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Looking at it another way…

Photography is such a subjective art..

Always looking to see things in a different light… as it were…

The hints and tricks abound…
Leading lines , and placement of the ‘subject’ in certain areas of the frame.
Quadrants, and zone focusing…

Adams, and Cartier-Bresson, and any number of flash (HAH!) in the pan photographers.
Fashion photographers, and street photographers, and landscape photographers…
Papparazzi…

Any style of photographer you can come up with… there’s a practitioner out there who claims it for the one true style…

Don’t get me started on style…

But as long as you take what is good, and can see your way through the pretentious and the merely stylistic nonsense… as long as you can see your way through the fluff of another trying to convince you to join their cult… you’ll be okay…

Don’t let the naysayers and the “anything, as long as it’s new…” campers get to you…
In whatever you do…
Business, or teaching, or the law… politics… you have to decide.

Will you be a sheep, following the loudest, most selfish and obnoxious ram out there?
Or will you decide for you and yours what is to be important, in spite of the opinions of others…?

And for God’s sake, don’t try to foist your personal leanings onto others.
It just pisses them off, and makes you look like everyone else on the planet.

Don’t we have enough cults as it is…?
Practise what you preach, and let the chips fall where they may…

I’m partial to my chips baked these days…

 

So, anyway… the photo above…
Colorful…
Dramatic…
… you know…

Stuff…

And if we look at it as a mapping of light and dark?
What picture emerges if we’re successful at subjugating our imagination?

If I can take the bright areas as a given, and all dark and shadowed regions as a making, if you will, a set of nature-imposed blinders, which only allow us to see so much but no more…
What might I be looking at?

Does anyone else see a incredibly stylized (there’s that word again…) hourglass?
How about an old-time pump handle…?
Maybe the number Nine, seen from behind…?

Anyone…?
Anyone…?
Anyone…?

Bueller…?

 

And what does it say about me… or you, for that matter… that I see the backwards nine plain as day… but only if I consciously ignore parts of the thought experiment I’ve imposed upon myself…?

 

How should I know…?
I’m just as lost as the next guy..

 

But I try to be at least conscious of my personal foibles… my limitations…
If not actively at war with them!

 

 

 

 

 

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The gull of my dreams…

 

Well, now…

It’s been bloody cold around here of late…

Highs in the teens would count as a heat wave…

It’s been the kind of cold where the merest zephyr of a breeze feels like someone has run you through with their seventeenth best, rusty ol’ serrated steak knife (which they found hanging around in the kitchen junk drawer), and then proceeded to take said knife on a slow little walkabout of your innards…

The kind of cold where you warm the car up, and then turn on the heater… and even though air technically hot enough to sterilize surgical instruments is coming out of the vents, you’re still wrapped up in 1,000,006 different layers of thermal… somethings or the other…

The kind of cold where you want to cuss like the dickens, every time life requires you to move about in such nasty, brutal stuff, but you’re afraid that your great, great, great, great… great grandchildren will be permanently traumatized by the use of such creatively scandalous language…

“Wow, don’t you blow that stuff around here, you dad-gummed, motherless son of a biscuit eating, spotted owl kissing, tree hugging, liver-lipped…”

“… um… was that my outside voice…?”

The kind of weather where you just automatically respond to any and all outdoor situations with the following…

“You want me to go where…?”
“In this weather…?”
“Are you insane…?”

Feel free to adopt this as your own little ray of abundant sunshine, in all such types of weather scenario… thingies…

I’ve finally reached a dubious and highly unstable level of “warmth” for myself, while inside…
It involves only 1,000,003 of those thermal whatchamacallits…
Roasted on an open fire… then we wrap me all up inside them.
And then we stick them right back where I found them.
Back in that fire…
Right next to the chestnuts…

The guy shown above was equally as cold…
But while his erstwhile flock was actually floating out in the water (…”are they insane…?”), this fellow was determined to stick it out on the post, in case someone might lose something edible from within those battle-sealed, liquid furnaces which have to pass for cars these days…
Of course, every once in a while, he’d pop up to a standing position, like the one seen here, but that left his nether regions susceptible to (have I mentioned) the ridiculously frigid air… and then he’d have to plop right back down again, to try and keep his thermals from getting all in a bunch…

First time I’ve ever seen a demonstration of saltwater musical chairs, if you will…

Pop goes the seagull…

 

 

But I gotta say…
I think he’s taken the whole nose piercing craze just a bit far…

 

 

 

 

 

So small, and far away…

 

On this, the day of the Winter Solstice here in the northern reaches of th USA, the shortest day of the year is also bright and sunny… after several weeks of less than stellar weather…

The above photo was taken 2 days ago, during a fluke clearing of the skies.

The sun looks so small and far away.

Now begins the long, slow, and ofttimes painful climb back into the longer days, and warmer weather… just like every year about this time…

Funny how that works out, huh?

 

 

 

 

 

Rice fields…

 

The rice fields of Vietnam.
In the Sa Pa region, to be specific…

What a lovely people.
So warm, and generous…

I’d definitely go back one day, should the opportunity arise.

A little about the picture…

I had just completed 2+ years in the urban environment of Macau, and was desperate for a view such as this one. I had already spent a month in Thailand, and two weeks in Cambodia, but nothing really presented itself to me, without the marks of Man all over it.

And then, on the first day in Sa Pa, we passed so much greenery, I was beside myself.
Which is a neat trick… if you can pull it off.

There might be those who would postulate that this, too, has the footprint of human habitation…
Profoundly!

But after so long in what was, arguably, the most densely populated environment on earth, I was ready to accept whatever was being offered…

Kinda like being a photographer… in a zen sorta way!

 

 

 

 

Moody…

 

… and not in a good way…

We are currently in the middle of the first snow of our season.
I’ve just come in from the first shoveling of said snow…

It’s now after sunset, and unless I turn on some lights…

“What are you trying to do, light up the entire neighborhood when I was your age we had to shovel snow 5 miles uphill both ways what were you raised in a barn somebody better start turning off some lights when they leave the room or there’s gonna be a whole lot of unhappy people around here come Christmas…”

*ahem*

I say, the snow isn’t scheduled to stop until around midnight, so it there’s anything worth taking a photo of, I’ll get it in the morning…

Meanwhile, a picture with some sunlight in it…
Even if it is a moody light…