14 November 2016
Taken in Camera+, Mextures, Hipstamatic and Pixlr
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As I completed my latest photomontage, I realized the greater role that my subconscious inserts in the image making. A few days later I gave the completed image the title, “Shadow of our Former Shelves;” the connection with this week’s historic campaign and election in my country suddenly was obvious.
My “subconscious” needed to create the composite photograph to reflect my inner voice’s texture and tone in the aftermath of America’s election. It’s a prime example of how the conscious can be influenced and swayed by the other layers of our brain/mind. It’s a complex and mysterious interaction.
During my walk in the beginning of the week my eye was caught by a leaf in a stage of decomposition, on the sidewalk and for the moment suspended in time. I was entranced with its aestheticism, its fanciful display in the last phase of its existence.
While the leaf still was recognizable, it was a shadow of its original self. Eventually, it would be without definition, and yet at that moment of discovery it spoke loudly about the life cycle, the autumnal season, and forces that conspire to change perception and perspective.
As I was contemplating the image’s transformation into other forms, I realized that it was a tout de force for my reactions to this week’s historic election—an election that catapults my country into a future that will carry a shadowy cloud for four years, and will undoubtedly redefine what our nation represents. I am anxiously agitated at the unknown, the possibilities of human rights and civil liberties being reduced. But also I am profoundly concerned about the health of the planet.
Clouds can exude all kinds of outcomes. There is no crystal ball that can predict America’s future. I only know that day-to-day life will be on the edge for many of us.
Still, I have the promise of nature’s offerings and her steadfast majesty. I plan to advocate more on her behalf, and through image making record her beauty and omnipotence
Tip of the Week:
“Sometimes I spend all day trying to count the leaves on a single tree… Of course I have to give up, but by then I’m half crazy with the wonder of it–the abundance of the leaves, the quietness of the branches, the hopelessness of my effort. And I am in that delicious and important place, roaring with laughter, full of earth-praise.” ~~ Mary Oliver
For something a little different I am introducing Mary Oliver (b. 1935), who is a popular American poet and essayist. Through her observant eye Oliver explores the natural world. The New York Times has called her poems “thoroughly convincing—as genuine, moving, and implausible as the first caressing breeze of spring.”
Here is a sample of her lyricism and devotion to nature:
I thought the earth remembered me,
she took me back so tenderly,
arranging her dark skirts, her pockets
full of lichens and seeds.
I slept as never before, a stone on the river bed,
nothing between me and the white fire of the stars
but my thoughts, and they floated light as moths
among the branches of the perfect trees.
All night I heard the small kingdoms
breathing around me, the insects,
and the birds who do their work in the darkness.
All night I rose and fell, as if in water,
grappling with a luminous doom. By morning
I had vanished at least a dozen times
into something better.
from “Sleeping In The Forest” by Mary Oliver
© Mary Oliver
You can read more about Mary Oliver here. Recognition for her writing is wide and broad. She has, for example, won the National Book Award, the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her work is a gentle and strong reminder of Mother Nature’s power to change our own lives.
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.