I recently spent two days with friends in Portland, Oregon, the Vermont of the West. Pot is legal and the arts are thriving, all over town.
Our friends drove us and walked with us all around town so we got a good overview of the city.
Longshot of a beautifully painted building
Closeup of a portion of the building
Another detail from the building
On our drive through town, I took a picture of an interesting sculpture I saw on the porch of a house. Later that night, our friends drove us to a local tourist attraction – a psychedelic light show that a local resident projects every night. I realized that this was the house with the interesting ‘sculpture’ – much more interesting with the lights!
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.
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.
Remember it. It’s a great word.
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.”
I’m sure there’s more, but this is my vocabulary lesson for the day.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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