I looked yesterday at some of my photos taken two years ago.
They are mostly street photographs taken at the Farmers Market during summer.
Some of them have stories, other just interesting moments.
Indian summer was very kind this year. It lasted and lasted.
I took photographs of almost every festive tree on my way
and sometimes it felt that I was living in the joyful and sunny world.
The tree by the pond was wonderful
but the background was cluttered and destructive.
I looked at the pond and the reflections
of the whole scene were simple and interesting.
There is a completely different mood in this photograph.
It’s lighter. The conversation between two angels only started.
It’s about purpose and belonging.
It’s about pleading to stay in the place which gives you comfort and peace.
And a decision not to do that.
“Everything you blame, you are stuck with. Bless it. Wish it well. Wish it own freedom, and it will be very powerful in the way that it will not come back to you.” Adyashanti
I never thought that blame is energy which always looking for resolution and if you don’t wish it well it will always be drawn back to you. Interesting.
Why primitive photography? Why Zone plate instead of lens? It’s difficult to answer on this question but somehow my curiosity led me to the beginning of 20th century and works of pictorial photographers. I loved their images, impressionistic soft focus, how they embraced simplicity and imperfection.
First, I couldn’t take photographs with Zone plate. I struggled with exposures. Recently I got advice to use a tripod and long exposures. And it worked. To the point.
This photograph is about strength and survival.
It’s about how many obstacles this little courageous tree has to overcome .
How many storms it has to withstand.
Every year this tree will grow stronger and stronger
and remind us that home is neither here nor there.
Home is within us.
I don’t remember the exact day I found the small village chapel but I remember three dogs who greeted me in the chapel’s backyard. They were big, old and hardly walked.
Those were my unforgettable moments; the old dogs, the colorful carpet of autumn leaves, nice crispy air and peacefulness of a small and welcoming place.
This time I didn’t meet the dogs. The backyard was neatly cleaned. Its cleanness was sad and not inviting.
But there was something new and unexpected. There was the stature of a girl with a jar I didn’t see before.
You come to places you like and expect them to be the same but those places always betray you.
There is a spirit and transformation in the trees. They are constantly changing and never the same.
It seems that this tree is a little bit taller than it was last year and definitely stronger.
Last Sunday morning in the mountains greeted me with hail and strong wind. Hail was dry, quiet gentle and tolerable. I was heading back to my car when I saw a young raccoon siting on a tree.
He probably was scared of me but tried to remind calm. I have never seen before a raccoon hiding on a tree.
Photography is about making decisions, luck and patience. I learned it a few days ago. When I saw wild geese preparing for migration I thought, well I didn’t have a telephoto lens and wild geese would look like small black dots on my pictures. Am I OK with it? Of course, I was. Did I have a choice? I even began to think about my pictures as sketches. For the future.
And then luck came. Wild geese were flying over my head and they didn’t look on the screen of my camera like small black dots. They were visible and beautiful.
Geese flew many times toward my direction. First they appeared from nowhere. I could hardly see them, I only heard their voices. They were wonderfully loud letting me know that they are approaching. Then they flew over my head and I took as many pictures as I could hoping to get one decent. It was a very short moment, just a few seconds and they were gone.
I waited for them about ten minutes to appear again. I was wondering around hoping to see them again. The whole adventure was great. I was waiting, then taking pictures of geese like a crazy person, then waiting again.
And here are my pictures of wild geese. As you see they already chose their leader. It’s a mystery for me how they did it. How did they know that this particular bird is the wisest and the strongest?
Autumn starts early in the mountains. And it doesn’t last long.
I should be happy about it and I am. But… I will patiently wait for cloudy and rainy days. I love flat light. It brings beautiful colors, more subdued, more neutral. Almost pastel colors.
I bought the hunting rubber boots with high traction. I tested them a few days ago walking on the field. They are great and warm but on a heavy side. No more worries about muddy trails and pools.
Life is good.
Yesterday, I was in the quietest forest you could possibly imagine. There were no birds, no animals, no insects. At some moment I felt that this quietest forest separated me from cities and people. Odd feeling…
I probably should celebrate autumn but it arrived freezing cold and rainy. No smooth transition. I will miss summer for a while and then I will welcome autumn with its rainy cold days and wait for Indian summer, several heavenly warm days at the beginning of October.
That was the last warm summer day in the mountains. It was breezy but later everything calmed down and I felt so peaceful, so relaxed for the first time in weeks.
I watched for a while horses who ignored me completely. I was so grateful for this luck of attention. I listened to the wind, I totally was absorbed in the present moment and wanted that it would last and last. And then I left the pasture with horses and drove a little bit further and found aspens. They are almost like birches. I saw them and I wasn’t anymore in Northern Utah, I was in my native country where the birches are tall and strong, they whisper to the wind and to you if you approach to them closely.
I am waiting for Indian summer when October will kindly give us ten more warm days.
My recent inspiration is the British color blind photographer Chris Friel. Every day I look at his photographs and reread his interview where he mentioned that he likes to use the long exposures and multiple exposures to create his very unique abstracts.
I didn’t figure out what is so special about long exposures. Not yet. Some day I hope I will. Meanwhile, I am learning how to take photographs with double exposure. The images above are my first creative attempt to do something serious and different with double exposure where two frames are combined together.
It was a pure luck that near flowers there was a huge power transformer and some “artist” painted on it with a chalk “abstracts”. It worked like this; first I shoot the flower then I ran to the power transformer to shoot the “abstracts”. It took many trips but eventually something decent came out of it.
And then I tried to take photos of horses with double exposure. And it worked. Of course, I am the only one who is excited about the photo below but at this point it doesn’t matter.
What did I do for a few weeks being away from my blog? I shoot nature. Mostly trees. I tried to be creative with double exposure. Actually, struggled with it. I tried not to hear a lot of negative voices, just chose one to which I wanted to listen. And listened to it. The voice of a virtual friend who is a very objective. No praise but a lot of good advice.
What else? I tried to go into the direction where my curiosity is. It led me to Causey Dam. I wasn’t there for a few years. It’s a breathtaking place especially at the beginning of autumn. I wish I could get there in winter but the road which leads to it will be closed. Too icy, too dangerous to be there.
Some will not.
they will pick at and dissect and reject
everything good that you thought to offer.
be content with both
both the light and dark
assist in discovering the neon of your soul.
Alexandra Elle, Neon Soul
Yesterday I went to explore the industrial area in our city where they store grain and found myself “landing” on a different planet. This planet was filled with huge industrial buildings, tracks, warning signs and a few security cars.
The whole place was so impersonal that it didn’t speak to me.
Life is good.
We all have a voice within us which constantly saying that we are not that and this.
Sometimes it’s very convinsing and makes you believe it. You believe that you are creating crap, that your efforts are waisted away, that you lost a reason and going in a wrong way.
And then you gather all your confidence and say to self over and over again that you are on the right path and you are doing a reasonable thing and nothing waisted. No one effort. No one bad photograph. You call your bad photographs “sketches”. And you feel relief because right now your bad “sketches” are your teachers. They are your best personal university and you are on a very exciting journey which doesn’t have a final destination.
Life is good!
Streets, mountains, again streets… that is my usual route with my camera. Sometimes it feels that I am lost between two worlds. Urban and nature.
I learned that the streets can talk even when they are deserted and they can surprise you with an unexpected moment which you can’t grasp right away only feel it vaguely.
And only later you think about luck and began to believe that it visited you and you immensely grateful, grateful that your camera like the old loyal friend didn’t betray you, that the cheap plastic optic this time had a mercy on you and didn’t demand something not achievable.
Life is good!
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
their bad advice…
from poem Journey by Mary Oliver
I found this flower in the ditch and thought how many flowers were shouting to this wild daisy that it chose the wrong place to be. You need to love life so much to be that brave.
We didn’t go to Jackson, Wyoming to watch the full solar eclipse totality. The totality in our state ( Northern Utah) was partial, only 96 % but we still experienced many signs of it.
In early morning I went to water my garden and it was incredibly bright outside. I have never experienced such bright light. Even wearing my sunglasses I still felt a little discomfort in my eyes.
At 10 a.m we turned on the Weather channel to check out what is happening in the nearby state Wyoming where thousands of people gathered to watch the full solar eclipse. During totality the temperature drops a few degrees and it’s getting cooler. And it happened. Our local temperature dropped three degrees, from 91 F to 88 F.
The most fun I had watching how it was slowly getting darker and darker in our garden. Around 11 a.m it was quite dark and felt like we were in late afternoon. Shadows also became long.
Our partial totality happened around 11:55 a.m and lasted only 2 minutes 38 seconds. We didn’t experience total darkness. We watched on TV how Jackson went into darkness and it was so emotional and so thrilling that at some point I desperately wanted to be there wearing special solar eclipse glasses and taking pictures of total solar eclipse. Instead, I found a picture from Internet ( above) just to remember how it looks when the moon blocks the sun.
Next totality will happen in 2744 in our region. It’s 727 years from now.
I watched the swallows for an hour. According to my observation, they are quiet possessive of their territory. To be accepted by another swallow and share with him/her a wire was not easy. But some were able to do it. Probably, they have more easygoing personalities.
I googled about swallows and learned that they are called the “birds of freedom” because they can’t endure the captivity and only mate in the wild. The swallows live only three years.
The pier was narrow, light and shaky. At some moment I felt slightly dizzy walking on it. While walking on that pier I thought about the other piers in my life; there were not many of them. Only three.
A two story condo. A little porch. A big steep hill in front of the porch. Just a few steps from our house. It’s summer and the hill is covered with tall dry grass. My first summer in Utah. Unmercifully hot and unusually long. It’s already early September but the temperature outside is still close to one hundred.
For me trees always were the teachers. I thought about them as lonely people and exceptionally strong. They don’t loose themselves; they always fight for life with all their strength. They fight to build their own form and represent themselves to the world.
When the tree is dead (picture above) and reveals it naked death to the sun and wind, rain and storm; you can read its whole story of the struggle, of the sickness. You can learn how many attacks it withstood, how many storms it endured.
If you need help to build your ship don’t tell people how to build boats. Show them the beauty of sailing.