Greek landscapes

landscapes

In this stagnant space, in this gap between eras, Greek landscapes look bizarre, cut off the real world, pending for their unknown fate, as a visualization of the inner state of their inhabitants. The horizon is hidden, preventing us to see what’s yet to come. Could this blurry atmosphere be smoke from a violent riot, the Sahara desert’s dust cloud or maybe, is it just a morning fog?
Empty highways, solar panel fields, constructions left unfinished, rotten watermelons and torn flags seem stuck in an intermediate state, portraying the current situation, like distorted symbols of a bygone era of growth. In this serene rural scenery, far away from the city’s battlefield, there is a subtle feeling of uncannyness. The depicted structures stand as a kind of neo-ruins, all of them have a part of the story to tell, but we have to look closer to discover it. Although photographed as landscapes, it’s not nature, but the human presence through its absence, that is the subject of the photographs.
Found in this situation of not being able to look forward while the past seems already distant and out of reach, disorientation is what one feels. Relying on expectations is not a choice , neither memories can provide a shelter. There is nothing certain except the situation itself.
About the author:
Maria Mavropoulou was born in 1989 and she lives and works in Athens, Greece.
She is an Athens School of Fine Arts graduate (2014) having attended courses of painting, sculpture and photography. Currently she is getting her Master in Fine Arts. Her work has been presented in exhibitions in Greece and abroad. She is member of the collective of artists Depression Era that inhabit the urban and social landscapes of the crisis in Greece.

The post Greek landscapes appeared first on Positive Magazine.

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Sunset in Vietnam

The First Kickstarter Video

One of the reasons we went here was to film some footage for the very first camera bag Kickstarter we did with Peak Design! Since then, there have been a lot more bags made, and you can see all of them over on the Peak Design website!

And, for old-times-sake, here is the first Kickstarter video we made!

Daily Photo – Sunset in Vietnam

Here in Fuqua, Vietnam, we never saw a bad sunset. They were all winners. It made me think that maybe I want to live on a little island like this where great sunsets are a regular thing. But, I’m definitely more of a mountain-kinda-guy. I don’t get to see as many great sunsets, but I like seeing all the beautiful relief on the mountains around me all the time. I sort of think of that as a non-stop sunset with interesting textures and shapes in the sky.

Sunset in Vietnam

Photo Information


  • Date Taken2015-05-17 19:09:35
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1250
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length47.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Source: http://ift.tt/2sX4vPC

On emotion and images

X1D5_B0000118 copy X1D5_B0001422bw copy

_8502154 copy H51-B0020951 copy

The previous image post with leftover single images from Iceland got me thinking: what exactly makes it so difficult to let go of them? The simple answer is one of emotion: they appeal to us at some level which is irrational and defies explanation. It is almost certainly experiential: the images trigger a memory of the surrounding events and conditions, or the making of the image is the memory – you’re far more likely to be attached to an image if you had to climb a mountain to get it, even if the image itself is nothing particularly special. The more effort and emotional investment in the subject and making of, the less objective we can be as curators. Notice I didn’t say photographers: I think there has to be emotional investment at some level as a photographer otherwise it’s too easy to treat the subject with cold dispassion and land up with the resulting image simply being purely an image of record and nothing more.

At this point, you’re probably wondering what the four title images have to do with anything, and I certainly can’t blame you. I chose these specifically to illustrate what I think of as a sort of “scale of emotional transfer” that’s more subject-driven than anything. We start with the sunset and spectacular cloud arrangement (and no, it wasn’t photoshopped, or I’d have removed the dark cloud bottom-centre to better define the heart): at some level, everybody is drawn to a spectacular landscape or sky – there’s probably something in our collective DNA that makes you thankful for not having been eaten by a lion and lived to see another sunset. Nobody has any problem recognising the subject matter (mountain, cloud, sky or time of day (sunset) cues given in the image. We also have no problem recognising that these lighting conditions are pretty fleeting: again, because most people have seen a lot of sunsets, and thus have the mental database of experience to realise that you’re looking at something rare.

The second image (singer) is a little more subject-specific: you might not like music, you might not recognise it’s jazz, but again: as humans, we can still generally recognise enough body language and the subtle cues given by the position of mouth, closed eyes, bunched brows etc. to know that there must be some emotion being expressed by the singer in the music (again: the cue is the microphone, which most people will again recognise). If you have no interest in music it might appeal at the level of being an interesting ‘work’ portrait or even the tonal aesthetic. Bottom line: not all may connect to the subject matter at more than a rational level.

Next we have the watch: I suspect this image will appeal to an even narrower audience because of the esoteric nature of the subject matter; and even within those limits, people have their preferences which leads to other emotional reactions – you might prefer the Swiss-French style of classical movement finishing with cotes d’Geneve instead of our technical aesthetic, for instance. You might not like leather straps. An important swing has just occurred here: in the previous image, it’s possible for most people to look at the image as a photograph first, and specific subject matter a distant second. In this image, we’re now looking at the subject matter first, and the photograph second – and speaking as the designer, this is true even for somebody who has significant emotional investment in both image and subject matter.

The final image skews this even further towards the subject and away from everything else: pictures of your kids and family aren’t interesting to anybody at all unless they know the people in the image. And in those cases, the aesthetics and composition are so far out of consideration that unless something is massively objectionable, it usually passes without any comment at all – all attention is focused on the subject matter. Portraits know this well: capturing some element of personality of the subject that triggers a reaction in the audience (subject or otherwise) isn’t easy; the typical instinctive reaction of most subjects is they don’t like it for some reason or other: usually because there is a strong emotional response to realising “I look like that?!*”. I have never, for instance, heard from a subject that they would like a bit more catch light in the eyes and definition on the left sleeve (though from art directors, yes) – usually it’s “can you make me look thinner?”

*In a way, this is probably the biggest challenge of portraiture: not representing the subject as they are perceived by external parties, but representing them as they think they would like to be perceived and often without the benefit of working with somebody who knows how they are actually being perceived. Double deception, in other words…

Ask ourselves for a moment why this is the case: the art director has a vested interest in getting the shoot complete with the intended objectives, i.e. the images show what they need to get the intended message across to the target audience. The portrait subject wants to project the personality they envisage in their own minds, and thus concerns tend to centre on their main insecurities – e.g. not serious enough, not happy enough, not relaxed, too relaxed, too fat, too thin, too short, too tall etc. The technician/ executor wants to make sure composition and lighting are right – but the photographer has to really take all of these considerations into account. It’s no different if you’re not shooting for a client: the only change is all of the subjectivity has been replaced with ‘you’ or ‘I’. I want to portray what I see in this subject, to get across the message (if any) I intend – it might be beauty/ ugliness/ contrast/ juxtaposition/ social commentary – or anything else.

We as creators tend to be skewed obsessively towards one particular objective, often to the detriment of the overall complete impression. This obsessiveness is what causes images to weaken: we can only see what we’re focused on, and not what we’re missing (but gets picked up on by everybody and anybody else without emotional investment in image or subject). Circling back to firstly the headline images: none of these are really my best work as there’s too much tunnel vision in all of them – a singular overriding purpose and prevents me from addressing other deficiencies during the execution:
Sunset – ‘wow, heart!’ – otherwise, boring and one-dimensional
Singer – emotion, light – no context
Watch – technical qualities – no context, somewhat dry
Family – story and focus – can’t see faces, frame a bit empty

Each one works for its purpose (in order: recording/ social media; demonstrating X1D e-shutter and as part of a larger set; product image to detail movement; Sunday morning making pancakes with mum) – but nothing more than that. Is universal emotional resonance even possible? Probably for extreme subjects like war or things where there’s only one well-known representation due to other limitations (the moon, for instance) – but probably not across the board. So I’d distil it down to this to close: at the very least, make sure your own images do something emotionally for you – i.e. you like them at a level that’s difficult to quantify – because if we don’t feel something, how can we capture it – and how can the audience see it? MT

__________________

Visit the Teaching Store to up your photographic game – including workshop videos, and the individual Email School of Photography. You can also support the site by purchasing from B&H and Amazon – thanks!

We are also on Facebook and there is a curated reader Flickr pool.

Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved

Source: http://ift.tt/20qMcfK

On emotion and images

X1D5_B0000118 copy X1D5_B0001422bw copy

_8502154 copy H51-B0020951 copy

The previous image post with leftover single images from Iceland got me thinking: what exactly makes it so difficult to let go of them? The simple answer is one of emotion: they appeal to us at some level which is irrational and defies explanation. It is almost certainly experiential: the images trigger a memory of the surrounding events and conditions, or the making of the image is the memory – you’re far more likely to be attached to an image if you had to climb a mountain to get it, even if the image itself is nothing particularly special. The more effort and emotional investment in the subject and making of, the less objective we can be as curators. Notice I didn’t say photographers: I think there has to be emotional investment at some level as a photographer otherwise it’s too easy to treat the subject with cold dispassion and land up with the resulting image simply being purely an image of record and nothing more.

At this point, you’re probably wondering what the four title images have to do with anything, and I certainly can’t blame you. I chose these specifically to illustrate what I think of as a sort of “scale of emotional transfer” that’s more subject-driven than anything. We start with the sunset and spectacular cloud arrangement (and no, it wasn’t photoshopped, or I’d have removed the dark cloud bottom-centre to better define the heart): at some level, everybody is drawn to a spectacular landscape or sky – there’s probably something in our collective DNA that makes you thankful for not having been eaten by a lion and lived to see another sunset. Nobody has any problem recognising the subject matter (mountain, cloud, sky or time of day (sunset) cues given in the image. We also have no problem recognising that these lighting conditions are pretty fleeting: again, because most people have seen a lot of sunsets, and thus have the mental database of experience to realise that you’re looking at something rare.

The second image (singer) is a little more subject-specific: you might not like music, you might not recognise it’s jazz, but again: as humans, we can still generally recognise enough body language and the subtle cues given by the position of mouth, closed eyes, bunched brows etc. to know that there must be some emotion being expressed by the singer in the music (again: the cue is the microphone, which most people will again recognise). If you have no interest in music it might appeal at the level of being an interesting ‘work’ portrait or even the tonal aesthetic. Bottom line: not all may connect to the subject matter at more than a rational level.

Next we have the watch: I suspect this image will appeal to an even narrower audience because of the esoteric nature of the subject matter; and even within those limits, people have their preferences which leads to other emotional reactions – you might prefer the Swiss-French style of classical movement finishing with cotes d’Geneve instead of our technical aesthetic, for instance. You might not like leather straps. An important swing has just occurred here: in the previous image, it’s possible for most people to look at the image as a photograph first, and specific subject matter a distant second. In this image, we’re now looking at the subject matter first, and the photograph second – and speaking as the designer, this is true even for somebody who has significant emotional investment in both image and subject matter.

The final image skews this even further towards the subject and away from everything else: pictures of your kids and family aren’t interesting to anybody at all unless they know the people in the image. And in those cases, the aesthetics and composition are so far out of consideration that unless something is massively objectionable, it usually passes without any comment at all – all attention is focused on the subject matter. Portraits know this well: capturing some element of personality of the subject that triggers a reaction in the audience (subject or otherwise) isn’t easy; the typical instinctive reaction of most subjects is they don’t like it for some reason or other: usually because there is a strong emotional response to realising “I look like that?!*”. I have never, for instance, heard from a subject that they would like a bit more catch light in the eyes and definition on the left sleeve (though from art directors, yes) – usually it’s “can you make me look thinner?”

*In a way, this is probably the biggest challenge of portraiture: not representing the subject as they are perceived by external parties, but representing them as they think they would like to be perceived and often without the benefit of working with somebody who knows how they are actually being perceived. Double deception, in other words…

Ask ourselves for a moment why this is the case: the art director has a vested interest in getting the shoot complete with the intended objectives, i.e. the images show what they need to get the intended message across to the target audience. The portrait subject wants to project the personality they envisage in their own minds, and thus concerns tend to centre on their main insecurities – e.g. not serious enough, not happy enough, not relaxed, too relaxed, too fat, too thin, too short, too tall etc. The technician/ executor wants to make sure composition and lighting are right – but the photographer has to really take all of these considerations into account. It’s no different if you’re not shooting for a client: the only change is all of the subjectivity has been replaced with ‘you’ or ‘I’. I want to portray what I see in this subject, to get across the message (if any) I intend – it might be beauty/ ugliness/ contrast/ juxtaposition/ social commentary – or anything else.

We as creators tend to be skewed obsessively towards one particular objective, often to the detriment of the overall complete impression. This obsessiveness is what causes images to weaken: we can only see what we’re focused on, and not what we’re missing (but gets picked up on by everybody and anybody else without emotional investment in image or subject). Circling back to firstly the headline images: none of these are really my best work as there’s too much tunnel vision in all of them – a singular overriding purpose and prevents me from addressing other deficiencies during the execution:
Sunset – ‘wow, heart!’ – otherwise, boring and one-dimensional
Singer – emotion, light – no context
Watch – technical qualities – no context, somewhat dry
Family – story and focus – can’t see faces, frame a bit empty

Each one works for its purpose (in order: recording/ social media; demonstrating X1D e-shutter and as part of a larger set; product image to detail movement; Sunday morning making pancakes with mum) – but nothing more than that. Is universal emotional resonance even possible? Probably for extreme subjects like war or things where there’s only one well-known representation due to other limitations (the moon, for instance) – but probably not across the board. So I’d distil it down to this to close: at the very least, make sure your own images do something emotionally for you – i.e. you like them at a level that’s difficult to quantify – because if we don’t feel something, how can we capture it – and how can the audience see it? MT

__________________

Visit the Teaching Store to up your photographic game – including workshop videos, and the individual Email School of Photography. You can also support the site by purchasing from B&H and Amazon – thanks!

We are also on Facebook and there is a curated reader Flickr pool.

Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved

Source: http://ift.tt/20qMcfK

On emotion and images

X1D5_B0000118 copy X1D5_B0001422bw copy

_8502154 copy H51-B0020951 copy

The previous image post with leftover single images from Iceland got me thinking: what exactly makes it so difficult to let go of them? The simple answer is one of emotion: they appeal to us at some level which is irrational and defies explanation. It is almost certainly experiential: the images trigger a memory of the surrounding events and conditions, or the making of the image is the memory – you’re far more likely to be attached to an image if you had to climb a mountain to get it, even if the image itself is nothing particularly special. The more effort and emotional investment in the subject and making of, the less objective we can be as curators. Notice I didn’t say photographers: I think there has to be emotional investment at some level as a photographer otherwise it’s too easy to treat the subject with cold dispassion and land up with the resulting image simply being purely an image of record and nothing more.

At this point, you’re probably wondering what the four title images have to do with anything, and I certainly can’t blame you. I chose these specifically to illustrate what I think of as a sort of “scale of emotional transfer” that’s more subject-driven than anything. We start with the sunset and spectacular cloud arrangement (and no, it wasn’t photoshopped, or I’d have removed the dark cloud bottom-centre to better define the heart): at some level, everybody is drawn to a spectacular landscape or sky – there’s probably something in our collective DNA that makes you thankful for not having been eaten by a lion and lived to see another sunset. Nobody has any problem recognising the subject matter (mountain, cloud, sky or time of day (sunset) cues given in the image. We also have no problem recognising that these lighting conditions are pretty fleeting: again, because most people have seen a lot of sunsets, and thus have the mental database of experience to realise that you’re looking at something rare.

The second image (singer) is a little more subject-specific: you might not like music, you might not recognise it’s jazz, but again: as humans, we can still generally recognise enough body language and the subtle cues given by the position of mouth, closed eyes, bunched brows etc. to know that there must be some emotion being expressed by the singer in the music (again: the cue is the microphone, which most people will again recognise). If you have no interest in music it might appeal at the level of being an interesting ‘work’ portrait or even the tonal aesthetic. Bottom line: not all may connect to the subject matter at more than a rational level.

Next we have the watch: I suspect this image will appeal to an even narrower audience because of the esoteric nature of the subject matter; and even within those limits, people have their preferences which leads to other emotional reactions – you might prefer the Swiss-French style of classical movement finishing with cotes d’Geneve instead of our technical aesthetic, for instance. You might not like leather straps. An important swing has just occurred here: in the previous image, it’s possible for most people to look at the image as a photograph first, and specific subject matter a distant second. In this image, we’re now looking at the subject matter first, and the photograph second – and speaking as the designer, this is true even for somebody who has significant emotional investment in both image and subject matter.

The final image skews this even further towards the subject and away from everything else: pictures of your kids and family aren’t interesting to anybody at all unless they know the people in the image. And in those cases, the aesthetics and composition are so far out of consideration that unless something is massively objectionable, it usually passes without any comment at all – all attention is focused on the subject matter. Portraits know this well: capturing some element of personality of the subject that triggers a reaction in the audience (subject or otherwise) isn’t easy; the typical instinctive reaction of most subjects is they don’t like it for some reason or other: usually because there is a strong emotional response to realising “I look like that?!*”. I have never, for instance, heard from a subject that they would like a bit more catch light in the eyes and definition on the left sleeve (though from art directors, yes) – usually it’s “can you make me look thinner?”

*In a way, this is probably the biggest challenge of portraiture: not representing the subject as they are perceived by external parties, but representing them as they think they would like to be perceived and often without the benefit of working with somebody who knows how they are actually being perceived. Double deception, in other words…

Ask ourselves for a moment why this is the case: the art director has a vested interest in getting the shoot complete with the intended objectives, i.e. the images show what they need to get the intended message across to the target audience. The portrait subject wants to project the personality they envisage in their own minds, and thus concerns tend to centre on their main insecurities – e.g. not serious enough, not happy enough, not relaxed, too relaxed, too fat, too thin, too short, too tall etc. The technician/ executor wants to make sure composition and lighting are right – but the photographer has to really take all of these considerations into account. It’s no different if you’re not shooting for a client: the only change is all of the subjectivity has been replaced with ‘you’ or ‘I’. I want to portray what I see in this subject, to get across the message (if any) I intend – it might be beauty/ ugliness/ contrast/ juxtaposition/ social commentary – or anything else.

We as creators tend to be skewed obsessively towards one particular objective, often to the detriment of the overall complete impression. This obsessiveness is what causes images to weaken: we can only see what we’re focused on, and not what we’re missing (but gets picked up on by everybody and anybody else without emotional investment in image or subject). Circling back to firstly the headline images: none of these are really my best work as there’s too much tunnel vision in all of them – a singular overriding purpose and prevents me from addressing other deficiencies during the execution:
Sunset – ‘wow, heart!’ – otherwise, boring and one-dimensional
Singer – emotion, light – no context
Watch – technical qualities – no context, somewhat dry
Family – story and focus – can’t see faces, frame a bit empty

Each one works for its purpose (in order: recording/ social media; demonstrating X1D e-shutter and as part of a larger set; product image to detail movement; Sunday morning making pancakes with mum) – but nothing more than that. Is universal emotional resonance even possible? Probably for extreme subjects like war or things where there’s only one well-known representation due to other limitations (the moon, for instance) – but probably not across the board. So I’d distil it down to this to close: at the very least, make sure your own images do something emotionally for you – i.e. you like them at a level that’s difficult to quantify – because if we don’t feel something, how can we capture it – and how can the audience see it? MT

__________________

Visit the Teaching Store to up your photographic game – including workshop videos, and the individual Email School of Photography. You can also support the site by purchasing from B&H and Amazon – thanks!

We are also on Facebook and there is a curated reader Flickr pool.

Images and content copyright Ming Thein | mingthein.com 2012 onwards unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved

Source: http://ift.tt/20qMcfK

Flickr Friday – Simple Pleasures

Flickr Friday – Simple Pleasures

Our every day routine has the ability to be completely consuming and it often becomes difficult to remember the little things. More importantly, it becomes harder to take notice of the good things in life when we’re so busy putting out the fires that have the potential to take over completely. This Flickr Friday challenge was encouraging people to take notice of the #SimplePleasures in life.

Don’t mistake that for kryptonite and a meteor, it’s just your savory companion salt and pepper. As simple of a pleasure as this is, it leads us down a long road of good thoughts for complimentary food items. Where are the pictures of the ketchup?

We’re not sure how much of this wine is a pleasure as opposed to a necessity given the pose of the character in the background. Either way, it’s definitely relatable and we wish hope you get what you need out of that glass! (Or the second)

Yes, it’s true. Disneyland has nothing on the happiest place in the house. There’s nothing quite like “sleeping in on a Saturday.” When the Sunday blues haven’t dared to come into sight and the post-Friday hype has settled in, the bed is most definitely a popular simple pleasure.

Another forgettable simple pleasure sits on the shelves you walk past every morning on your way to better things. I think they only accumulate dust so that when we sneeze, we’ll hopefully wonder where all the dust is coming from and remember the books. Now that’s a tragedy.

For more simple pleasures, be sure to check out the gallery! Have a happy Friday:)

Source: http://blog.flickr.net

Flickr Friday – Simple Pleasures

Our every day routine has the ability to be completely consuming and it often becomes difficult to remember the little things. More importantly, it becomes harder to take notice of the good things in life when we’re so busy putting out the fires that have the potential to take over completely. This Flickr Friday challenge was encouraging people to take notice of the #SimplePleasures in life.

Salt & Pepper

Don’t mistake that for kryptonite and a meteor, it’s just your savory companion salt and pepper. As simple of a pleasure as this is, it leads us down a long road of good thoughts for complimentary food items. Where are the pictures of the ketchup?

Simple Pleasures

We’re not sure how much of this wine is a pleasure as opposed to a necessity given the pose of the character in the background. Either way, it’s definitely relatable and we wish hope you get what you need out of that glass! (Or the second)

Sleeping in on a Saturday

Yes, it’s true. Disneyland has nothing on the happiest place in the house. There’s nothing quite like “sleeping in on a Saturday.” When the Sunday blues haven’t dared to come into sight and the post-Friday hype has settled in, the bed is most definitely a popular simple pleasure.

Untitled

Another forgettable simple pleasure sits on the shelves you walk past every morning on your way to better things. I think they only accumulate dust so that when we sneeze, we’ll hopefully wonder where all the dust is coming from and remember the books. Now that’s a tragedy.

For more simple pleasures, be sure to check out the gallery! Have a happy Friday:)

Source: http://blog.flickr.net

Vagelis and the Traveling Kitty

Vagelis and Bobo’s relationship is deeply complex. As you can see, Bobo looks incredibly annoyed in the majority of photos…

Vagelis has come to recognize it’s simply the structure of his face, because all cats love snow…right? It comes as no surprise his favorite photo includes Bobo below.

Despite that fact that Vagelis currently works at a software company, he always had a creative side; the majority of it expressed through music. After years of being a part-time DJ, he discovered his passion for photography through Flickr. Now he combines the arts in a unique culmination of his photography put to music on YouTube.

Self-teaching is not easy. It comes with an incredible amount of self-discipline and passion for the field that Vagelis clearly retained. His knowledge of technical photography skills was enhanced by the useful elements of Flickr’s site, particularly the EXIF data and camera info available with most pictures. That information was crucial to gaining a solid understanding of the workings of a camera. After some time, Vagelis slowly accumulated a multitude of both lenses and cameras to suit the needs of his diverse interests.

The villas nearby his home are littered with stray cats that compete with Bobo for the attention of Vagelis, but cats are just a few of his most popularly themed photos on his Flickr account. Vagelis does a phenomenal job in composing photographs of landscapes, portraits, and astrophotography, the latter shown below.

Vagelis put up a fight for his life to get this shot. He says, “I was shooting the Milky Way in the middle of the street. I laid there frozen for 30 seconds, as much as the camera shutter would last… when I heard the sound of a car coming. I quickly grabbed my camera and tripod to get out of the road, but I almost didn’t make it. I risked my life to take the best shot I could.” A tip he recommends for astrophotography is to make use of the technology available on hand. If you haven’t heard, there’s an app for everything. There’s also an app called Stellarium which gives you the map of the sky on your mobile device in an extremely useful and visually appealing way.

Besides astrophotography, landscapes have frequently caught his interests. Vagelis frequently visits the Hungarian Parliament building which has made for beautifully composed images. Good composition is a quality that’s most important to him, and it’s something he consistently strives to do better with. Although this building is a popular tourist destination, he tries to capture his photos from unusual or conceptually perfect angles in order to differentiate himself from the typical point and shoot photographers.

If you’re interested in seeing more of Vagelis’s work, be sure to check out his Flickr photostream!

Source: http://blog.flickr.net

Adventure: Fishing, but why?


Deep in the heart of TEXAS…..

Because I wanna catch fish?

The outdoors is one of those things I find intensely amusing. Some people are very attached to being outdoors while others feel discomfort even leaving the pavement(I once had a student from New York City FREAK OUT in Galisteo Basin because he didn’t have any buildings overhead.)Me, I don’t care which catagory you inhabit, or skirt, or call home. I just hope you are happy, helpful and driven, and if you do have an interest in the outdoors I hope you give it the attention it requires.

My love of the open spaces comes from my parents and from where I grew up, and I guess you could also throw in the era I grew up in. A time when you could go outside without much fear. No laced pixie sticks, no razor blades in Halloween candy and not much stray fire, at least not that I remember. We had “Pong,” which was clearly the pinnacle of technology, but I was outside all day everyday, and the idea of being inside, or inside on a screen, was associated ONLY with being in trouble.

My parents were hunters, going back to the late 1960’s. Mostly deer, antelope and elk. Mostly Wyoming. They were also river runners, hikers, etc. They once ran the Middle Fork of the Salmon in Idaho the week after Sir Edmond Hillary lost several members of his crew to the river. My mom remembers seeing their clothing and supplies stuck up in the trees along the banks. It was a serious run to say the least.

And my parents were/are fishing people. (Dad is pushing up daisies, mom is kicking ass still.)

I always find it humorous to talk the outdoors with city people. Normally when you mention hunting and fishing you get the eye roll or the “disgusting” comment as they take a bite out of their burger or veal cutlet. This bugs some people but I understand it. It’s familiarity. And knowledge. Or lack thereof. I’m a meat eater although I’m really cutting back and could see myself going cold turkey one day. Get it?? Cold turkey???? I’m so witty. I feel better eating lighter, especially as I get older but occasionally, like this morning, I feel the need to eat an entire package of bacon. True story. HOWEVER, these moments are getting fewer and further between.

I was never much of a hunter myself, and when I did hunt it was mostly birds. Dove, quail, duck, geese, pheasant, chukker, etc. And within this range it was dove and quail mostly. Nothing like game smoked in a smoker all day then consumed under the stars of a remote South Texas sky.

I fished a lot. And still do whenever I get the chance. Most of the time I catch and release, but if there is walleye on the line then all bets are off. They will die and I will flex my food chain muscle. The best eating fish I’ve encountered.

Fishing is meditation for me. At least I think so. I don’t care that much what I catch or how many. I love light on water, wind on water. I love the hike in, the mountains towering overhead or the vast plains in front of me. I love the sound the line makes in the air. The drag on the reel and even the ping my sixty-year-old flybox makes when I open it to try something new.(The box was my grandfather’s, then father’s and now mine.) Maybe I’ve always loved fishing because I’ve always been pretty good at it. I’m not top level, not by any stretch, but I catch fish most times, even landed a Canadian Master Angler prize or two(pike,smallmouth bass). I’ve also had some saltwater moments. Big snook, grouper, fishing with my dad and grandfather. But again, these mean little other than fodder for ribbing those I’m fishing with. Like my mother.(She deserves it.)

The last fifty years has seen a human migration unlike any other in history. We morphed from a country people to a city people. Worldwide. There are some that say the only way for humans to survive in the future will be in high-density, urban environments. I for one am glad I’ll be gone. For me there is no substitute for nature, for open space and for the rhythms of the natural world. When I’m in these places and spaces it’s clear I’m the object that doesn’t belong. The rogue species, soft and inept, leaving traces.

So when I leave these moments behind I tip my cap, say thanks and I take a moment to acknowledge how lucky I am.

Source: http://shifter.media

Monks on a cruise ship

How to give your photos an artistic hand-drawn look using Aurora HDR 2018

If you don’t have it, you can grab Aurora HDR 2018 right here! In this video, I show how to take it to a bit more of an extreme to give a photo that almost crosses the line into an illustration.

Daily Photo – Monks on a cruise ship

Who knew Tibetan monks were into cruising? These two were all over the ship, monking it up. This was part of that Summit at Sea cruise I did. Think of it like a TED on the water. One thing that was pretty funny (well, to me) was what happened right when we launched the ship. I’m pretty apolitical, and I really don’t get involved in either side, which is a nice benefit of living in New Zealand. But, as you can guess, these events draw a lot of extreme Left-leaning people. Well, the day we left the port in Miami was the same day Trump was elected. The next day there were all these announcements that some of the meeting rooms had been converted into “recuperation” rooms where people could go and weep and heal. You can’t write this stuff. But, much like me, the monks didn’t seem terribly bothered by any of this and just enjoyed looking at the ocean.

Monks on a cruise ship

Photo Information


  • Date Taken2016-11-11 06:30:20
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Source: http://ift.tt/2sX4vPC