Something universal…

I often find myself deeply moved by the writings of photographers I admire, as well as their photography. I copied this quote from Kim Manley Ort, photographer, teacher, writer and fellow explorer, when I read it, and I wanted to share it with others, who I think will also appreciate it.

Irises

My mission in life is to fully experience and embrace life with my whole self – mind, body, and heart – to really see. I’ve found that photography helps me to do this through fully connecting with and being transformed by ordinary moments. Something universal resonates deep inside – and I feel tender, hopeful, transparent, connected, and present. It is magical and opens me up to how everything (including me) belongs. I hope that when others look at my photography, they see that every moment is worthy in and of itself.

Kim Manley Ort

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A Simple Sailboat Christmas…No.22

tiny tree2-

What could be simpler than a two-foot Christmas tree hung with six decorations? It’s tiny, but that’s what you need on a sailboat.

We’ve talked for many years about getting back to basics with Christmas — and this year we are closer than ever…

It’s winter solstice today — the longest night of the year in this hemisphere and we are reminded that the Christmas tradition of evergreen trees can be traced back to the Druids — the priests of the ancient Celts — who worshipped the earth as sacred. Something we could stand to emulate more here and now…

Here are some lovely apt verses for this time of year from Lord of the Dance…

I danced in the morning when the world was begun
I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun;
I was called from the darkness by the song of the earth,
I joined in the singing and she gave me birth.

The sun is in the south and the days lengthen fast,
And soon we’ll sing for the winter that is past,
Now we light the candles and rejoice as they burn,
and dance the dance of the sun’s return.

The moon in her phases and the tides of the sea,
the movement of Earth, and the seasons that will be
Are rhythm for the dancing and a promise through the years —
The dance goes on through joy and tears.

Happy solstice to one and all!

The Simplicity Project, Nos. 12, 13 and 14

abstract orange blue

Boat bottom abstract #1

Abstraction generally involves implication, suggestion and mystery, rather than obvious description.

Robert Genn

If I were a painter, I’d want to be an abstract painter. Well, that won’t happen in this lifetime, but I can make abstract images using my camera.

Hanging around a boatyard this last while, getting our sailboat ready to launch, and doing my Simplicity Project at the same time, I’ve come to appreciate the exquisite beauty of deteriorating bottom paint on boats.

red abstract

Boat bottom abstract #2

A lot of boats have a build up of bottom paint that hasn’t been removed. Most bottom paint is like a bar of soap. As the boat moves through the water the paint dissolves. And every year or two a new layer is put on that may be a different colour. By changing the colour the owner of the boat can tell when the bottom of the boat needs to be repainted. The particular accumulation over time can become visually arresting.  Some boats with iron keels have rust spots too.

So in the spirit of “use what you have” and “appreciate what’s around you,” I’m taking advantage of the startlingly lovely patterns and colours that I used to look right past to make images that intrigue me.

aqua

Boat bottom abstract #3

We’ll be busy launching the boat over the next few days, so I’m grouping three days of my project together in this post since they’re all related “boat bottom abstracts.”

For many splendid images of simplicity, visit the Flickr group, Photographic Simplicity. Inspired by Kim Manley Ort.

The Simplicity Project, No. 10

glasses

Letting go of labeling what I saw as beautiful, photo-worthy, not worth my time, etc., I could just see things as they are. Everything had the ability to catch my eye. No page of the novel of my life was better than another.

Brian Sano

My December Simplicity Projet continues….

For many splendid images of simplicity, visit the Flickr group, Photographic Simplicity.

The Simplicity Project, No. 9

I started my Simplicity Project at the beginning of December, inspired by Kim Manley Ort’s invitation to post one simple image a day this month. I joined up with a Flickr group of wonderful kindred spirits who also accepted this invitation with excitement. Everybody is welcome.

Decembers can be a frenzy of holiday-related activity, and I am drawn to the idea of a different kind of month. This year we are in a warm climate getting ready to launch our sailboat, and to live aboard it for the winter.

It’s a simpler life. I thought it would go well with a focus on greater simplicity in my images.

I expected that this practice of simplicity would affect my photography — in a good way, I hoped — since I find that  simpler images are often the most compelling. But the surprise for me was how quickly and drastically this new focus would change my very perception too.

Last week, I felt that things that were previously invisible to me came out of hiding. And that even everyday things started to look entirely different.

Last week I saw lights out the car window, lighthouses, grapefruit, hedge clippings, peeling boat paint and dappled light on a bedspread through fresh eyes. I noticed so much more when looking for images that would contain less.

I am now conscious of moving toward a more direct visual perception of things — I say moving toward because this is a lifelong process and practice. What this means for example is that instead of being preoccupied by the idea of a subject (say a simple piece of fruit), I now look at it also as a unique collection of lines and shapes and colours, with shadows and light falling in a particular way and constantly changing.

Before last week, I don’t think I would have taken a photograph of dappled light on a bed because, well, it was just dappled light on a bed. Or hedge clippings. Who photographs hedge clippings? I’m sure I’m not the only one who has the idea that those are not interesting subjects for photographs. But in seeking simplicity I was able to connect in a new way to the particular beauty of all aspects of my surroundings, not just the expected ones.

Now that I stop to think about it, I realize I have been heading in this direction for some time now. I just needed a practice like this to kickstart me and focus me.

So my intent for the rest of the month is to be more open to what I observe and faithfully capture and share my perceptions in a way that is less connected to what I have been conditioned to do and more connected to what my heart tells me.

In fact, this is a project that will occupy me long after December is over.

urn

The Simplicity Project, Nos. 7 and 8: Abstract edition

Focusing on abstract simplicity

This is the end of first week of December, and I have so enjoyed doing  my simplicity project this month. I find I am seeing things differently — and more directly — than I normally do.

Having been inspired by Kim Manley Ort, I decided to join her in posting images that are simpler and more minimal than usual. I wanted a way to remind myself to focus on what is really essential in an image, and in the rest of life too.

If this also appeals to you, there’s a Flickr group devoted to Photographic Simplicity that you are welcome to join.

The Simplicity Project, No. 5

Remnants from hedge clipping

To reduce something to its most minimal involves the

stripping away of layers to get to its core.

Steve Johnson

This is the first week of December, and thus begins my simplicity project.

Having been inspired by Kim Manley Ort, I am joining her in posting images that are simpler and more minimal than usual. It’s a way to remind myself to focus on what is really essential in an image and in the rest of life too.

If this also appeals to you, there’s a Flickr group devoted to Photographic Simplicity that you are welcome to join.

The Simplicity Project, No. 4

final for simp project

 

Ultimately, simplicity is the goal — in every art, and achieving simplicity is one of the hardest things to do. Yet it’s easily the most essential.

Pete Turner

This is the first week of December, and thus begins my simplicity project.

Having been inspired by Kim Manley Ort, I am joining her in posting images that are simpler and more minimal than usual. It’s a way to remind myself to focus on what is really essential in an image and in the rest of life too.

If this also appeals to you, there’s a Flickr group devoted to Photographic Simplicity that you are welcome to join.