Today’s images are certainly not my top of the line creations. What they are is, a small group of photos that I made along the shores of Lake Michigan.
Let’s begin with two very cool species of birds.
How about four Hooded Mergansers swimming together in a Lake Michigan bay? Two boys and two girls. The perfect double date.
Caspian Terns stop over on Lake Michigan and while they are here, they will court and mate. The pictures below are actually part of courtship just before consummation. This usually winds up with the perfect romantic ending, but in this case it was all just foreplay. In the first shot, it seems like a third tern just wants to look away.
Sometimes the most common of birds afford us the best opportunities to work on our photography. In the end, all birds are cool.
There is nothing like getting down to eye level with your subjects to add an element of humanism to their persona. You almost get seasick watching this little Mallard baby ride the waves.
Soar Like an Eagle
Common gulls like the Ring-billed and Herring provide lots of chances to practice shots of birds in midair. They’re pretty good subjects in and of themselves.
Political Correctness in the Church
Here’s a thought that will anger thousands (well, maybe not quite thousands on this blog) of people attending Christian churches. You cannot preach the Word of God, and remain politically correct. Read the Bible, it’s impossible. For those preachers who cannot bring themselves to preach the whole Bible, you have either given up your purpose or you never had it. Take note, I did not say you have to be mean. You have to preach the truth….and it ain’t politically correct. That might be, because in today’s world, those who create each and every new round of political correctness, are often among the least Godly among us. The political correctness Gestapo, are certainly preachers in their own right, just not Christian preachers.
We usually all attach too much importance to first impressions. Even after knowing somebody for years, I am often shocked at what I didn’t know about them. I’m even better at shocking others as I tend to be slow to divulge who I am.
Every single person on earth makes judgments, and profiles others on who and what they seem to be. Each and every one of us does that. Profiling what we see and judging what that means and how we should act, is an instinctual inner safety device that we all possess. That’s okay, as long as we don’t make those early decisions our final ones. Leave room to be surprised, both pleasantly and horribly. Even when you have known someone for years, you may not have met the “whole person” yet.
Recently an old friend of mine had gone through some professional changes and wrote a post on social media explaining to everyone why she made those changes. She mentioned me in that post and described both of us as loners. Now I am not surprised when someone calls me a loner, despite the fact there have been some people who have known me who would argue that I am not. I was however surprised that she also called herself a loner. I have always thought of her as an outgoing, and very social person.
To back track a minute, nature photography, when it was only a part time business or hobby, was an escape for me from days of commissioned route sales and the necessity to constantly talk to others. Just me and the birds, or insects, or flowers, or sunrises, or anything else, was heaven on earth and an incredible escape. I needn’t worry whether this duck was telling me the truth or just shmoosing me. That butterfly didn’t care whether I could come through with my promises or not. Most of all, my friends in nature didn’t expect me to talk, although at times I did.
None of that means that I didn’t have some blasts making pictures in a group, or that I don’t cherish the times I have spent making pictures with special friends. It means that I need time alone.
Now back to my friend. When I thought about her claim that she and I were both loners, I realized that I never appreciated the fact that she spent a lot of time in nature alone, or running or working out alone. There was a reason why we enjoyed making pictures together. It was that we could both go silent for a while and get lost in our own photography. Then when we needed someone to talk to, we were each right there. It’s good to have friends who understand and accept who we are, but it is even better when we recognize who they are and accept that too.
No! I will not be stopping my commentary on current day subjects or my criticism of what I see that’s wrong. Those are my opinions based on my observations, and yes they include some judgment calls. I too am human and I cannot arrive at a belief system which is based on rights and wrongs, without judgment, which sometimes is arrived at after a profile of a person or a group has brought me to a conclusion. I do however, always allow that I could be in error, and I wait for that moment which could prove me wrong.
First impressions, those fleeting moments when we judge who someone is, are not only fleeting but they are incorrect much of the time. It takes time to know someone. Even then, we might (an example) think because someone is well-spoken and seemingly at ease with groups of people, that they are crowd seekers, when in reality, they are quiet and self-reflective. They might even be called loners. If we keep our minds open, we might just manage to make new friends out of old friends.
God Bless, Wayne