Looking Down + Cliches

Only a couple of the images below have not been shared before, and
some have been around the block seemingly even more times than I have.
Such is the way for a “retired” photographer.

The flower season is in its yearly “end times” in these parts, so I
thought I would include a few blossoms in this mini portfolio.

I do not know what sort of flower this is, but I remember making this
picture. Find some beautiful top light falling into a deep, dark
forest, and a semi translucent flower of a gorgeous nature, and add a
shadowed background, and simple art is born.  No need for me to be an
artist. My job was to recognize it and share it.
1HH Sept 076

Flowers make beautiful pictures in every state of their existence.
These wild Geranium petals were just laying there on a cushy bed of
moss, waiting for someone to notice.

Rule: When out in the field, never forget to look down.

This 2006 image was made with a 300mm macro lens. The f/25 aperture
tells me that there was a clean green background to deal with.  It is
nice to be able to stop down the lens and still have an unobtrusive
background. The 1/5th sec. shutter speed means two things. One, I had
my camera on a sturdy tripod, and two, it was not windy when I snapped
the shutter.

I miss this sort of photography more than any other.

One more in “macro mode”. This is a flawless specimen of a Tiger
Swallowtail Butterfly. I would suggest by its un-faded, un-tattered
wings, that it unfurled itself and dried off on the very morning I
made this image.  A caterpillar no more. A true metamorphosis!

Such a beautiful creature. Taking a walk on a summer’s day can be a
blessing from God, especially when you look down.

I don’t believe I have ever shared before this particular photo of a Great
Egret. That’s likely because this specific shot (a
crop), is tight (especially at the bird’s head), to the point of being
uncomfortable. I imagine that the birds head is in the same location in the frame in the un-cropped image as is this one. In other words, the cropping was made at the bottom of the frame, and from left to right.

With all of that said, it is a flattering view of this beautiful
bird, partially due to the species, but mainly due to the gorgeous
morning light.
5HorD8002 076b

I love Grebes. This is one of a series of images I made of this
particular bird. It is a Western Grebe.  I have photographed this
species before in Colorado but this one was captured here in
Wisconsin.  As a myriad of birders told me after I shared my images,
they just don’t belong here. After I posted a link of my images on the
email birding network I belonged to at the time, I received a flood of
replies in search of the location of said bird.  Alas, this one lone
Western Grebe was gone by the time anybody else made it there.

As for me, I gave thanks and moved on to my next subject.
6Copy of DSC_8614-01

Ah those Guadalupe’s!!

I have been to the Texas portion of the Guadalupe Mtns. twice. Once in
1992 in the film days, and again in 2005 in the digital era. Both
trips were fruitful but on this second visit, I had the opportunity to
“work” El Capitan in varied light. I also took the opportunity to both
over and underplay the actual peak by hiking back and forth
physically, and/or changing to differing focal lengths of lens. This wide
angle shot “made much” of the Agave Cactus in the foreground, while
using that magnificent mountain as a finishing point to our visual
journey. The afternoon light was pretty, and the mixture of shadow and
sunshine added a little character to the scene.
7zzCopy of Copy of DSC_0144 copyAnd2more

As the fall season moves on, soon scenes like the one you see below
will be the norm. I used an 18mm wide angle lens, pointed
predominantly downhill, so to speak.  I think the vertical format
“bonds” the vertical stretch of the tree trunk, with the finished image.
That wide angle view, and the steep way I had the tripod tipped
downward, account for some visual distortion. I knew that at the time
as an occasional departure from reality can keep our photographic
vision fresh and new.

There are pictures absolutely everywhere. Always look down.

Un-ringing The Bell

I wonder how many clichéd sayings there are in the world. There is a
reason they exist, and persevere.

I have always had a tendency to “burn my bridges” ( a cliché ) behind
me. In the few instances where I have “kept the bridge intact”, I have
been blessed for doing so. Still, anyone who might look at my life,
would say he has burned his bridges behind him.

Then there’s “crying wolf” (another cliché). People will turn away
eventually if you issue warnings that “don’t bare fruit” (another
one). You might try to explain your actions, but you can’t un-ring the
rung bell (there I go again).

What’s the point to all of this fodder?  (Remember the Allan Sherman
song, Hello Mudder, Hello Fadder, Here I Am At Camp Granada?)

Everything that perseveres in our lives, that transcends time and
holds up against a world that disdains and shuns its own learned
wisdom, and even seems to relish in an ignorance of history, has
remained for a reason. It goes beyond liberalism and conservatism and
political parties. The Good Lord seems to make sure, that mankind
keeps a modicum of sense by keeping in front of us, those few sayings
that have guided us with a shared sense of unity. While all too often,
we use them as weapons instead of guiding lights, it is still
comforting to know, or at least hope, that those clichéd sayings,
might be a melding point that we can fall back on universally, to keep
us together.

God Bless,

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