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Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day: Not just an excuse to BBQ and party by a pool.

I see all the posts of people drinking, bbq'ing, and livin it up poolside on the official kick-off-to-summer weekend that is Memorial Day. To me, it's so much more than that.
George Washington said, "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation." If we expect other people to make the ultimate sacrifice to keep our country in tact, we must show the ones who have already served the honor and respect that they have MORE than earned. We must take care of them, especially if they come home broken physically and/or emotionally.
For those who didn't come home at all, we must be supportive of their families and give them the respect and honor they deserve by taking care of them and honoring the memory of the soldier who was the parent, the grandparent, the spouse, the child, the sibling...
As the song goes... "All gave some and some gave all And some stood through for the red, white and blue And some had to fall" As we enjoy the official start of summer, pause to remember... and be thankful.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Images of Faith...

Faith is defined two ways... the first: Complete trust or confidence in someone or something. the second: Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
I see faith as more than those two definitions... and for sure more than this line: "spiritual apprehension rather than proof"
The "proof" is all around us in the kind actions of mankind.
In the beauty that is the land and the sea...
...and the skies that He has not only created for us but entrusted to us to protect...
The proof is in all of God's creation for us to not just use and abuse, but care for... in every living thing...
...and the proof of our faith is there for me to enjoy, photograph, try to record for even just an instant to keep for a lifetime (or longer).

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Photograph...

I recently posed this "challenge" on my facebook photography page. Simply fill in the blank to "A photograph..." There were some great responses!
Stephanie S said... "A photograph is a moment of both the person taking the picture and the person viewing the picture's soul being in display."
Jessie R said... "A photograph is the easiest way to speak loudly, but without ever saying a word."
Misty R said..."A photograph is like hitting the pause button in the real word."
Jenny S said... "A photograph can capture a memory for many lifetimes to come."
Amy M said... "A photograph is worth a thousand words."
Kayla R said... "A photograph is for those nights you don't remember."
Glenda S said... "A photograph is an image of the photographer's soul."
Julie G said... "A photograph is a priceless memory or moment in time."
Donna U submitted two responses... "A photograph is like a joke. If you have to explain it, it isn't that good." AND "A photograph is life's pause button."
Brittany W said... "A photograph is a timeless secret that only the photographer holds."
Janette J said... "A photograph always captures what the heart yearns to hold but fears it will forget."
These are all excellent, and they all touched me in some way. I especially loved the idea of photography pausing that crazy-ness that is the hectic-ness of LIFE these days. And - just like Ansel said - I do believe a photographs express the artist's soul and is a true relationship between the viewer and the photographer...
... but there can only be one winner. And, as odd as it may be, I am going out on a limb and selected the one that made me just literally laugh out loud. A great DEEP laugh that I could feel all the way from my toes to my head! And, I am also going to post an "old school" photo of myself and friends that fits the winning response!
Congrats to Kayla R who said..." A photograph is for those nights you don't remember" & she is winning a prize! :)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

So, what is a photograph?

Is it art? Is it a documentation of our history? Is it a twisted version of reality? What is a photograph to you? It's a question I constantly pose to people. I think a photograph can be many things; historical, emotional, fantasy, reality, art, not art... Photography plays many roles.
It can be a reminder of places we have visited... or a reminder of who we once were...
It can capture a fleeting moment that we would like to hold on to forever, even though what is recorded as a little digital file and uploaded to a computer or printed on paper never can honestly capture the temperature, wind speed, or the pitter-patter of our heart at the exact moment we "clicked" that image for posterity...
It can trigger a memory... of a time when a child carefully looked between the railing of a bridge calling to an animal she heard in the woods. It can open a flood gate of emotion by simply taking us back to a time and a place. Photographs are excellent time machines.
Photographs are portals into our memory banks. I can look into one and be sitting in the Portland, OR Saturday Market in April of 2010. Honestly, I could end up anywhere at any age by looking into a photograph. It's pretty amazing when I think about it.
The truth is that it is difficult to say what a photograph is, or isn't. To me, it's all about the feelings the viewer has when they are gazing into the image. That's the beauty and power of life, of art, and of photographs.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Go West. Haven't you been told? California is full of... PHOTOS

Ansel. Mr. Adams. Ever heard of him? If not, "google him up" as my friend Slava Bowman would say. "Just google him up!"
He inspires me despite the fact he passed many moons ago. I finally got on a plane, went WEST... and saw the places he saw, stood where he stood, and tried to capture those feelings in images. Not easy.
That first taste of Yosemite and the Sierras was in 2009. I haven't been the same. I was so hooked I went not once, but TWICE in 2010.
I can't describe how I feel in Northern California. Lake Tahoe. Donner Pass. Hwy's 395 & 89. Yosemite. Kings Canyon. The Redwoods. The crystal clear water of the Merced. Flakes of fools gold in the sand beneath your toes in nearly every mountain lake you encounter. Bodie. Lassen. Every turn is a new experience... an impessive vista...eloquent light.
I physically feel better when I am there. The air is lighter. My spirit swells with the feeling of freedom, yet at the same time there is an overwhelming feeling of responsiblity because this is God's Creation that he put out there for us to enjoy and protect.
Last summer, 2011 I didn't make it to Northern California. This summer, I got the itch again. I feel like I am missing something by not being there. Will I make it happen? I certainly hope so. If not, 2013 is a MUST.