I hiked in a nearby wooded park yesterday morning. Using my cell phone’s camera, I captured several images of nature’s creation. Besides the vibrant colored wild flowers and insects, this particular image grabbed my attention. The play of the sun sifting through the thick canopy of trees created all manner of shadows. In this case the dead wood provided the perfect screen for the leaves to project their shadow upon.
I didn’t linger as I was walking for enjoyment as well as for exercise. I have thought about shadows since I took this photograph. Wherever there is light, there will be a shadow. When I was atop a 12,000 ft. mountain in the Rockies several years ago, I recall these giant clouds rolling overhead at a very fast rate. Yet, their shadows seemed so small when blanketing the terrain. I recall feeling so insignificant in comparison. Nature has a way of putting our lives in proper perspective.
Shadows can’t always be trusted because they don’t always reveal accurately the very essence of the thing being illuminated. They can become quite distorted depending on the angle of light and the screen they are displayed on.
Why is it we are sometimes afraid of shadows? I believe it hinges on the object being illuminated. If we don’t know what or who is causing the shadow, this is when our imaginations can run wild. Many movies have used shadows to invoke fear in the hearts of the actor, as well as the viewers of the movie. Dark alleys, blowing trees at night, a cat racing across a darkened room, an arm raised with an object that looks like a knife…there are endless possibilities!
I have been ran over by my own shadow on many occasions. I have stepped on many shadows, as well. I’ve even had shadows follow me. But, I have never had a shadow hurt me. Besides making one feel scared at times, shadows can be fun…think of shadow animal figures projected on a wall. This form of art can become quite amusing. It is what’s in front of the shadow that we are really concerned about. A palm tree perhaps!
As I left home this morning I rode into one of the most stunning sunrises I have ever witnessed. I couldn’t help myself so I stopped at a couple of locations as I headed east and took multiple photos. Each photo is untouched and the colors were as rich and vibrant then as now. I hesitate to share too many images, but am compelled to give you a half-dozen just so the intensity of this sunrise captures you as it did me.Having a stationary object included in a sky photograph usually accents both the sky and the object, as did this utility pole. However, only one stayed still, and it sure wasn’t the clouds!I couldn’t resist taking a photograph of the photographer. I like reflections from glass, water or from any reflective material.Within minutes the shapes and colors of God’s palette changed. I never knew ambers so rich as these. And the shadows so vivid while the reflections were so brilliant. Ablaze was the eastern sky this morning. And just think, this is eastern Kansas and not some exotic locale. What a privilege to have witnessed this unfolding of morning on September 23rd, the Autumnal Equinox. Perhaps this Fall will be special. It certainly started out that way for me…and now for you!
I’m curious as to what captures your attention when you first view this photograph. I know what I see, and it isn’t all that clear. However, I still like the variety of colors and shapes found in these flowers, regardless of their clarity (something in extreme focus). My point of view from a photographer’s perspective is affected by light, angles, distance, movement, camera settings, and much more. As applied to me personally, my point of view is affected by my state of mind, stress level, amount of sleep, pain level, happiness level, relationships, events, trials, schedules, etc. Below are two more examples of the same perspective dynamic, with each image taken from the same location and within a few seconds of each another. The difference is in the focus aspect of my camera (depth of field). This was purposely done to emphasize what I wanted to be in focus: Carson or the flowers. I could have chosen to make everything in these images clear, but that would not help me in making a rather simple point. And, my point is…………………………………. How we view life and respond to it can be boiled down to what we focus on. The clearer our perspective (point of view) usually results in an objective response while the opposite generally holds true. Namely, out-of-focus perspectives result in very subjective and often overstated or inaccurate responses, and often create problems.I was reminded of this dynamic when I listened to a wonderful song by Johnny Nash from 1972. The lyrics go like this: I can see clearly now, the rain has gone. I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds which had me blind. It’s gonna be a bright (bright), bright (bright)sunshiny day. I encourage you to listen to this song as it will put a smile on your face. May all your days be filled with lots of sunshine and your perspective clear.
The senses, especially our eyes, are treated to an explosion of color when the season changes from summer to fall. The foliage in our area is late this year to turning various shades of color due to milder than usual weather conditions. However, two weekends ago I was treated to this vivid reminder of how beautiful Autumn is (and will be). The subject matter is not extraordinary, but merely a potted plant at a local hardware store. The photo was taken with my Samsung’s camera. No enhancement was performed, and that’s the beauty of this image. It’s pure natural delight!In contrast to the first image with the noticeable fall-like colors of ambers, oranges and such is this simple rose. Cheryl named this bloom The Last Rose of Summer (at the time she took this photo it was the last rose in her flower garden). The vibrant red petals and striking green leaves contrast sharply with the variegated plant above, yet both reveal the magnificence of nature’s glory. Soon, the trees and vines will burst into myriad colors, like a fireworks display, and the grass will give way to a carpet of leaves. The smell of burning wood will waft over us like perfume and wild animals everywhere will be scurrying about in preparation for winter. Football is in full force, and The Boys of Summer are playing like there is no tomorrow. A stroll in the woods can become a nostalgic vehicle for memories of carefree days when youth was innocent and the great outdoors was a giant playground. Speaking of vehicles, I couldn’t resist.