16 December 2013
Let me know which you prefer and why.
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In my opinion one of the purist and powerful blessings of Mother Nature is her overarching effect upon us. My first gaze at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon solidified my belief in her omnipotence and majesty. That reaction was combined with outrageous magnificence at every turn in Arizona and Utah.
That long-ago trip, which introduced me to the Southwest of the U.S.A., was life changing. Still an overwhelming sense of joy and wonder can happen as I watch the yellow-bellied sapsucker drive its beak into my Bradford Pear tree. While it searches for a tidbit, I loose sense of time and place, I become nature.
These moments with Mother Nature awaken my spirituality in known and unknown ways. Each is a gift that continues to add to my story. Recently, my grandson called me a Transcendentalist, and my heart beat rapidly with his insight and my delight.
Last week’s first snowstorm of the season, which covered the region, embodied fragility and strength. Beauty was captured in the small and larger views through the snowfall. Each unique snowflake cascaded in and out of sight, but also became a blur–diving into the whole. Those memories awaken a reverence and a query about the passage of such moments.
One of the Transcendentalist was Ralph Waldo Emerson, who believed that each of us can find “an original relation to the universe.” That partnership is a thread that keeps my cup running over with humility and inspiration. Nature humbles and seduces me, serving as a steppingstone to understand myself and my ongoing search for answers.
It’s bitter cold, and quickly my survival instincts surface. I’m a warm-weather kind of gal, but seasonal shifts make up for extremes in weather. Still when it hit 19 degrees a few days ago, my physical being longed for warm nights of spring or hot mornings of summer.
As winter nears I layer and layer to be able to meander through local parks and woodlands where I find quiet, solitude and serenity. It’s a combination that includes comfort and solace. I’m energized by city life, but fully charged by nature’s effects upon me.
In the Lens section are a few peeks at our early December snowstorm and its aftermath. Ice and snow lingers, because temperatures continue to sway back and forth. A few days later more snow arrived, and brought freezing rain.
My enthusiasm for nature is always buoyed when forecasters misstep, which is exactly what happened this past weekend. Their inability to get it right is another instance that shows Mother Nature’s capacity to reign. She is the quintessential master and teacher, effecting all of us even when we do not realize it.
Tip of the Week:
“Every photograph is a battle of form versus content.” Garry Winogrand
“How do you take a photograph that is more interesting than what actually happened?…How do you beat it?” Garry Winogrand, 1977
Let me introduce you to one of the street photographers that has stolen my time. American photographer Garry Winogrand (1928-1984) was one of the most celebrated photojournalists whose body of work spanned from post-World War II to the 1970s. His earlier work documented twentieth-century New York, and later he chronicled the U.S.A. from East to West. His black-and-white oeuvre is a study in the art of seeing; his dramatic interpretations show the fleeting moments of street life. Winogrand’s life’s work will be feted by major museums through 2015. The exhibition began in California (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, March 9–May 31, 2013) and resumes next year. Here is the schedule: National Gallery of Art, Washington, March 2–June 8, 2014; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, May–August 2014; Jeu de Paume, Paris, October 2014–January 2015; Fundación MAPFRE, Madrid, March–June 2015. The National Gallery of Art’s website describes the show: “In the first retrospective of his work in 25 years, some 160 photographs in the exhibition and more than 350 in the accompanying catalogue will reveal for the first time the full breadth of Winogrand’s art through never-before-seen prints and proof sheets.” It’s an opportunity to see his works live. The New York Times “Lens: Photography, Video and Visual Journalism” Blog published an article about Winogrand and his contemporaries. Marvin Heiferman’s piece from 13 May 2013, can be read here. Winogrand was a master of the monochrome, and one of American art history’s finest visual storytellers. I hope you’re able to visit one of the museums that will honor his legacy.
Here are other entries for this week’s challenge:
Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Phoneography Challenges:
1st Monday: Nature
2nd Monday: Macro
3rd Monday: Black and White
4th and 5th Mondays: Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).