This too shall pass

Sometime beauty tumbles

There are few things in Nature more temporary than mayflys and (some) mushrooms.  The former comes with the rite of Spring and the promise of Summer to come, whereas the latter is an opportunistic, spore-driven wonder of Nature, which can take amazing shapes and present stunning beauty.

Quite often these beauties are reviled and simply trodden upon, rather than appreciated, as their location on forest floors doesn’t protect them from the inconsiderate travellers through their domain.

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The Gentle Mushroom

This little beauty stood proud among the detritus of the forest floor, showing off as a jewel among common pebbles.  Several hours after I captured it in this photo, it was gone….

Inspired by the WordPress Daily Post prompt of Temporary.

An Opaque Landscape

Opacity creates wonder!

We all need something Opaque in our lives from time to time, no matter how transparent we try to be in all our dealings.  It is through the opaque quantities in our lives that we learn to value both their presence and the transparency that surrounds them.

The opaque are the shadow to the light of transparency; without one, the other is not defined…

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PondScape

While looking for the Ponies of Chincoteague, opaque beauty lay right at my feet.  This is an image that I still enjoy looking at even after more than 3 years.

Technical Details

This image was captured using a Canon EOS 5D MkIII with an EF 70-200m/f2.8 lens. Exposure settings were 1/30s at f/6.3 and 800 ISO.

An Abstract Thought (or Two)

Autumn’s best morphs before us

Abstract photography is one of the areas of my photography that has to find me in the mood to play around with it.  The simple reason is that seeing the potential in the environment around me for an abstract exploration requires all of my senses, including the mind’s eye.

Being relaxed and in tune with my environment makes a big difference in how I see things, as they evolve around me, such as what happened in this little tree view that morphed itself…

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Autumn Serenity

What inspired me in this shot is the gentle warmth of the day, as the Sun played across the beauty of the color sported by these trees.

Shortly after the above image, a slight breeze picked up that gave me another idea…

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Autumn Winds

Seeing the play of the wind across the leaves with a sense of destiny awaiting, provided me with a deep sense of appreciation of the world around me.

Opening all of our senses puts us in touch with the universe and all the beauty that is encompassed by it.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Round-Up 28

Nature’s beauty and bounty!

The response to the past week’s theme of Nature’s Beauty was even better than the one we had for Candy!  Just goes to show that many of you have a sweet-tooth, but even more appreciate the lasting beauty that Nature provides for us.

This week’s prompt has received the largest number of responses to date, for which I am grateful to all of you.  Your posts to this challenge showcase some truly stunning photography!

A bit less showy than the Bird of Paradise flower, the simple Tulip is nonetheless beautiful!

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Simple Beauty

The following were this week’s participants in the challenge with links to their posts:

  • Michelle’s post in Southern by Design highlights the beauty of the Hibiscus with great aplomb!
  • Xenia writes Whippetwisdom, a wonderful blog chronicling the beauty she encounters with her dogs; she found so much beauty in Nature this week that she posted a second entry on Whippetwisdom!
  • Micks Blog is full of stunning photography, and his photo of the Robber Fly that he shared for this challenge is simply outstanding!
  • Miriam’s post in Shower of Blessing shows us a bubbling cauldron of hot springs in Yellowstone; it’s just lovely!
  • Natalia’s post in Caboosemama Little Pleasures has a great photo of a snail making a meal of a Hibiscus; yummy!
  • The entry from Leaking Ink, a beautiful blog, shows us a gorgeous Hanging Lobster Claw.
  • Ladyleemanilla stuns us with an array of Nature photography that is wondrous to behold!
  • Marie’s post in The New 3 Rs: Retire, Recharge, Reconnect shows us edible beauty in Zucchini flowers.
  • Miriam’s entry from Out an’ About shows us Nature across the seasons with beautiful images.
  • Judith’s post in  Nature Knows Best has some beautiful photos of the area, in which she lives, including an irresistible cat!
  • Debbie posted about her visit with her family in her blog Forgiving Connects, and shared Nature’s Beauty with us!

Thanks to each of you for wonderful contributions to this week’s theme.  You definitely have me charged up for creating something new tomorrow!!

Thoughts on Nature’s Beauty

Nature’s musings

Given this week’s theme of the Tuesday Photo Challenge, I thought I’d spend a post musing a bit about what makes Nature so beautiful to us.

Beauty has been part of philosophical discussions across the ages, and one aspect of the perception of beauty is the emotional impact that it has on us humans.  Of course, any emotional connection is intensely personal, which accounts for tastes varying across cultures and people.

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Autumn’s Leaves

One of the constants in beauty, which crosses all cultures, is the appreciation for the stunning displays that are provided to us by Nature.  Throughout the history of humanity, Nature has played a crucial role in the definition of all things beautiful, examples of which can be found in art across the ages.

One might wonder what the reason is for this.  One aspect could be physiological in that our eyes have developed to recognize the harmonious aspects of Nature, which gives us an advantage in detecting those things that may be breaking that harmony and present a danger to us; of course, this is part of the ever-evolving game between prey and predator.

What thoughts do you have about Nature’s beauty?  How is it appreciated within your cultural context?  I’d love to hear!

Sunday Morning – Photography

Learning opportunity

This weekend I am attending a photography workshop taught by Boston-based, freelance photographer Rick Friedman.  Besides being an accomplished photographer who has captured many celebrities across the spectrum, Rick is a great teacher, who is eager to share his accumulated knowledge and makes it fun to learn.

So, I am definitely having a good time and learning along the way about working speedlight flashes into lots of great lighting configurations to solve the challenges presented by location lighting.

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Brittany

This is a quick look at one of the shots from Saturday.  This shot of Brittany was done outside using flash to offset the bright light of a warm Saturday afternoon in Boston.  Both Brittany and Morgan, who were the models for the entire day, were a pleasure despite the long day for them working with 8 different photographers.  My goal here was to create warmth with the colors and a sense of fairy tale darkness.

One of the interesting things in doing a workshop of this kind is that it gives me the opportunity to recognize the areas where I need to pay more attention; as I went over the images from today, I picked up on numerous little details or technical glitches that made images less than perfect.  My challenge for today is to see, if I can work on improving my overall results.

Weekly Photo Challenge – Face – ep. 2

Philosophical banter

In the first post that I wrote in reponse to this weeks WordPress Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge topic of Face, I mentioned the ancient Egyptian Queen Nefertiti, whose famous bust has often been referred to as the pinnacle of beauty.  On this lovely Sunday, let’s ask ourselves: What is beauty?

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Nefertiti

Beauty is a characteristic of an animal, idea, object, person or place that provides a perceptual experience of pleasure of satisfaction. The experience of “beauty” often involves an interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being. Because this can be a subjective experience, it is often said that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

There is evidence that perceptions of beauty are evolutionarily determined, that things, aspects of people and landscapes considered beautiful are typically found in situations likely to give enhanced survival of the perceiving human’s genes. Beauty is studied as part of aesthetics, culture, social psychology and sociology. An “ideal beauty” is an entity which is admired, or possesses features widely attributed to beauty in a particular culture, for perfection.

The experience of “beauty” often involves an interpretation of some entity as being in balance and harmony with nature, which may lead to feelings of attraction and emotional well-being. Because this can be a subjective  experience, it is often said that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

There is evidence that perceptions of beauty are evolutionarily determined, that things, aspects of people and landscapes considered beautiful are typically found in situations likely to give enhanced survival of the perceiving human’s genes.

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Bianca

 

The earliest Western theory of beauty can be found in the works of early Greek philosophers from the pre-Socratic period, such as Pythagoras. The Pythagorean school saw a strong connection between mathematics and beauty. In particular, they noted that objects proportioned according to the golden ratio seemed more attractive. Ancient Greek architecture is based on this view of symmetry and proportion.

Plato considered beauty to be the Idea (Form) above all other Ideas. Aristotle saw a relationship between the beautiful (to kalon) and virtue, arguing that “Virtue aims at the beautiful.”

Classical philosophy and sculptures of men and women produced according to the Greek philosophers’ tenets of ideal human beauty were rediscovered in Renaissance Europe, leading to a re-adoption of what became known as a “classical ideal”. In terms of female human beauty, a woman whose appearance  conforms to these tenets is still called a “classical beauty” or said to possess a “classical beauty”, whilst the foundations laid by Greek and Roman artists have also supplied the standard for male beauty in western civilization. During the Gothic era, the classical aesthetical canon of beauty was rejected as sinful.

Later, the Renaissance and Humanism rejected this view, and considered beauty as a product of rational order and harmony of proportions. Renaissance artists and architect (such as Giorgio Vasari in his “lives of artists”) criticised the Gothic period as irrational and barbarian. This point of view over Gothic art lasted until Romanticism, in the 19th century.

Philosophy is interesting, but, of course, all of us know that there is more to life than the pursuit of beauty, unless one talks about inner beauty that radiates from a person.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Inspired by the Daily Post WPC – Face