THERE’S A WORD FOR IT IN JAPANESE – Marilyn Armstrong

When talking about photography, English doesn’t always make the grade. As it turns out, Japanese does.

The Japanese have a word for everything, I think. I just learned “Komorebi. It means “sunlight filtering through the leaves of trees,” and by extension, the natural filtering of light through anything. Like blinds or curtains, for example.

75-051214-Komorebi-Sunlight_12
I’ve been chasing that light for more than 40 years. This is the word I’ve needed. I’ve been trying to capture that forever.

Komorebi.

Remember it. It’s a great word.

A golden tree and the rays of sunlight
Then there is bokeh, a word so popular it is now included in American books about photography. Bokeh defines something difficult to say in English.

“Bokeh means the aesthetic quality of the blur
(a soft and out of focus) part of an image produced by a lens.”

Like this.

Dry weeds by the river

Or this.

Kaity
I’m sure there’s more, but this is my vocabulary lesson for the day.

DESIGN AT DISNEY – BY ELLIN CURLEY

On my recent trip out West, we went to Disneyland in Anaheim, CA for a day. I was struck by the beautiful design elements and artistic touches I saw all over the California Park. There were also many California Craftsman style pieces as well as Art Deco, often in the most mundane places.

Walt Disney with a map of the original Disneyland
The park is dotted with artistic plant arrangements and mini gardens
California Craftsman style fountain. Similar to Art Deco style.
Pseudo Frank Lloyd Wright style building, with his iconic stonework patterns
My favorite – a total art deco pretzel stand! Gorgeous!
Closeup of a colorful mosaic over a bench
A larger section of the mosaic over a bench

ARTS AND BIRDS: A SMILE FOR THE WEEK – Marilyn Armstrong

The cleaning of the kitchen window has produced better pictures, but not nearly as good as they would be if I were outside taking them.

Every attempt I make to sneak outside, they fly away and they don’t come back until I go in the house. I can see them up in the branches, waiting for me to leave.

In warmer weather, I could sit quietly and wait and after a while, they would decide I’m a piece of furniture and come back, but today it was cold and rainy, so I wasn’t going to work well as a piece of furniture.

Two birds
Chickadee
One plump Chickadee

It’s hard to get a grip on whether or not I’ve sharply focused through a window. To be fair, shooting through glass — even very clean glass — is usually a problem for photographers. Either you get too much shine or reflections, or dirt smears so small you can see them come up bright and clear on the pictures.

Two little birds – Chickadee and Tufted-Titmouse

So, until I can go outside and pretend to be a chair, I’m going to be stuck with some good photographs that require artistic treatment.

And this is definitely my smile of the week! I made the birds happy and that made me happy, too.

IMPRESSION OF A RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER – Marilyn Armstrong

No matter what anyone says, trying to be artistic with a picture you love that has flaws is a lot of work. I’ve been working on this one for hours. Literally at least two hours.

I tried it earlier, but the colors were all wrong. This time, the colors are closer to true, but I had to use a lot of filters to bring the colors at least close to the way they looked.

Impressionist red-bellied woodpecker …

Now I have to figure out how to get the shot without shooting through the grubby kitchen window at a 45-degree angle!

ONCE UPON A TIME … – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Erratic

Once upon a time, I was a total wacko. That is not an exaggeration. In my late teens, I was nuts. Big time.

Fortunately, by the time I hit my twenties, I had settled a lot of my hash. If I wasn’t exactly “normal,” I was no longer completely loony tunes. As the years have rolled on, I have become more “normal” and less crazy until these days, I’m about as normal as I will ever be. So far, so good which is really the story of my life.

I am not particularly erratic. I am, if anything, a bit inclined towards doing being extra careful. I write with great courage, but I walk with utmost care.

I don’t know if this is how life goes for others who started out pretty wild and weird. I have gone through periods of serious depression and with some good psychiatric talk therapy, found ways to climb out of them. I also learned to control a lot of the mind muck that used to turn me into a mental tar pit.

One shrink pointed out to me that depression wasn’t just a feeling. It was a reaction to life, that it could become habitual. You are depressed because you are always depressed and that is how you see yourself, understand yourself.

And from that point, because he hit a nerve with that observation, I began to be happier. I stopped looking for the dark places and started hearing joyful music.

It probably helped that I was madly in love with Garry.

No, you can’t have him. He’s mine.

UNUSUAL PAPERWEIGHTS – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I have been lucky to find some very unusual paperweights over the years. I have made a point of collecting the unique ones and displaying them around my house.

Here are some of my favorites.

PHOTO CHALLENGE: ANIMALS IN NATURE – Marilyn Armstrong

Photo Challenge: Animals in Nature

I realized this omitted my dogs, the local milk cows, and the chickens. That left birds. I have seen many wild creatures, but I haven’t gotten their pictures. I can tell you about the tortoises and coyote, chipmunk, bobcat, and fisher cat. Squirrels, deer, rabbits, gophers and I know we have begun to have bears, too.

But when we get right down to it, what I have photographically, are birds.


Reflective 
Turtles
Geese swimming in one line down the Blackstone River 
Our own little Red Finch
Dirty water swan 

Cardinal in snow
Up and away! Photo: Garry Armstrong – Not wild, but maybe he should be? 
Junco, probably.
Great Blue Heron 
Black-crowned night heron