...to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free....

24 October, 2011

"precious light"

Last week in camera club,
we had a chance to hear some of our more accomplished members
talk about their photography.

I have so much to learn.  I gobbled up everything they said.

One member talked about what he had learned from his mentor.
The mentor talked about this thing he termed 
"precious light".
The mentor said, "Forget about composition for now.
Just go seek out precious light wherever you go.
When you find it, take photos.  Even if it's
just a bubblegum wrapper on the street.
Get to know precious light so that it is 
instinctive to you--until you automatically "know'
when you are in it.
Then go back to composition.
Your photos will never be the same again."

I have been thinking hard about precious light since then.
I think I have taken photos in that light.
I am not sure I know when I am "in" it.
 I know many of you are instinctively  aware
of "precious light"--
your photos reflect that (pardon the pun.)

Help me out.  How do you understand this concept
(even if you call it something else,
or just intuitively "know" it)?

The subject of these shots is precious to me.
I was in some pretty interesting light.
Not sure if this is precious light, though--
or just a precious child.  

16 October, 2011

dubbin' around

In Maine, if you are just hanging out, experimenting,
not really knowing what you are doing
or where you are going with it,
you are "dubbin' around."

Tonight I was looking at old photos of autumns past.
This image started out as a shot of
leaves kicked up by a leaf blower.
I was in the San Francisco Bay area, and I guess you could say
I was dubbin' around that day, too.
The person who was operating the leaf blower surely thought
I had lost my mind.

Tonight I took that photo to PhotoShop,
about which I know next to nothing.
I did this, and then that, and then the other thing.
Kind of like the other night when I posted "Well, Well"
and used that image of the great blue in the tall grass.

Sometimes it's fun to be way out there not knowing what you are doing.

What do you do when you are dubbin' around?

12 October, 2011

well well

My friend Barbara loves words.
She loves them in books, in poems and in plays.
She writes beautiful words as well.

I've been reading Barbara's blog, well well 
since she started it a few months ago.
Most of the time, she writes posts about books she has read.

Barbara used to work as a  features editor of our local newspaper.
She wrote most thoughtful and provocative theater reviews
--rare for a small town rag.
Barbara moved to another state two years ago.
I find comfort in connecting with her mind and her words.

I invite you to look at her latest post, 
which weaves its own spell about a 
spell-binding book
called  The Night Circus.

If you like books, and you like words,
you will come back often.

(Tell her you stopped by!  It will make her smile....)

10 October, 2011

downeast to down under!

 My friend Pete is a boat builder.
Not just any old boat builder.  He builds fine lobster boats.
Some are built to be working boats,
Others are built to be yachts, keeping the Maine lobster boat design.
He is an artist, an expert craftsman,
and a smart and gentle man.

 Pete and his crew have built dozens of these boats since 1983.
They are made of wood, not fiberglass.
In his small-ish boat house in South Bristol, Maine,
miracles happen.

For the past year or so, Pete and his crew have been 
designing and building a "lobster yacht"
for Will and Sally, who live in Australia.
They found Pete in Maine at a boat show,
and their collective adventure began.

Two weekends ago, the Benito was launched,
and I had the pleasure of being there.

It was a Maine-postcard foggy day.
A little bit of mist, and a whole lot of well-wishers
to watch the Benito take her first bath in the ocean.
After ten kinds of donuts, coffee, cider and other delicacies,
we all went outside to watch the launch.

Here are some photos from the day.

We all had a chance to go aboard (see left) before the Benito was launched.

You can best see the underside from the stern end of the boat.
See the wooden frame that holds the boat off the ground?
That's called a cradle.

Here's the cradle from the side.

The wheel in the wheel house, and assorted electronic gadgets.

The outside wheel, if you want to be in the salt air.

I had to see where the cooking was going to take place.
There are beds, and polished teak, and a bathroom--
all the comforts of home-on-the-sea.
I was in awe.  

Then came the christening.
Below is Sally, swinging the Champagne bottle for all she is worth.

There is Will as the bottle breaks and Sally grins.

Then, as if by magic, the boat begins to slide down the rails,

Taking her cradle with her.

Here she is, her first minute on the water.

See the round things on the windshield?
Some kind of centrifugal force gizmo that cleans the windshield
in the spray and rain.

Isn't she beautiful?

The Benito.  She is well on her way to Maryland,
where she will be wrapped up tight,
put on a ship, and carried to Australia.

It's coming into summer there. 
...And Pete has another boat to build.

08 October, 2011

what I saw today

Nearby in New Gloucester,
there is a former institution for the developmentally disabled
that has been born again.

The residents who have survived have long been  
returned to their communities.
The buildings got a face lift and now house businesses and schools,
and the grounds now comprise a farm
that is a model for how to farm sustainably
and bring local food into our kitchens and stores.

We went to see the critters.
My eye was often captured by parts of bigger things. 
Parts that others might not look at,
or pay much attention to.

Each of these images represents something
I carried home today in my heart.

This girl flirted with me outrageously.

Those of you who nursed your babies--ever felt like this looks?

Lip smackin good dinner today, deah!

Two seconds after I took this photo, she slurped my camera.

This guy's women were hustling by his pen,
and he was checking out every one!
I love his ornamentation, don't you?

Not many things are more graceful than a horse's tail
when the flies are about.

Scratch me, please.  Right HERE!

This photo is not one of my best, but it represents a memory.
She and I leaned into each other through the bars of her stall.
I lay my forehead against one side
And she leaned her nose against me,
letting out soft, horsey breaths against my skin.

Few things are more soothing than leaning into a horse's body.

05 October, 2011

a poem for today

The Hidden Singer

The gods are less for their love of praise. 
Above and below them all is a spirit that needs nothing 
but its own wholeness, its health and ours. 
It has made all things by dividing itself. 
It will be whole again. 
To its joy we come together -- 
the seer and the seen, the eater and the eaten, 
the lover and the loved. 
In our joining it knows itself. It is with us then, 
not as the gods whose names crest in unearthly fire, 
but as a little bird hidden in the leaves 
who sings quietly and waits, and sings.

                                                       Wendell Berry