the cries of yesterday
sink into reflections
the cries of yesterday
sink into reflections
Even into the mind always clouded with grief,
There is cast the reflection of the bright moon ~The Sarashina Diary (Diaries of Court Ladies of Old Japan)
image submitted in response to Patti’s lens-artists photo challenge: reflections
Teachers often ask students to make many drawings of the same object with a variety of materials. The impact of choice is made clear when a student compares the different feelings they get from drawings in charcoal, ink, pencil, and colored pastel. By setting tight limits on what can be drawn, the mind is focused on what it feels like to work inside and outside of expectations. Making art with physical materials presents no shortage of limits–years of practice may be required to master the techniques of media like oil paint or the variabilities of wood or stone carving. Mastering our inner resistance, our fears of criticism, and doubts about our talent may take equally long. ~J F Simon Jr, Drawing Your Own Path
Isn’t it true that it’s not people who meet,
but rather the shadows cast by their imaginations?
~Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon
a tumble jumble babble
“…there is something more fundamental about the world that is brought into being by the right hemisphere, with its betweenness, its mode of knowing which involves reciprocation, a reverberative process, back and forth, compared with the linear, sequential, unidirectional method of building up a picture favored by the left hemisphere.” ~I McGilchrist, The Master and his Emissary
I’m in a forest of tall pine trees. Smooth river rocks and trimmed elephant grass edge a pathway covered with dark red, black, and gray colored gravel stones. The pine trees release their scent as they sway with the breeze. The singsong of birds fills the air as they flitter from one branch to another. Before me I see a clearing illuminated by the rays of the morning sun. As I step into the clearing, I feel warmth of the sun’s touch and see a house centered within a fallowed field and question, “is this home?”
As I make my way through the fallow field, I find three ancient keys lying within a dust-filled furrow. Silver is the first key. A knowing tells me it opens a door to a space of tranquil abiding. Gold is the second key. It gives admission to a room of healing serenity. Diamonds make up the third key. It unlocks a keepsake of my remembrances.
The awakened groan of the wood planks welcome me as I step onto the weathered porch that surrounds the house. I find that the silver key fits the lock of an entryway door. Before I open the door and step over the threshold, I feel compelled to turn around and, with non-judgmental awareness, attend to and then put aside all that I see within and beyond the wheat field.
I step over the threshold and feel an inviting atmosphere of affectionate acceptance that encourages me to wander unencumbered throughout the interior of the house.
I find myself at the bottom of a stairway which I ascend. On the second floor I enter a room lightened by the light of the midday sun entering a picture window painted by the landscape that extends to where the blue ridge of the sky touches the earth’s multi-green jagged horizon. Opposite to the window is a ceiling-to-floor bookcase lined with books, aged and worn. The warmth within this room embraces me with stillness, silence, and clarity. My eyes light upon a small trunk and I know that it is for me. As I pick up the trunk I find that it is light and fits with ease into the cradle of my arm.
I leave this room and again walk about the house. I find that the gold key opens a door to a central room of calm solitude. Stepping into this room I sense the presence of a compassionate being who introduces herself as Sophia, the aged guardian of the innermost things, “my heart hears the wordless tears and fears within your heart and feels the quiver of your heart-filled joys. You have entered the hearth of your home, an ancient site of healing.”
I sit comfortably on the floor and open the trunk with the third key. As I explore the contents, I understand that they are mementos of my life’s journey. My consciousness, mind, and body move in unison with the moment of my breath’s spirit as I hold one keepsake after another. I acknowledge the memories, images, feelings that each memento evokes with the reminder that I am in a space of healing serenity and that I am not alone.
I feel a slight tugging within my heart as dark memories hidden within darker shadows accept the invitation to ride upon the in-breath of the compassionate guardian. With their departure, my body releases long-held tears. With my in-breath, I hear her whisper, “This is a time of healing transformation”, and I feel a wondrous golden energy spread throughout my body.
A calling beckons me from beyond this house that feels like home. I hear permission to leave with a chosen remembrance or to place whatever arose back in the trunk. I step over the threshold; I feel an invitation to return whenever I wish.
Excerpts from B Koeford, A Meditative Journey with Saldage
In the higher Buddhist view, appearances rise from emptiness and dissolve again…It is a process like birth, living, and dying…practice letting come and go…we may rest longer and longer in the space of openness…Don’t try to shape the oneness, or see it as one thing or another, or gain anything from it. Just let things be. This is the way to find your center. ~Tulku Thondup, The Healing Power of Mind
of light and shadow
between insight and ignorance
in life and death
from suffering to tranquility
For this week’s photo study, I decided to continue with Ian’s creative composition posts as they seem to be an ideal way to revisit basic elements of composition and explore how to incorporate them into street photography. He begins the second positing with noting the importance of slowing down with intentional “seeing” as a foundation to finding the ideal background and good light and then deciding to or not to press the shutter.
Photography is not what’s important. It’s seeing.
The camera, film, even pictures, are not important.
~Algimantas Kezys (cited: H Zehr, The Little Book of Contemplative Photography)
Setting the Stage, Timing the Steps (fishing) Ian writes, “The key concept for this approach is to establish the static elements in your frame first (i.e. background and light), then patiently work to add interesting dynamic elements by moving close and far, exploring various angles, adjusting the camera’s settings, and finally with patience waiting for the person who fits into your story to walk on your stage.
Frame within a Frame Create a frame within the image through the use of doorways, windows, window displays, trees, or any object that creates a frame around your subject.
Leading Lines Drawing the viewer’s eye is an important compositional element especially when lines converge toward each other and draw the eye to the subject. I found that the gaze of both the man and the dog create an implied line as well as invite a story.
Juxtaposition Ian describes juxtaposition is where two adjacent objects appear to contrast with each other, as within the image below. The person in the foreground leans to the left opening us to the elderly man in the midground who is leading left. The Starbucks coffee cup in the center adds a social justice element as well as a contrast to both men.
Perspective – create high-angle images by standing on stairs, platforms, balconies or low-angle photos by getting close to the ground and shooting upwards.
Scale Images where the subject is dwarfed by the environment seems to be a way of introducing feeling into the image and drawing the eye to the person within the frame.
Color Color intermixed with light, shadows, and silhouettes have the potential to create unique photographs that nudge images away from the photojournalism and documentary genre.
Reflections Entire stories can be created through the layers that are created when photographing through glass.
Light and Shadows Using your exposure compensation to drop the exposure on the frame (which protects the highlights while creating wonderful deep shadows) will create amazing interactions of shadows, light, and silhouettes.
The Candid Frame Within “Less than Obvious”, Ibarionex encourages us to open ourselves to “seeing” the world’s amazing detail and “being” intentional before we press the shutter.
I hope you find Ian’s educational blog and the Candid Frame to be an invaluable sources of information as well as doorways to a world of creative possibilities. I’m looking forward to seeing your creative work as well as reading your throughs about the use of basic composition elements into street photograph. Let’s tag with #aphotostudy. Until next week…