Tag Archives: Dreher Island State Park

Divergency? A Thoughtful Thursday

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I went for a walk today at the state park. It was a beautiful morning—temperature outside right at 70 degrees (in January, no less!), blue sky, breezy, but not so breezy that I felt as though the wind were pushing me down the road. I was in a thoughtful mood, trying to figure out what I wanted to “say” with my images today. I received an email from David du Chemin, one of my “mentor photographers,” even if he doesn’t know it!, announcing his next project about storytelling in photographs. I has some ideas of things I wanted to look for.

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I wanted to explore the idea of openness again since the theme for Adventures in Seeing—The Book is openness. I was also looking for light and shadow and contrasts—and anything else that presented itself to me.

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What I found was “divergency.”  I thought of Robert Frost’s poem that begins, “Two roads diverged in a wood.” And the idea of divergence as splitting apart into more than one way came to mind. How often do I come upon situations wherein there is more than one way to get to the same point? As an educator, I thought about divergent learners who do not always follow the linear path we teachers set for them. Again, the idea is that there is more than one way to reach the same destination. And, of course, there is the book Divergent, which I must admit I never quite finished. I noticed as I received the images today, that my photographs are definitely “divergent.”untitled-48

One thing that focusing on the concept of contemplative photography has taught me is that I have to be open to new ways of seeing even when I am seeing the “same old, same old.” I thought about that as I walked through the park. I have walked there regularly for a whole bunch of years, and the road I follow has not moved; the curves are still in the same places. . . . Yet, each time, it is different. The camera helps me see the new things.

“You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.” – Ansel Adams

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And then I saw this “story.” One of the very first poems I found that has stayed with me (besides “Nothing Gold Can Stay”) is Tennyson’s poem, “The Eagle.” I can imagine an eagle sitting in the top of this tree overlooking the lake, waiting for the precise moment to release his talons and dive for his prey.

The Eagle

BY ALFRED, LORD TENNYSON

He clasps the crag with crooked hands;

Close to the sun in lonely lands,

Ring’d with the azure world, he stands.

The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;

He watches from his mountain walls,

And like a thunderbolt he falls.

The Best of Intentions . . . .

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I did start the year with the best of intentions to write regularly in this space. Unfortunately, like so many intentions, this one fell by the wayside—again. The good thing about this space is that it is forgiving. it sits here waiting patiently until I come back to it.

Today, I made myself leave the house and go for a long walk. According to my FitBit, I walked for 71 minutes. Now you have to realize that I took the camera with me. So that meant I stopped—often—to take pictures, or to receive images, as Christine Valters Paintner would say. The weather was excellent, if breezy. At least the wind did not try to blow me off the planet as it did last week.

There were signs of spring and renewal all over Dreher Island State Park today. I will let the images speak for themselves.

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I had to fight against the wind to get these images. I hope I can get back to the park to see how these beauties look in a few days when they are fully open. (I’m also waiting for my flowering cherry tree to bloom.)

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Today’s prompt for the Capture Your 365 Challenge was “spire.” I immediately thought of church spires and steeples, but rather than do the obvious, I chose to photograph trees reaching to the heavens, branches raised in a glorious hallelujah of their own.

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Because there is no hunting allowed in the state park, the deer are very tame. This is the last of four that crossed in front of me. I looked at the deer; the deer looked at me. Then satisfied that he had seen enough of the human with the camera, it walked sedately into the woods to join the rest of the herd.

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And we humans cannot stop nature from doing her thing. These tiny flowers were growing in the cracks of the asphalt parking lot. I don’t know what they are called, but to me, they are tiny purple stars.

And after I came home and downloaded the images, I had to play in Photoshop.

You see the original in the second photo above. This is the final result.spring bloom

I like the “grunge” look, and I’ve been working through Sebastian Michaels’ Photoshop Artistry class to learn how to combine and blend layers to create something like “fine art.” I still have a lot to learn about manipulating layers. So much of what I do is trial and error. (However, my son likes it!)