WQWWC #37 – The therapy of Lakes/ Oceans/Water

“To some, it's just water,

To me, it's where I regain my sanity” 
 - Author Unknown

I took a look through my photographs of lakes, oceans and water. I have many examples of water in all its various states.

Water falls down then it blows up….

Water is tranquil then it is turbulent…….

Water is still and then it is stormy……..

Water is white and then it is wavy………..

Water is murky and then it is a reflective mirror………..

How water is reflected back depends on what lens you are looking through.  

Talking to my optometrist today at my very overdue eye check, I mentioned the impact I thought my ‘cataracts’  may be having on my photo editing.  I thought I was over saturating the colours in compensation. He fortunately doesn’t think my cataracts are that bad yet.  He also said that the older Claude Monet got,  the ‘browner’ his paintings had become. Intrigued as I was, what could I do but google……

These landscapes of water and reflection have become an obsession. 
 
- Author: Claude Monet

Monet’s Art Changed Because of His Eyes

“In 1905, Monet was sixty-five and began to notice changes to his vision. The colors he saw were no longer as bright, and his paintings began to feature more yellow and purple tones. In 1912, when he was seventy-two, Monet was diagnosed with nuclear cataracts in both eyes. Because Monet so often repainted the same subjects over the years, viewers can trace the way cataracts affected his vision over time.”

“Scientists have even studied changes in the color and style of Monet’s paintings over time—along with the works of his fellow Impressionist, Degas who also had eye disease. By using computers to simulate the blurriness one would see with eye disease, scientists have been able to find out how the artists likely saw their own paintings, which has given new insights into the artists’ works.”

Monet Might Have Seen Ultraviolet Light

“Initially, Monet did not want to have surgery to correct his cataracts, because he had seen other artists’ careers ended by failed surgery. Monet finally agreed to have cataract surgery on his right eye in 1923, but he did not have the surgery on his left eye, which still had cataracts and could not see violets or blues.”

“During the surgery on his right eye, however, the lens of his eye was removed, which let more light into the eye. Because the lens is the part of the eye that filters out ultraviolet light, it is believed that Monet might have begun seeing ultraviolet wavelengths, which humans typically cannot see. After the surgery, he used more blues in his water lily paintings, which could indicate he was seeing ultraviolet light.”

“After his cataract surgery, he destroyed many of the paintings he created when he suffered the worst of his vision problems. Altogether, he is thought to have destroyed up to 500 of his own paintings.” 

I am not about to destroy my photographs, but I might re-edit some of the saturation – or then again I may not. I do love  bright colours and gazing into water keeps me calm.

Your mind is like water. When it is agitated it becomes difficult to see.

 But if you allow it to settle, the answer becomes clear.”

– Bill Keane

After all is said and done, water is essential to life. And we never know how far the ripples we make when we drop  a stone into the water will spread. 

"THE DROP

Be the drop that falls freely and becomes one with water…..
You might not be able to perceive the ripples you have created right away
But water will allow you to feel how their love
Comes back to you again and again.”

  - Author unknown

https://alwayswrite.blog/2021/08/11/wqwwc-37-lakes-oceans-water/

Sunday stills – my favourite song lyrics

Too many songs to choose from really but choose I must and chose I did.


Last week our pub quiz theme was the 1970s and so I researched the music although as I really I did live through the 70s, it didn’t take much research. There were quite a few trips down memory lane. My other team members each took a subject to study too. Everything from 1970s movie lines, to NZ history, sports and worldwide events.  I listened and watched lots and lots of ’70s music videos.


And I rediscovered “Stairway to Heaven”. Although originally recorded by Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield in 1960, I decided that Led Zeppelin’s famous rendition was my absolute favourite version.  Recorded in 1971 and described as “progressive rock folk rock hard rock“, it is over 8 minutes long. To me, it epitomised the 1970s music. I listened to this so many times. I read the lyrics and and sang along to the youtube video.

“Why is the song ‘Stairway to Heaven’ so popular? Instrumentally it is a real gem. Obviously great guitar solo but also intricate layers of gradual build up. Kind of hypnotic in the beginning and middle then progresses to an intensely hard rock.  The song is basically just about shallow materialism and greed.”

I also rediscovered Pink Floyd -Dark Side of the Moon – especially the  “Eclipse ‘ track- and I’m not going to lie – the choice was difficult. However as my middle son had ‘acquired’ my Pink Floyd CDs when he went off to study, I didn’t get to listen to them very often. 


Then came time to select some images that illustrated the sentiments. I took inspiration from my own Lady Aurora images  as well as some old travel images of the glittering gold images in the altars of centuries-old churches. 

"There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for
Ooh, ooh, and she's buying a stairway to heaven.

There's a sign on the wall, but she wants to be sure
'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings.

Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven
It makes me wonder...
There's a feeling I get when I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees
And the voices of those who stand looking.

And it makes me wonder...
And it's whispered that soon, if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter.

Donegal tree glow
If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now
It's just a spring clean for the May queen
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on...
And it makes me wonder...
Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know
The piper's calling you to join him
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind?

And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last
When all is one and one is all, that's what it is
To be a rock and not to roll, oh yeah......

Jimmy Page-  By Jim Summaria, http://www.jimsummariaphoto.com/ ]  Jimmy Page used a double-necked guitar to perform “Stairway to Heaven” live.

"And she's buying a stairway to heaven...."

And that pub quiz?  Our team rocked the answers and won by a huge margin!

If you want to check out the music video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xbhCPt6PZIU

WQWWC # 36: Lofty Mountain

Whāia te iti kahurangi ki te tūohu koe me he maunga teitei

Seek the treasure you value most dearly: if you bow your head, let it be to a lofty mountain


This whakatauki (Maori proverb) is about aiming high or for what is truly valuable, but it’s real message is to be persistent and don’t let obstacles stop you from reaching your goal.


Each time I venture near to the highest mountain of the Southern Alps of New Zealand, I look to photograph another perspective of this magnificent mountain.,  This proverb goes some way to describing how I feel when this mountain is in front of my camera.

On clear days, Aoraki / Mount Cook is visible from the West Coast as far north as Greymouth, some 150 kilometres away, and from most of State Highway 80 along Lake Pukaki and State Highway 6 south of Lake Pukaki. The near horizontal ridge connecting the mountain’s three summits forms a distinctive blocky shape when viewed from an eastern or western direction.

Aoraki / Mount Cook is the highest mountain in New Zealand. Its height, as of 2014, is listed as 3,724 metres (12,218 feet).

https://alwayswrite.blog/2021/08/04/wqwwc-36-writers-choice-or-mountains/

Sunday Stills – Summer Bugs in winter?

Bugs are in short supply here in winter but who knows what might lurking in the weeds of my winter garden – or is it back to the archives I go…!


So where do the bugs go in winter. I found this exoskeleton still clinging to the tree trunk long after its inhabitant had moved on.

Cicada shell cast-off

There must be some spiders somewhere.

Spider in the lily

I even looked in the compost bin hoping to find some slaters or at least an earthworm or two. No luck there.


Then I remembered – those archives and those snails. I have never noticed snails on trees  before.  You can just see the damage cause by their chewing, I guess they did it carefully so they didn’t chew off their escape route. 

#Sunday Stills – Geometric shapes – a look at angles and perspectives

It’s all about perspective when it comes to geometric shapes.

Geometry –  It is concerned with properties of space that are related with distance, shape, size, and relative position of figures.


It was not my favourite school subject. I couldn’t tell a tetrahedron from a square pyramid, or a hexagonal pyramid from a hexagonal prism – even though I could spell these mysterious words – the usefulness of these shapes made no sense to me.

Then I discovered the angles, shapes and perspectives to be captured through photography.  At last the geometric shapes made sense and I could relate.

I went looking for geometry and symmetry wherever I pointed my camera.


From spheres to squares…

From proportions to perspectives in buildings and bridge construction… 

In ceilings and walls and up steps or stairs……

I even found a square pyramid or is it tetrahedron?

Geometry in photography has forced me to shape and clarify my own perspectives. 

#SundayStills

#WQWWC : Relaxed – “If you do what you love, it is the best way to relax.“

“Trust that little voice in your head that says, ‘Wouldn’t it be interesting if…’; and then do it.”  Duane Michals 

So with these encouraging quotes in mind, here I go with my favourite ways to relax….

PLAYING WITH ART“Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” – Either John Lennon or Laurence J Peter – the jury is out on who said this first!

My latest foray into creative expression is when  I started a 61 day ICAD (index card a day) challenge from 1st June and ending 31st July – and of course I am still playing catchup.   I made a bargain with myself – 30 minutes on the exercycle first then I am free to play with index cards, paint, crayons, stencils and gel pens. I even made a home-made gel plate for printing  I put on my music and relax into my art.  Here is a small selection from June and July. It is working so far.

READING:   “You can find magic, wherever you look. Sit back and relax, all you need is a book.” – Dr Seuss

This is most certainly one of my ‘go-tos’ for relaxing, pouring myself a cuppa, curling up into a comfy chair and getting lost in a good book – and there I am –  relaxed into the magic of words and other worlds.  There is a reason I have always loved reading fantasy, science fiction and time travel – it is such an amazing form of escapism.   It will be interesting to see how many books I have read by the end of the year – I’m up to Book 54 so far.


I have my favourite genres, and then I have my “impossible to put into any specific genre” genre. 

Some books just require you to read, re-read and re-read again. And it is not because you can’t remember the stories, its because they are so good, so full of complexity, twists and turns they need to be read again to catch even more details with each read through. 


I’m currently re-reading books 1 – 8 of the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon in preparation for the release of book 9 in November. There is an online book group doing a read – along and is great excuse for me to re-read. It is very interesting how much more detail you notice on the next journey through the ‘ stones’.  


I enjoyed reading the first book Crosstitch (which has since been renamed as Outlander) when it was published in 1991. I swapped some of the next few books with my sister in law over the years until other work-life priorities intervened.  Luckily for me, I not only rediscovered the series a few years ago but also realised I could download the rest of the books onto my kindle. For those that are not yet familiar with this series here is Herself’s description.

Alternatively or as well as – there is the tv series to avidly consume – seasons 1 -5 to date with season 6 scheduled for release early next year.  I have to admit to being seriously addicted to Outlander along with several million other readers.  I’m not sure if this addictive reading behaviour is actually relaxing or not – hmm?


Whilst waiting for the next book, there is a selection of novellas based on individual characters and a Comprehensive Companion guide (or two ) filling in some background history.  It keeps me relaxed.

Even when reading is impossible, the presence of books acquired produces such an ecstasy that the buying of more books than one can read is nothing less than the soul reaching towards infinity.” – A. Edward Newton, author, publisher, and collector of 10,000 books.

By the look of my piles of books which I can’t seem to fit into my bookshelves, and constantly struggle to let go of, it could be said I might be afflicted with this ecstasy too.  It reminded me too of this bit of lighthearted relief found online during last year’s lockdown. Read the titles which have been placed in order by a librarian with a sense of humour. Always look for the bright side of life – and stay relaxed

PHOTOGRAPHY:  Relax and trust, knowing the universe has set a banquet of abundance for you”

I found this quote chalked onto a blackboard outside the Langford store in Golden Bay last year. I’m not sure who authored it. I do like the emphasis on “relax and trust”.

Wandering with my camera is when I am truly in my relaxed and happy place. There is always an abundance of subjects to capture – and it keeps the brain active.

WRITING: “It is how you see life that matters, rather than what you have done.”  – Patti Miller,   “Writing true stories.”

Writing for me is a way to record my inner thoughts and to make sense of the feelings and thoughts that wander through my mind. Playing with words is a form of relaxation for me. It can also be a trip down memory lane.

Elizabeth Gilbert writes that:
“The universe buries strange jewels deep within us all, and then stands back to see if we can find them. The hunt to discover those jewels – that’s creative living… I’m talking about living a life that is driven more strongly by curiosity than by fear.”


So now I have written about creative pursuits I enjoy, I’m feeling rather chilled out and RELAXED  

https://alwayswrite.blog/2021/07/21/chill-out-with-wqwwc-and-relax/

WQWWC #33 Exploration – The expression of an impression

A picture is the expression of an impression.

If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it?”

Ernst Haas

The expression of an impression
Is an obsession
I bring to each photo session 
where I can take possession
of my lifelong passion.

The expression of an impression
Is a compulsion
not a delusion.
It is where I learnt composition 
Through the excitement of exploration 
and a touch of preoccupation.

The expression of an impression
Take a bowl full of enthusiasm 
Flash in a sprinkle of infatuation
Focus with a whole lot of dedication
Layer  in an image of endless fascination
Blend all together in a bucket of creation 

Until it exposes more than my dreams
And becomes a beautiful expression of my own impressions

Every photo I take is a piece of my life that I will never get back,

but that I will be able to see again and again.”

Malcolm Flowers

https://alwayswrite.blog/2021/07/14/wqwwc-33-exploration/

Life in Colour – Environmental Blues for July

Blues in the environment are one of my favourite subjects for photography.

Jude reminds us when looking for blues this month that: 

“Blue. A primary colour that we look upon almost every day. But don’t forget about the different hues which include indigo and ultramarine, cyan and the other blue-greens such as turquoise, teal, and aquamarine.

I did some blue sky thinking…and looking through my archives.

Blue Skies thinking: 

The blue sky found its way onto the bonnet of my blue car.

A rainbow brightens up the blue sky.

And the clouds blew over to hide the blue skies.

Blues beyond the clouds

Oceans and canals: A few different hues of blues

Then there are the glacial blues in the mountain lakes.

Lakes:The reflected skies in the lakes always transfix me with the beautiful blues.

Perhaps I will capture some different blues before the end of July.

https://traveltalk.me.uk/2021/07/04/life-in-colour-26

Sunday Stills – Under the Trees

Having just completed a June trees theme for my 365 project, I already had plenty of choices for this week’s Sunday Stills.  This is my month’s calendar view.

Trees, trees and yet more trees – my 365 project

Under the trees I also found:

I discovered rainbows, reflections and sunsets.

Under the trees throughout the seasons, I find the new growth of spring green and blossoms, the silhouetted sunlight of summer. the dappled shade lighting the fallen autumn leaves and the skeletal winter trees revealing their intricate branching structures. I had a play with making a composite of autumn leaves and a frosty winter. Maybe next time I will do all seasons!

Changing seasons

I love that trees have so many different textures and forms in their branches and trunks. Winter when the trees are leafless is a good time to appreciate the intricate branch patterns normally hidden within the leaves.  Moss and lichen cluster with wood ear fungus to decorate the barren trees.

Wood ear fungus

I love to wander between the trees along hidden forest pathways, and beside the lakes, beaches and rivers. I am in my happy place (as long as I have my camera along for the walk}

#SundayStills

Photographing Public Art Challenge #2

Public art is a never-ending source of inspiration for me and my camera.


I have often wondered whether I should photograph other people’s artwork as surely this is not depicting one’s own creativity but exploiting others? To be honest though, that hasn’t stopped me over my travelling years.  


I think in part, it is to try to capture the essence of the journey, the excitement of discovery and the awe which I hold for the skills, imagination and talents of artists – be they street artists. graffiti artists or sculptors. I enjoy watching the way others interact with public art – especially the sculptures.

Sculptures:

I have quite a few examples of public art in my travel archives. Some tell a story. Others pose the question – why? 


Is graffiti a form of art? Or is art a form of graffiti?  


Street art:

To give us pause to enjoy art and make us ponder on the meaning of life –  is that the purpose of public art? 

I think it is a purpose, and that we all benefit from taking the time to sit awhile and just appreciate the inspiring creativity of the artist.

I’m excited to explore the different forms of public art further as this Photographing Public art challenge continues. Thanks to the organisers Cee and Marsha for the opportunity.

https://ceenphotography.com/photographing-public-art-challenge-ppac/