the art of seeing

Safer at Home: 1st day plus day 46

“The new coronavirus has … sickened thousands of America’s first responders and killed dozens more.

“But many have recovered, and they’re going back to work — back to the crime scene, back into the ambulance, back to the jail. Going back to this deadly pandemic’s front lines. 

“They go with a lingering cough and lost weight. They toss and turn at night, wondering if the claims of immunity are true. They fear that picking up extra overtime shifts may expose them, and their families, to additional risks. 

“And then they pull on their uniforms and go back to work.”

cited: Stefanie Dazio, Michael R. Sisak and Jake Bleiberg, After COVID-19: Anxious, wary first responders back on job Associated Press

Composing 180º rotated

In a recent email, Bruce Percy wrote, “I think I’m usually an observant composer,  but when I use a ground glass on [6X9 Ebony SW23] cameras my mind has to work harder at visualizing the final photograph as the image is flipped vertically and horizontally.

first composition

“I don’t use this camera very often so when I do use it, it usually takes me a few days to start to ‘see’ images the right way up in my mind’s eye.

180 degrees rotation
180 degrees rotation…crop adjustment

“After I’ve been doing that for a few days, it’s amazing to note how my mind’s eye adapts. I think there is a lot of usefuleness in working with images when they are rotated at 180º as they force your eye to go into areas of the picture that aren’t normally visited. You spot things in the composition that you normally wouldn’t.”

second composition

Composition elements used within the above image created using a Sony RX1003 f/2.8 1/125s 8.8mm 80 ISO.

While the first image brings my attention to how the spring’s morning sun highlights the autumn leaves, I found that the 180 degree rotation opened my eyes to how irritating the sun was in the upper left as well as invited me to explore using the horizon (rule of thirds).

Composition elements:

subject (leaves) sharpened by using a blurred background

rule of thirds

perspective

space

I would enjoy reading your thoughts about Bruce Percy’s discussion about 180 degree rotation and compositional elements.

the proverbial fence

Stay at Home Order … day 29 plus 14 seclusion retreat days

‘Who and what are you?’

‘I am the Sabbath,’ said the other without moving. ‘I am the peace of God.’

C.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday (The Project Gutenberg Ebook)

“‘What can you mean by all this?’ cried Syme. ‘They can’t be running the real world in that way. Surely not many working men are anarchists, and surely if they were, mere mobs could…

Nikon D750 f/5.6 1/320s 90mm 400 ISO

“… ‘Mere mobs!’ repeated his new friend with a snort of scorn. ‘So you talk about mobs and the working classes as if they were the question. You’ve got that eternal idiotic idea that if anarchy came it would come from the poor. Why should it? The poor have been rebels, but they have never been anarchists; they have more interest than anyone else in there being some decent government. The poor man really has a stake in the country. The rich man hasn’t; he can go away to New Guinea in a yacht. The poor have sometimes objected to being governed badly; the rich have always objected to being governed at all. Aristocrats were always anarchists, as you can see from the barons’ wars.’”

cited: G.K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday (The Project Gutenberg Ebook)

Note: “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 the Project Gutenberg License included with this ebook or online at www.gutenberg.org.”

nope…no masks

Stay at Home Order … day 27 plus 14 seclusion retreat days

Plausible deniability

Refers to circumstances where it is possible to deny knowledge or responsibility of wrongdoing since the subject was unaware of the truth or due to a lack of evidence to confirm responsibility for an action. The use of the tactic implies intentionally setting up the conditions to plausibly avoid responsibility for future actions.

Fox News is nervous. This is what Gabriel Sherman, author of a New York Times-bestselling book about the cable news giant, recently told MSNBC. Sherman said Fox News insiders are expressing concern that the network’s “early downplaying” of COVID-19 might open it up to “legal action by viewers who maybe were misled and actually have died from this.”

Lawsuit Against Fox News Over Coronavirus Coverage: Can It Succeed? Should It?

Nikon D750 f/5.6 1/400s 72mm 400 ISO

Broadcasting false information that causes substantial ‘public harm’

The FCC prohibits broadcasting false information about a crime or a catastrophe if the broadcaster knows the information is false and will cause substantial “public harm” if aired.

FCC rules specifically say that “the public harm: must begin immediately and cause direct and actual damage to property or the health or safety of the general public; or divert law enforcement or public health and safety authorities from their duties.”

Broadcasters may air disclaimers that clearly characterize programming as fiction to avoid violating FCC rules about public harm.

Broadcasting false content during news programming

The FCC is prohibited by law from engaging in censorship or infringing on First Amendment rights of the press. It is, however, illegal for broadcasters to intentionally distort the news, and the FCC may act on complaints if there is documented evidence of such behavior from persons with direct personal knowledge. For more information, please see our consumer guide, Complaints About Broadcast Journalism.

silence

Stay at Home Order … day 26 plus 14 seclusion retreat days

in the thicket
behind the house, silence…
no one picking tea

~Issa (cited: haiku guy.com)

Sony RX1003 f/2.8 1/640s 25.7mm 80 ISO

I find myself being drawn again and again to how the yellow caution tape forms a number of barriers around play areas within a park near my home. The tape intensifies the overwheming silence and emptiness contrasting with the news blitz that feeds powerlessness, sadness, anger, confusion, mistrust, division, anxiety, etc.

The empty playground also beings to mind the story of The Pied Piper of Hamelin. The story is a familiar one, but what most of us probably don’t know is that it has its feet at least somewhat planted in an apparently true event that took place in the real-life town of Hamelin, Germany in 1284.

The earliest accounts of the story don’t include the rats, which wouldn’t show up until around the year 1559, but they do include the piper, dressed in his “clothing of many colors.” there is not enough historical data to ascertain for certain what happened in the town of Hamelin in 1284, there is little doubt that something occurred there which left a heavy mark on the town, and on world folklore. Theories advanced over the years include that many of the town’s children died of natural causes that year; or possibly drowned in the nearby river; or were killed in a landslide, thus explaining the recurring motif of the rats being led into the water, or of the mountain opening up and swallowing the children. The pied piper himself is considered a symbolic figure of death.

One other explanation is that the children may have died of the Black Plague, which could be why the rats were later added into the story, though the Black Plague didn’t hit Germany until the 1300s, making its arrival probably too late to be the source of the legend.

Other theorists hold that the story of the pied piper actually refers to a mass emigration or even another Children’s Crusade like the one that may have occurred in 1212.

Our first clue about what really happened in the town of Hamelin comes from a stained glass window that stood in the town’s Market Church until it was destroyed in 1660. Accounts of the stained glass say that it alluded to some tragedy involving children, and a recreation of the window shows the piper in his colorful clothes and several children dressed in white. The date is set by an entry in Hamelin’s town chronicle, which was dated 1384 and said, simply and chillingly, “It is 100 years since our children left.”

Grammarist point out that the phrase “pied piper” usually has a pejorative connotation, pointing out that, “When it is time to pay the piper it is time to accept the consequences of a thoughtless or rash action” or to “fulfill a responsibility or promise, usually after the fulfillment has been delayed already.” Both of these meanings probably tie back to the legend of the pied piper.

Even the words “pied piper” have entered into common usage to mean everything from “a charismatic person who attracts followers” to “a leader who makes irresponsible promises” to “one who offers strong but delusive enticement,” according to the Merriam Webster Dictionary entry for pied piper meaning. “Pied piping” is also a phrase used to describe a certain phenomenon in linguistics in which some words “drag” others along with them when moved to the front of a sentence. (cited: The Chilling Story Behind the Pied Piper of Hamelin)

Now that I have got this obvious allusion out of my system, let’s move on the the composition elements within the above photograph:

Rule of Thirds

Rule of Odds

Leading Lines from right to left

Space

Triangle created by the placement of the “triangle” snow pile with the two subjects

Did I miss any or did I mis-see any?

weekly prompts — vulnerability

Stay at Home Order … day 22 plus 14 seclusion retreat days

To see a dramatic visualization of the global spread of GOVID-19, click here.

Words by Mumon

When the sky is clear the sun appears,

When the earth is parched rain will fall.

He opened his heart fully and spoke out,

But it was useless to talk to pigs and fish. ~Mumon

(Cited: Trans: N Senzaki & P Reps, The Gateless Gate/Learning is not the Path)

vulnerability

Nikon D750 f/5.6 1/1250s 82mm 400 ISO

Continuing with my return to composition basics: The composition elements within this image are:

repeating patterns

leading and parallel lines

perspective

rule of thirds with points on right side of image leading into the image as well as human figure on the #3 point of the rule of thirds.

I chose to mute the colors as this image seemed to be a bit cluttered and black and white editing was a bit boring.

As always I appreciate constructive feedback…thanks for joining me on this learning journey. Patience seems to be fading across Mother Earth.

image and poem submitted in response to gc weekly prompts: vulnerability

returning to the basics

Stay at Home Order … day 21 plus 14 seclusion retreat days

“A haiku is not a poem, it is not literature; it is a hand becoming, 
a door half-opened, a mirror wiped clean.  It is a way of returning
to nature, to our moon nature, our cherry blossom nature, our 
falling leaf nature, in short, to our Buddha nature.  It is a way in
which the cold winter rain, the swallows of evening, even the very
day in its hotness, and the length of the night, become truly 
alive, share in our humanity, speak their own silent 
and expressive language.”

–  Haiku: Eastern Culture, 1949, Volume Onep. 243.

Nikon D750 f/5.6 1/640s 300m 400 ISO

This month I’ve continued with my intention to study and implement composition elements as offered through an on-line education site, Udemy. Thus far, I have completed two of their photography courses.

The Art of Seeing Photography training for the Artist in you

Art of Seeing Photography composition

It is my intention for the next 30 days to “focus” on the basics of composition, both within camera and digital darkroom.

The image above was created by moving closer (telephoto lens) at a construction site with simplicity in mind. I learned in the second class that if photographers find the environment to be boring…they need to move in closer. Also, beautifully composed photographs will include 3-5 rules. It is my thought that the above image includes:

space

golden points, right to left

lead room

close-in with blurred background

sharpness

Do the shadows meet the rule of odds?

Does this photo include the element of dark figure on light background?

Do you have any constructive feedback about the above image? Do you see something I may have overlooked? If so, I would enjoy reading your thoughts. Thanks!

a snakealope

Stay at Home Order … day 19 plus 14 seclusion retreat days

snakealope…the emptiness of non-existent or an existence dependent upon the union of a tree log and a set of horns?

five types of emptiness:

  • The emptiness of what did not exist before, pre-existence.
    • the lack of yogurt in milk
  • The emptiness of what does not exist upon being destroyed, post-existence
    • the lack of milk in yogurt
  • The emptiness of the utterly non-existent, non-existence
    • the lack of horns on a rabbit’s head*
  • The emptiness of one not existing in the other, exclusion
    • the emptiness of an ox in a horse
  • The emptiness of entityness,** separate self existence
    • non-inherent existence of all phenomena

*The jackalope is a mythical animal of North American folklore (a fearsome critter) described as a jackrabbit with antelope horns. The word jackalope is a portmanteau of jackrabbit and antelope. … The Wyoming Legislature has considered bills to make the jackalope the state’s official mythological creature. For additional information regarding Wyoming’s jackalope, visit Jackalopes of Wyoming – Myth or Reality?

**Entityness is meant to suggest something that is capable of independent existence.

The emptiness of entityness is like the nonexistence of a human in a cairn that is mistaken from a distance to be a human.

To reflect upon the human body, sensations, sight, hearing, touch, taste, smell, thinking, and consciousness one finds each of these are dependent upon contact; for example, ears, bird’s song, and hearing consciousness.

Recommended readings:

D S Lopez, Jr. The Heart Sutra Explained

Red Pine, The Heart Sutra

Thich Nhat Hanh, The Other Shore