07 November 2016
Taken with Camera+ and edited in Snapseed and Pixlr
Let me know which you prefer and why. Click on image to enlarge, which takes you to another page. If you decide to leave a comment, please return to this page.
In this election season that has induced much anxiety and stress, nature becomes even more crucial to my day. And so it was easy to transport myself to Longwood Gardens, which is a frequent sanctuary for my well-being.
While strolling the grounds and meandering through the conservatory, I was struck with a particular plant that evoked a deeply-felt response. I was a voyeur that witnessed the delicacy of time through a bonsai’s glacial growth. A pomegranate tree (Punica granatum, Southwest Asia), whose training began in 1910, astonished my sensibilities and rationality. I’ve seen this plant on many occasions, but this visit I really saw it.
There on this miniature tree was a sizable fruit, similar to what one would purchase during this season. Because of its juxtaposition to the plant that one fruit seemed larger than life itself. I was pulled into its story and its longevity. Time stood still with the bonsai’s minimalism, and yet it was wearing a centenarian’s coat.
In the Lens section are my two responses to that scene–that scene that made the other bonsai trees nearby fade into the background, as the pomegranate stood boldly statuesque. My interpretations are layered in a soft and more pronounced seeing of its aged stoicism.
Time shapes our language and our lives. We speak and think and know that time ticks to a certain cadence. Nevertheless, my concept of time and someone’s else tracks differently. It’s not simply one’s perspective that makes time’s meaning slide along a personal continuum. But it’s the rhythm that sways, for example, from a clock’s hand to a sundry of possibilities, including Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.
My vision of time runs with certainty through nature’s pathways. On most of my days its story transcends the expected, and situates itself in an untouchable realm—a realm that teeters between irrationality and rationality.
That makes perfect sense to me. While I can feel the weight of time in increments, I also can be lifted to new heights with its intangible gifts.
Tip of the Week:
Self-taught artist Manuel Álvarez Bravo (1902-2002) was a noted Latin American photographer who was considered one of the founders of modern photography. His Mexican roots were a signature for his work. During his earlier days of photography he met and worked with such other luminaries as Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, Tina Moditti, José Clemente Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros. He has been praised as a “poet of the lens,” especially telling the story of Mexico, its culture and people. He was feted and honored worldwide, and his work was exhibited in hundreds of exhibitions. Throughout his life he continued to produce work, the greatest volume being done between 1920s and 1990s. In an obituary from The New York Times (“Manuel Alvarez Bravo, Photographer, Dies at 100” by Jonathan Kandell, 21 October 2002; view here) Kandell wrote,
“…Mexican artists emerged as the vanguard and political conscience of a revolution whose radicalism was already waning. Such muralists as Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros strove to depict the socialist country that they hoped Mexico would eventually become. Rivera said, ”The painter who does not feel attuned to the aspirations of the masses — this man may not produce a work of art.” Mr. Alvarez Bravo shared that ideology. Before the 16th-century Spanish conquest of the Aztecs, he wrote, ”all art was of the people, and popular art has never ceased to exist in Mexico.” His subjects became workers and peasants and Indian life in the provinces. But Mr. Alvarez Bravo almost always managed to portray them in unconventional ways and through compelling images.”
Quotes by Bravo:
“The word ‘art’ is very slippery. It really has no importance in relation to one’s work. I work for the pleasure, for the pleasure of the work, and everything else is a matter for the critics.”
“I just get the will to do it. I don’t plan a photograph in advance… I work by impulse. No philosophy. No ideas. Not by the head but by the eyes. Eventually inspiration comes-instinct is the same as inspiration, and eventually it comes.”
View other entries for this week’s challenge:
As always I welcome comments about this post or any part of my blog. My photographs for the mobile photography challenge are taken with an iPhone 6.
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If you’d like to join this Mobile Photography Challenge, please click here for details and history of the challenge. If you have any questions, please contact me. Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming challenges:
1st Monday: Nature.
2nd Monday: Macro.
3rd Monday: Black and White.
4th Monday Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Animals, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Objects, Panorama, Portraiture, Photomontage, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).
5th Monday: Editing and Processing with Various Apps Using Themes from the Fourth Week.