The cherry petals gone, There is no special color to my thoughts, Yet as I gaze, From the vacant sky there falls The quiet sadness of spring rain. –Princess Shikishi (Miner, Introduction to Japanese Court Poetry)
“Long ago there were two queens* called Huang and Ying. And they stood on the shores of the Hsiao-hsiang, to the south of Lake Tung-t’ing. Their sorrow was deep as the waters of the Lake that go straight down a thousand miles. Dark clouds blackened the sun. Shōjō** howled in the mist and ghosts whistled in the rain. The queens said, ‘Though we speak of it we cannot mend it. High Heaven is secretly afraid to shine on our loyalty. But the thunder crashes and bellows its anger, that while Yao and Shun are here they should also be crowning Yü. When a prince loses his servants, the dragon turns into a minnow. When power goes to slaves, mice change to tigers.
“’Some say that Yao is shackled and hidden away, and that Shun has died in the fields.
“’But the Nine Hills of Deceit stand there in a row, each like each; and which of them covers the lonely bones of the Double-eyed One, our Master?’
“So the royal ladies wept, standing amid yellow clouds. Their tears followed the winds and waves, that never return. And while they wept, they looked out into the distance and saw the deep mountain of Tsang-wu.
“’The mountain of Tsang-wu shall fall and the waters of the Hsiang shall cease, sooner than the marks of our tears shall fade from these bamboo-leaves.’”
The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Poet Li Po, by Arthur Waley and Bai Li This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online at http://www.gutenberg.org
*These queens were the daughters of the Emperor Yao, who gave them in marriage to Shun, and abdicated in his favour. Shun’s ministers conspired against him and set “the Great Yü” on the throne. A legend says that the spots on the bamboo-leaves which grow on the Hsiang River were caused by the tears of these two queens
**A kind of demon-monkey
Skyscape photography at sunset on 62nd day of self isolation – Nikon D750 f/8 1/640 90mm 400 ISO edited Capture One 20
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.
“‘…who is the founder of the database in the PeaceKeeper Corps?’…
“‘The database is a unique algorithm created by Xu Bin. …’
“‘Is he some kind of charlatan?’
“‘Xu Bin is also known as Youde. He was once the clerk of the National Treasury. He has an incredible memory and he was one of the first officials that was transferred to the Peacekeeper Corps. … He is absurd and ridiculous. He never associates himself with others or the outside world. He focused only on mathematics. He said that only numbers can reveal the truth in this world…’
“‘Can all the things you said prove that you have a clear view of Xu Bin? Can the achievements and opinions on a person that are passed from one to another show the true colors of the man? Can the comments of others show the true colors of the man? Can the later generations get his true color right by guessing through his biography with the historical data or by conjecturing his face through a painter? When it boils down to it, everything depends on how the audience wants to see it and how the writer wants to write it.’
“‘Xu Bin is low-key and introverted by nature. He never expresses himself through poetry. So, we can’t find much information about him.’
“‘Poems that were written are just the thoughts and feelings for one fleeting moment. Will you be able to guess the motives and reasons behind a person’s story through a few isolated words and phrases?…'”
Cited: The Longest Day in Chang’an, Directed by Cao Dun. Written by: Paw Studio. episode 14.
photograph Metadata: Nikon D750 f/8 1/13s 38mm 400 ISO
What with one thing and another — that cup of coffee (which must nowadays be drunk with reverence, for each day it may be our last)…
Trans: A Pomerans, An Interrupted Life The Diaries of Etty Hillesum 1941 – 1943, pp. 82
“… Nowadays there are hardly any accidental relationships left; you have a deep if subtly different relationship with each person, and must not be disloyal to one for the sake of the other. There are no wasted and boring minutes any longer, one has to keep learning how to take one’s rest between two deep breaths or in a five-minute chat.
“…It is a good thing from time to time to feel the emptiness and wariness in yourself for a moment or two, just to recall how things used to be and how they are now. The tree outside the house seemed a lifeless lump of timber stabbing a dull sky. But the feeling of deep unhappiness lasted for only a moment. The day seemed to start out so bleakly yesterday. But after an hour of calm and concentrated work everything was fine again.”
cited: Trans: A Pomerans, An Interrupted Life The Diaries of Etty Hillesum 1941 – 1943, pp. 82-85
Nikon D750 f/8 1/30s 105mm 400 ISO edited Capture One 20
“Camus taught us that ‘the only way to fight the plague is with decency’. Whether it is saving the sick and preventing infections, like Dr Rieux, standing up for the most vulnerable, or simply, helping our family and others survive, we are all called on now to find our inner strength, the strength of our forebearers.