stunning dramatizations to transport us inside the Ghetto and the lives of these courageous resistance fighters. They defied their murderous enemy with the ultimate weapon – the truth – and risked everything so that their archive would survive the war, even if they did not.

Wall…street

Nikon D750 RX1003 f/8 1/1000s 320 ISO

The name of [Wall Street] originates from an actual wall that was built in the 17th century by the Dutch, who were living in what was then called New Amsterdam. The 12-foot (4 meter) wall was built to protect the Dutch against attacks from pirates and various Native American tribes, and to keep other potential dangers out of the establishment.

The area near the wall became known as Wall Street. Because of its prime location running the width of Manhattan between the East River and the Hudson River the road developed into one of the busiest trading areas in the entire city. Later, in 1699, the wall was dismantled by the British colonial government, but the name of the street stuck.

The financial industry got its official start on Wall Street on May 17, 1792. On that day, New York’s first official stock exchange was established by the signing of the Buttonwood Agreement. The agreement, so-called because it was signed under a buttonwood tree that early traders and speculators had previously gathered around to trade informally, gave birth to what is now the modern-day New York Stock Exchange NYSE.

Today, …in some circles, the term “Wall Street” has become a metaphor for corporate greed and financial mismanagement

cited: LiveScience : Denise Chow, Assistant Managing Editor | May 3, 2010 01:04pm ET

the threshold of stillness

May I find the Equanimity that will lift a veil of shamed despair and acquaint me to the perceived and perceiver absent of greed, anger, and ignorance.

 

wyominglandscape-8web

This journey with saldage has brought me to a place and time in which to unweave and sort through the pseudo-beliefs I have simply, without question, absorbed through the lens of childhood fantasy and comprehension.  To begin this process is to reformulate beliefs through a process of mindfulness and analysis and then to know for myself, “These things are bad, blamable, censured by the wise; undertaken and observed, these things lead to harm and ill… These things are good, blameless, praised by the wise… These things lead to benefit and happiness.”

It is not an easy undertaking to not simply believe what has been learned within family, school and church as well as conclusions reached through readings. The invitation to not simply follow tradition brings to the surface conflicts with compliance and opposition that come from an avalanche of values and guiding principles that outlines how I understand the roles and expectations of women.

To not adhere to that which was surmised within family stories about an ancestor, who upon seeing a swarm of locust “knelt in his patch of grain and pleaded with his Maker to spare his wheat” and then saw them divide and not damage his remaining crops. Or within the story about the ancestor, who during a trip from New York to England, calmed the seas with a prayer, and while in England, after much fasting and prayer administered to a deaf and dumb boy who was subsequently healed. To not simply believe opens a door of pondering about generations of family members who intimately knew powerlessness and insecurity, who eased their feelings of incompetence through prayer, and whose conceptions blinded them to their neighbors’ plight.

wyominglandscape-6a-web

 

To not simply believe that I must endure suffering is to reject the axiom that there is an absence of fundamental faith and goodness. To not adhere to the assumed abilities of ancestors frees me from the belief that a sincere act of making amends for my sins will open the doors to Shangri-La.  To not simply draw upon scripture unbinds me to the shame that I don’t have the faith – even of the size of a mustard seed – to be deeded as “good and without sin” so what I wish for, even that which goes counter to nature’s laws, will be granted.  To ease the suffering within discontent is to not simply hold to be true that I am to acquiesce to pain until the final judgment of death, and only then will I be forever at peace, or forever condemned to an existence of even greater suffering.

To not simply believe opens my ears to the incongruence within a belief in an all-knowing presence who, if not validated, punishes, absent of the grace within loving-kindness.  To not simply believe brings a compassionate acknowledgment to the painful efforts to sway God into granting me my desires through bargaining, sacrifice, negation, and suffering, and to finally surrender with acceptance to “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”  To not simply believe sheds light upon the greed, aversion, and delusions that are intertwined into my conception of and relationship with life.

I do hold that my beliefs and the subsequent desire for their illusive promises of validation, forgiveness, or reunification have set me upon an unending path of suffering.  These beliefs lead to harm and ill as they are like thorns that tear into my heart.  This searing pain releases resentment intertwined with envy, awakens alienation, and denies me the essence of Christ’s wisdom and loving compassion.

wyominglandscape-7web

Christ stood before self-righteous anger and commanded that only the one without sin was to cast the first stone of punishment and, at another time and in the midst of his own suffering, sought forgiveness for those who “know not what they do.”   Within these written words, I hear compassion speaking for the suffering intertwined within anger ungoverned by moral shame and moral dread.  Compassion is telling us how suffering, entangled into knots of mental, emotional, and social turmoil, deafens us to our guiding principles and blinds us to the horrors our moral shame will witness as it awakens from darkened ignorance.

 

The practice of the presence of God as being comparable to that of consciousness finally makes possible “full awareness” applied to every thought, world, and deed.   ~ Unknown

Excerpts from B Koeford, A Meditative Journey with Saldage

a photo study: the photographer III

glasnevin2
2012

When I first saw the “Stages of a Photographer” graph, I laughed with the memories of expectations that came with my first Nikon purchase in 1984; in no time,  I would be creating images equal to those in the National Geographic.  Cringe.

R0013060
2013

The Stages graph inspired me to explore Youtube videos of photographers who share  their learning journey and this search led me to the website, Japan Camera Hunter  who features Dan K’s, A Learning Framework for Photography.  

R0013585
2014

Step I Get an Eye for Photography

A reasonably acute Artistic Eye should be the fundamental foundation upon which your photography should be built, rather than something you will get round to once you’ve topped out on your technical expertise.

  • If possible find a mentor, or a teacher who will show you their best work and critique it together.
  • Look at photo books and images in photo collections.  Find the images that speak to you and go over them with your mentor.
  • Learn to appreciate a good image, be it a photograph or a sketch.
  • Pick a genre that can be done with basic skills and focus not on the equipment, execution or look, but on making the image engage the viewer as intended.

Focus, sharpness, depth of field, lightening, color, all that kind of thing is embellishment. Even composition is subordinate to the engagement, to the message and to the reaction that you hope to elicit…

  • Go through the whole classical learning cycle with each photo, each session, each project:
    • Take the photo.
    • Decide what you like or don’t like about it.
    • Consider what you could have done better.
    • Ask yourself how this learning applies to other photos you took or have seen
    • Apply this to your next photo and repeat the cycle.

Feedback and learning is what separates an improving photographer from someone that sprays-and-prays but never improves…the learning process never finishes.

Campustree

  • When you have reached a plateau in your learning curve
    • Don’t let your photography stagnate
    • Consolidate your learning
    • Prepare a project of your learning journey
    • Consider what other fresh avenues you can pursue to improve your work

At the end of this step you should have a fair understanding of what an interesting and compelling image looks like and how to make one, even if the execution is rudimentary.

By starting out right, with an understanding of what a good photo looks like, confidence may take a beating at first but you’ll be on the right path with less time wasted with follies into unnecessary gear or special effects.

street-5web8718
2018

Dan K’s learning steps 2 through 7 guidelines will be covered in next week’s A Photo Study.  If yo wish to share, I would love to hear about or see examples of your personal photo journey.  Let’s tag with #aphotostudy.

I hope you enjoy Sean Tucker’s personal narrative of his journey