“Aesthetically Appealing”??? 2/8/2020

Weekly Prompts has challenged us once again to share something inspired by their prompt. I love their weekly encouragement because they include the following:

Show us or tell us, and don’t forget there are no rules and no deadlines.

On days when I actually have the time (and energy) to post something, but my mind is empty, I go to their site for ideas.

This week’s is great for me because I have a whole category of photos for my blog called  saying about “Art is in the eye of the…” . Having this category helps me include my ongoing theme of Chosen Perspectives. Today’s challenge is perfect! How I (we) look at something is everything.

For some personal historical context aesthetics (and choosing a perspective): I spent much of my early life feeling very “homely”, a conclusion I came to about myself when, at age six, I asked my grandmother if I was pretty. I was probably playing “dress-up” with her clothes and jewelry at the time. In her defense, her answer was probably based on a religious edict to prevent vanity. She said, “well…(long pregnant pause here)…you have nice hair, Dear.”

I was crushed…and you can see here why I had a tough time believing Gramma about my hair…

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It wasn’t until I was about eleven years old that I began to reconsider her declaration about my looks.

I saw an episode of Twilight Zone called “Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder”. Clearly, I was impacted as it’s been 61 years since it was aired, and I still remember most of the scenes. If you’ve never seen it, it’s worth the time. Go online and watch it! If you did see it, I bet you remember it. Mind boggling for an 11 year old.

Anyway, it fit right in with my early thoughts on the lessons my Dad was covertly demonstrating about perspective.

I finally arrived at a time in my adult life when I was seeing myself as at least mildly attractive, with really great hair. My mane was apparently very appealing, even to strangers on the street or at the grocery store. Enough so that people would come right up to me to comment on my hair. Maybe Gramma was right after all?

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And then…AGING hit with a vengeance!

I am currently losing the battle between a really loud cultural bias about women and choosing a healthy perspective on my own looks.

Back to the theme for today. Here’s what I came up with on what is (and isn’t) Aesthetically Appealing….for me.

The first four are random shots of things I found beautiful. You, of course, don’t have to…

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Next, some comparisons…photos showing how the perspectives you choose can show you so many things…

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this was an accidental shot…kinda ugly…
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but this is a (macro) closeup of the same thing, which I find kind of pretty…

This is a photo of the San Juan Island rock, that’s been painted over and over for 30 plus years, by anonymous “artists” . I think the first one is not very “appealing”…

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But this next one…well, what do you think?

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Same rock…

I really love photographing flowers. I have hundreds of shots of perfect flowers that are hard not to categorize as beautiful and aesthetically pleasing…

as long as I don’t zoom in too close. Then, they can be downright creepy! Not at all appealing.

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One of my favorite flowers is the Hydrangea. It is so pretty in absolutely all of it’s stages.

Like these luscious, richly colored examples…

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But Hydrangeas have taught me a lot about beauty and aging. Have you ever noticed how lovely they become, in a whole new way, as they age and even die?

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I’d love to decorate a whole room in these peaceful colors

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You tell me, from your perspective, which photo below is more beautiful and appealing?

This?

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Or these?

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I really love them both.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about nature and aging and death, probably normal given my age. Why is it more difficult to see beauty in something old or dying, than in something fresh and young?

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I did a post earlier this week for Wordless Wednesday, showing the dying process of a beautiful leaf from one of my favorite plants.

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you can go here and see more:  https://chosenperspectives.com/2020/02/06/wordlesswednesday-02-05-2020/

These are my final shots, taken just this afternoon. From my perspective, these photos are every bit as interesting, and appealing as the first ones I took.

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Thanks for coming on this long journey.

I’d love to hear your perspective now.

https://weeklyprompts.com/2020/02/08/w-p-challenge-aesthetically-appealing

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #77: Favorite Photos of 2019

I had a slightly startling revelation as I was plowing through thousands of photos from 2019….and No, I don’t mean realizing that I take way, WAY too many pictures. I already knew that.

I had already picked 29 “favorite photos” before arriving at the end of February. I was exhausted trying to choose so I stopped there.

It became clear that, only on occasion do I take a photo hoping it will capture exquisite beauty or be all “artsy”. Instead, often I snap away at images that will enhance a good narrative. Good visual aids for a tale that might interest, tickle or inspire someone.

I guess I’m saying I prefer story telling over photography, which is what startled me. I might be saying that although I am an extremely visual person, and I still hate writing (see my bio), I’d rather write you a story with photos than anything else.

So here are the pictures I picked (for January and February)…with the most brief explanation an overly wordy, *unpolished writer can come up with. (*ending my sentence with a preposition…)

 

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This is the Seattle skyline, especially the Columbia tower. I took this while trying to distract myself, waiting at the Harborview Medical Center to find out about a very blue, slightly broken ankle…and yes, I took pictures of my ankle but will spare you. It was so cool to see the Tower from this perspective, having just officiated a wedding at the top a few months prior.

 

 

Next, we have a poignant plea tacked onto the neighborhood’s most beautiful old tree. The note was written by a very young environmentalist, a precocious 6 year old, when she realized they might cut down this tree in the process of building a new home across the street from hers.

The note didn’t work so I felt compelled to capture as much of the mystery and beauty of this tree’s remains as possible. I did several posts on it.

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Next, I thought I’d experiment with my new point and shoot Canon on the occasion of the Super Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse. I was not that disappointed given the limitations of my equipment.

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We had a ton of snow in January, a bit rare for the Seattle area. I worried about all the birds I feed all year round (mostly Crows, Hummingbirds, and a variety of seed birds). I had wondered what would happen in the snow to the Covey of Quail that visited each morning to clean up under the bird feeder, after the messy House Finches had their breakfast.

I guess I needn’t have worried…

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Throughout the last few years, I have shared about my bugs. I love photographing them (and coming up with silly captions).

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Lucy says “I know, I know…not a toy, right?” (Good Kitty.)
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Giant, Spiny Australian Leaf Bug…GIANT indeed…

 

And of course, my cats. This was Lucy’s way of comforting me while I had to stay off my feet for a while for that ankle thing.

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My favorite photo of Lucy last year though was the one at the top of the page.

You know that thing older people sometimes do, where they are frantically searching for their glasses, only to find them right there on top of their head? Well, I took this shot after a frantic 20 minute household search for Miss Lucy. She has never been outside (our neighborhood is plagued by coyotes) so when I couldn’t find her, I panicked! I called and called her and though she is normally, the sweetest, most sensitive, gentle and affectionate cat I have ever had, this photo captured something akin to disdain. A kind of judgment at my ignorance, having walked literally right under her nose probably 10 or 12 times! sigh.

 

I walk daily, and if I keep my eyes wide open, like my Dad taught me very early on, I can make the same exact walk completely different every single day. I look for anything Nature has re-arranged (since yesterday) for my personal viewing pleasure.

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This is one of my all time favorite photos…a total accident!

 

 

Thanks to the Lens Artist Photo Challenge. This was really fun…and I fear there may have to be more installments. I hope you’ll comment.

And visit more of my Blog in the future!

Happy New Year from ChosenPerspectives!

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #77: Favorite Photos of 2019

A Photo a Week Challenge: Open Topic 10/26/19

So the whole Time Marches On thing is in my face right now…well, the face of my whole neighborhood, actually.

My chosen theme for this Open Topic Challenge from Nancy Merrill is Experimenting with Telephoto Photography. I’m hoping it can help me see more clearly into the distance (and the future)… and maybe understand it better.

When I bought my home in 1976, there were only 4 other houses, all with horse acreage,  on my long dead end street. Now there are 25 homes…and although, we still have a few chickens, there are certainly no horses. I’ve seen a lot of changes in the 40 plus years I’ve lived here but the trend now seems to be for a builder to come in and tear down anything from the 1980’s and before, and build these whopper new giant homes. I’m only partially complaining. We’ve gained a wonderful new group of neighbors, and luckily, all of our lots are still over-sized enough to accommodate a 3,000 to 4,000 foot home fairly well.

But sometimes heartbreaking things happen in the process….especially to the old growth trees! I have addressed this before and here is an example: Tree

https://chosenperspectives.com/2016/10/05/tree-daily-prompt-from-chosenperspectives-10-5-16/

Right now there is a wonderful little red and white farm house, barn, and matching well on the lot behind me facing the next street over. It’s been there since the late 1940’s. They are about to tear it all down (of course) and are building an 8,900 square foot house with a huge wall (not a fence…a WALL) around it. (None of the older homes in our neighborhood have fences. It’s wonderfully wide open.)

I should also say we live on a fairly tall hillside, and many of our homes have western views (if only partial) of the Olympic Peninsula and mountain range…beautiful!

 

Back to my complaining about so-called Progress…

So this McMansion builder, who is going to level the cute red farm house, first came in and took down 6 or 8 HUGE, beautiful trees along the western border of the property…assuming for the VIEW, right?? But I had to go over there and see just exactly what view would be worth murdering all those trees!

What follows is my telephoto experiment.

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If you look very closely, just beyond the treetops, you can see our “downtown” area.

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a blend of Bellevue and Seattle’s high rises….

Here’s what’s most interesting to me. Remember, I am experimenting with telephoto photography, using the feature on a relatively inexpensive Canon point and shoot.

The whole time I am taking these pictures, I think I am shooting the Bellevue Skyline.

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closest shot of Bellevue I could get that day…

But I am actually capturing a blend of downtown Bellevue and the Seattle Skyline some eleven miles west of us.

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I loved watching this sunrise reflection get bigger and bigger

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And when I got TOO close, I accidentally got this shot! (which I kind of like!)

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It was hazy that day, so all I could see clearly, in my clearly biased view, was that this builder guy had killed all those trees so his buyer had a view of our famous, rapidly growing, “tech-centered” city. All I could see was the combination of two city’s massive, view-blocking high-rises!

Then, later that day at Sunset, I got this shot…Bellevue, Seattle AND the Olympic mountains, which are 65 miles away (as the crow flies).

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Oh……OK, at least from another person’s perspective, maybe I get it…….

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https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2019/10/26/a-photo-a-week-challenge-open-topic/

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #66: Filling the Frame 10/10/19

These first two shots make me long for Summer again. Wasn’t that just yesterday???

 

 

 

But my favorite Filling the Frame are these. Just a little pile of Lucy parts!

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And this last was an accident. I wish I could have really focused on the web.

Some weird combination of sun behind me or something. I just couldn’t quite get it!

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #66: Filling the Frame