Friday, 07 April 2017 08:27

Galilee Only Slightly Disturbed

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The grand landscapes are the straightforward part of the process, but photographic "seeing" involves so much other. "Being present" is the beginning and it proceeds from there to the connection with the everyday beauty that surrounds us. Even in a world seemingly turned on its head, that beauty is always present to remind us of the blessings we have been given and for which we are responsible. There are two spaces remaining in the Mindfulness and Photographic Seeing Retreat Bonnie and I are offering from May 4-7 at Mountain Lens Retreat Center. It's about making connections with the everyday beauty. Come join us.

The everyday beauty of the Ocean State, Rhode Island, is so much more than coastlines and harbors and wildlife refuges; it is the small inlet that shelters the fishing fleet at Galilee and the wonderful reflections that are found on a surface only slightly disturbed by the elements all around. On a day of broken clouds I watched the reflections of the docked boats as their hulls moved in the softly rolling water making marvelous abstract patterns on the surface. A focal length of 330mm gave me the restricted angle-of-view I wanted. An aperture of f/18 provided adequate depth-of-field, given the camera-to-subject distance. A shutter speed of 1/25th second, allowed by ISO 200 gave me an overall medium exposure and allowed me to sufficiently freeze the motion of the water to create what my heart saw.

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  • Comment Link Donald McGowan Saturday, 15 April 2017 15:53 posted by Donald McGowan

    Good afternoon Everyone. Thank you all very much for joining me for this conversation. I think it's safe to say that you all know how I believe that we each see the world photographically in a primary way from among the finite ways in which the world can be "seen." "In abstraction" is, of course, one of those primary ways, and you all probably know that it is not my primary way of seeing. Still, I love abstracts and love creating them whenever conditions seem to warrant, as they certainly did that lovely afternoon in Rhode Island. One of the beauties of abstraction is that such images are primarily, if not exclusively, about "feeling"; and we are free to interpret them in whatever ways our emotions lead us, with whatever symbolisms our psyches offer.
    Ray, it is always a good day when you join us. I hope you have been very well; as much so as D.C. can offer these days. I'm very glad this Image has resonated with you so positively and has evoked such wonderfully positive memories to go along with the ones that are everyday reminders of positive journeys you have taken. I was intrigued in creating this image that there is an almost complete absence of warm tonalities, which seems to create a sense of peacefulness and soothing for me. The motion of the wavelets was very rhythmic and almost sing-song-like, which I think added to the patterning created by the reflected colors.
    Hey Chuck. We have really enjoyed having you with us in the Smokies these past few days. I feel that the cool tonalities I pointed out are what led to the evocations you have mentioned of peacefulness and restfulness. I think we sometimes overlook the power of cool tones to touch us so deeply (and positively). I agree completely: Nature is more than capable of producing abstractions at a level of evocation far superior to anything humans can imagine.
    Hey Warren. I am very glad you like it. I thought about you while I was creating it. I felt the same way about the decision to offer this as a vertical. It seemed that the energy of the Image was exacerbated by the frame resting on its short side, extending the sense of flow offered by the green and beige/white reflections. As one who really enjoys the abstract qualities of the natural world, I am deeply appreciative that this image spoke to you so well.
    Nancy T., it has been such a joy having you with us over the past days. It's great to see you enjoying playing with your camera again in the world of Nature. Thank you for all of your kind description. I felt and did everything you suggested and described: hypnotized and mesmerized. I did, indeed, put my camera down so that I could simply enjoy what was before me. It was a wonderful experience. Neither piano keys nor harp came to mind in my reverie, but I can appreciate your visualization of those terms and use of them in your description.
    Joel, my friend, I know how you, like Warren Bedell, love a thoughtful abstraction, and I appreciate that this one fit that category for you. As you suggest, so many of my favorite abstractions incorporate the element of water in some way. It sounds like your journey to Venice was a good experience, and I hope that such was the case. I hope your spring and summer turn out to be as pleasantly creative for you, whether you are in St. Louis, or elsewhere.
    Again, thank you all for your kind and thoughtful comments. May our paths take us of journeys rich with beauty and creativity.

  • Comment Link Joel Price Sunday, 09 April 2017 13:11 posted by Joel Price

    Don, This is gorgeous. Water seems to offer a wonderful photographic surface that is never dull or boring. I've just returned from a photographic trip to Venice, where the water provides a never-ending fascination. Joel

  • Comment Link Nancy Tripp Sunday, 09 April 2017 12:23 posted by Nancy Tripp

    Beautifully hypnotic. What a great find. It would have kept me there photographing it for a long long time. I hope I would be able to put my camera down and enjoy it for a while... probably not. I like the vertical format it makes it musical; like piano keys or a harp. Thanks for sharing. See you soon!

  • Comment Link Warren Bedell Sunday, 09 April 2017 11:28 posted by Warren Bedell

    I like it! Being somewhat a fan of abstract photography myself, this really resonates. The motion, real and implied, flows nicely through the image. When I first saw it I felt a horizontal treatment might have been better, but upon reflection, the vertical works best. And, as with all abstract images, it's not about the actual subject - it's about elements of design and relationships. Thanks for stepping into different territory.

  • Comment Link Chuck Coburn Sunday, 09 April 2017 10:12 posted by Chuck Coburn

    Don, Your image speaks to me of quietly drifting down a lazy river on a Sunday afternoon. The motion is peaceful, not rushing, and the colors are restful. The thought came to me that man can paint his abstracts but the are a far cry from what Nature can produce. Thanks for sharing this with us. Chuck

  • Comment Link Ray Foote Sunday, 09 April 2017 08:35 posted by Ray Foote

    Don, I love this image. The strong vertical composition, the colors moving from less to more intense as the eye moves downward,the mystery of what the green is reflecting (tree? boat?) all combine into a really pleasing shot. And it takes me back -- you know how pictures can do that -- immediately to a moment in Barcelona in college. My girlfriend and I were sitting by the water. A few things came together in my mind that made its way onto Kodachrome, in an image that still hangs in our home. In your picture, I like the way the colors on the blue become more and more wispy moving downward. They almost look like the palm fronds we'll be waving in a few hours. Ray

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