Fun with Photography; soliciting reactions…3/31/21

OK, starting from the premise that all “Art” is in the eye of the beholder…

I had a great time snapping shots of our recent Worm Moon, the first (and least dramatic) of four Super Moons this year.

Worm Moon” is what the full moon of March is called. According to the Old Farmers Market, the title “Worm Moon” refers to the time of year when the ground thaws enough to allow earthworms to come out of the soil.

Although my Earth Steward/Angel friend Karuna might love the name Worm Moon (she has a thing for worms), luckily there are several other names to choose from for this particular spectacle including Eagle Moon, Sugar Moon, and my personal favorite, Crow Moon. (Karuna’s Blog…read anything in her Nature category!!! What a contribution she has made!!    https://livinglearningandlettinggo.com/)

Anyway, here are some photos, and a couple of multiple choice options on which I’d love your input, especially if you happen to be one of the amazing photographers I follow…like Marilyn, Cee, Jules, Nancy Merrill, Nes Felicio, Whippet Wisdom, V.J. Knutson, Debbie Smyth, Leya, Amy, Arati… (uh oh, I guess I follow way too many photographers to list them all…sorry.)

I do not see myself as in the same ballpark as any of these talented photo artists, but I sure learn from them….about beauty and cleverness and composition.

Moonrise Saturday, March 27, 2021

First, I went out to see the moon rising, armed with only my rapidly aging, but much loved phone, a Galaxy 8+.

I really like this phone’s camera, especially for close up shots. But with it’s just so-so telephoto capacity, it’s lousy for capturing celestial bodies.

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Moonset March 28, 2021

The next morning I got up in time to watch the beautiful moon setting, but this time, brought my little Canon Power Shot, with its great telephoto lens…amazing for a point and shoot camera.

Here are some Moonset shots, a couple I really like. Also, some opinion-questions I am really hoping someone wants to answer!

1.) The one on the right is what my camera captured. The one on the left is just slightly darkened with computer. Which is better?

2.) What I’d like an opinion about is with these next five photos is about position in the frame. (I kinda like the second one as it seems to demonstrate something geometrical or even spiritual…) 

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3.) The next four are all imperfect (not clear enough, something blocking part of the shot in each) but I like a couple. Do you like any of these?

4.) When I looked at this one on the computer, it startled me because somehow I had captured TWO, maybe THREE moons???

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But then, mystery solved and all made sense, several photos later…(Boy, does my lens need cleaning or what?!)

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5.) Here, I am experimenting with two versions of the same photo…do you prefer one?

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6.) This last one was a total accident, but it turns out, it’s my favorite. No idea why. Opinions??

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Thanks for traveling through photo-space with me. Please consider sharing any reactions or feedback in “comments”.

Oh, and, by the way, during this whole time prepping and writing this post, I never once thought about the world going to hell in a handbasket*…

Pandemic?? WHAT pandemic…??

PS Seems appropriate to include one of my favorite music videos. You may have seen it before…

*https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_hell_in_a_handbasket

Spirit Lifters–Day 330 being “Grounded” 1/30/21

I am running out of things to binge-watch on Hulu and Netflix….

I’m not talking about “couch potato” binge-watching. Honest.

It’s mostly for the cat. Honest.

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I recently read the perfect explanation (justification?) for my binge watching on my dear friend’s brand new blog (Lisa Chandler Jewelry)

The Prismflash Studio Construction Zone

She wrote: “…as a jewelry artist of 20+ years, I’ve never had a studio space. I’ve always created jewelry ad hoc on my lap since 1999 when I began. I like having the TV or an audiobook going in the background while I create (tell me a good story!).”

My binge watching is really binge listening. It’s background comfort and distraction noise while I am doing other things…like my covid-craft projects, or paperwork, or culling through a life-time of “stuff” in an effort to use this time wisely. Like continuing my age-appropriate down-sizing.

I sound like a hoarder…and truthfully, I guess I actually am. I save even the most unlikely scraps of memorabilia…you know, just in case. Every photograph, letter, trinket, ticket stub and card, represents something meaningful, an important memory in my life. 

I blame my Grandmother. She saved everything too. Like many in her generation, who survived the (first) “Depression”, she had more rubber bands, and scraps of used tin foil than god.

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When I was a child, and basically had no one else who cared about me, I would spend hours at Gramma’s feet while she did pretty much what I am doing now. And every unlikely saved item she touched had a story. Each time she threw something away, she first thoughtfully caressed it, then reverently told me why she saved it.

And the things she kept, she would carefully wrap or fold before putting in her grandmother’s beautiful, carved wooden “hope chest”. Those things elicited a less emotional and much more fact-filled explanation, her justification really for keeping them. 

“This was your Great Grandmother’s bonnet. She wore this in the covered wagon trip from Missouri to Salt Lake City. This has great historical value.”

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I learned from both categories of her “things”, the trash and the treasures. I learned about our family, our history, our legacy…and, these downsizing events with my grandmother helped me finally understand my Mom.

This whole preventative isolation thing has me thinking about some monumental things; like mortality, aging, and use of my remaining time here…some of it, quite frightening and very painful. I know I am not alone in this…

Thus, the needed relief of instant, focus-shifting, binge-watching in the background.

When I started this Spirit Lifters series, using the word “grounded” in my titles was because that’s what my doctor told me. She said, in her straightforward way, “you are in all the highest risk categories, not just for contracting this virus, but dying from it so if you want to survive, you are grounded for the duration”, as in “Go to your ROOM. You are GROUNDED!” (She barely meant in a humorous way.)

Anyway, I woke up this morning with the profound realization that just as Mother Nature is “culling” our species, maybe even for the planet’s survival, all of this binge-watching, and crafting, and sorting, has provided us all with the perfect background for culling through our own lives….a meaningful distraction from the existential crisis we are all facing.

MLK Quotes

So being grounded by my Doc is exactly what has worked for me to stay “grounded” and centered through easily the most terrifying time in my life…

It was during one of these paper-sorting, binge-watching times I heard this song in the background. It was on, of all things, Bones. (I told you I am running out of things to watch…) At first, I thought it was Bono singing, but it’s Starsailor, a group I barely remember from the early 2000’s. It’s a beautiful, slightly haunting piece. The melody, by association, now grounds me when I hear it…..I hope you enjoy it.



Songwriters: Barry Westhead / Benjamin Byrne / James Stelfox / James Walsh
Some of Us lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

There you have it. I hope, if you have actually read all of this, you will respond with a comment. Tell me what your favorite distraction has been during our year of pandemic.

A plea from a wall-climbing, screaming extrovert, with no one to talk to!!!

🤣

Spirit Lifters-Day 316 of being “Grounded” 1/16/21

Photos and humor…both can shift my whole mood, can change a whole day!!

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This one’s been around but it still cracks me up when I read it! My current favorites are #3, #5, and #12! Enjoy!

1.    The dumbest thing I ever bought was a 2020 planner.

2.    2019:  Stay away from negative people.  2020:  Stay away from positive people.

3.     The world has turned upside down.  Old folks are sneaking out of the house & their kids are yelling at them to stay indoors! 

4.     This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her dog.  It was obvious she thought her dog understood her.  I came into my house & told my cat.  We laughed a lot. 

5.     Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit.  Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.

6.   Does anyone know if we can take showers yet or should we just keep washing our hands?

7.   This virus has done what no woman has been able to do.  Cancel sports, shut down all bars & keep men at home! 

8.   I never thought the comment, “I wouldn’t touch him/her with a 6-foot pole” would become a national policy, but here we are!

9.  I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator. 

10. I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to the Backyard.  I’m getting tired of the Living Room. 

11. Appropriate analogy.  “The curve is flattening so we can start lifting restrictions now” is like saying “The parachute has slowed our rate of descent, so we can take it off now.”

12. Never in a million years could I have imagined I would go up to a bank teller wearing a mask & asking for money. 

13. The spread of COVID-19 is based on 2 things:  

        1.  How dense the population is.  

        2.  How dense the population is

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And here’s another chuckle!

Have faith in Pfizer’s Covid vaccine. Pfizer patented Viagra. If a company can raise the dead it can certainly save the living.

 

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just seconds later…

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I can’t decide whether I prefer sunrise or sunset, but in the winter, both can be a spectacular show to watch!!

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A Photo a Week Challenge: Cityscape 10/23/2020

I knew the photos I wanted to share for this challenge right away. I love the view of the city I have from my house…of course, the view is not of the city I live in. Nope, this view is of the next city over to the West of me.

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That’s the downtown Seattle skyline, with the glorious Olympic Mountains behind.

These next shots are from an early morning walk when I just loved what the sunrise was doing to the Columbia Center…76 stories, and when it was built, it was the tallest building on the West Coast.

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This towering scraper of the sky has always fascinated me, though I had never been inside it. I rarely go into Seattle. Just not an urban type, although I guess I can hardly say that anymore, given that there is nothing left of the “country-side” my home was part of when I bought it 47 years ago.

Anyway, just a few years ago, I had the extreme pleasure of officiating a spectacular and delightful wedding at the top of the Columbia Center. I adore this couple and was thrilled to be asked to marry them, but I have to admit, when they told me where, I nearly fainted. I have a more than mild case of Acrophobia.

I knew I would need to prepare myself so I could be fully present and grounded for their ceremony so I started taking pictures of the building from all over town….trying to make friends with this giant black monolith, towering tall over all it’s neighbors…

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On the day of the wedding, I arrived early to prepare for the celebration. The ride up the elevator to the very top took forever. It made me seasick and break into a cold sweat. When I saw where we would be standing…so close to the windows, I nearly chickened out, but James kept me calm by reminding me that I would be facing inward, my back to the view. (Well, that half glass of Chardonnay he brought me probably helped too. Hmm, I wonder what the Minister’s blood alcohol number is for the legality of the marriage to be in question…😋)

Once I found my footing, I could embrace and enjoy the spectacular view we would all have this day.

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I never told my sweet couple about my trepidation that day but I suppose, now they’ll know. So worth it!! What an amazing, creative, beautiful, warm, interesting wedding. And the “Cityscape” setting? Well, hard to imagine ever topping that!!

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As I was selecting photos, I noticed something! A surprising number of airliners showed up, I suppose headed for landing at SeaTac. How many do you count?

 

https://nadiamerrillphotography.wordpress.com/2020/10/22/a-photo-a-week-challenge-cityscape/