Day 12 – architecture and monochrome (Photo 101)

  

Snapped this yesterday when walking up the stairs to rooftop parking at a local shopping mall. A very ordinary photo was made more dramatic by converting to black and white and upping the contrast a bit. 

Day 11 – a Pop of Color (Photo 101)

A splash of colour...

A splash of colour…

In a brash move (in the spirit of yesterday’s post), I am posting this assignment out of order!  The challenge was to choose one bold colour possibly set off against a neutral background. Though the composition is more cluttered than I think was intended, the colour is so intense I’m posting anyway. This is an azalea variety which has an intense scent to match its brilliant display. It always starts to flower right around my birthday at the beginning of May and, for me, is a sure sign that hot summer weather is just around the corner.

As for those missing posts? I’m working on them… Maybe I’ll get around to posting and maybe I won’t. That’s just the way it is when you are dealing with a rebel blogger…

Day ? (Photo 101)

Be not afraid…

Losing track of the days (this is what happens when one falls too far behind in the homework department!!) I seem to recall one of the next challenges was looking at natural lines and how they lead the eye in (or out) of the frame...

Losing track of the days (this is what happens when one falls too far behind in the homework department!!) I seem to recall one of the next challenges was looking at natural lines and how they lead the eye in (or out) of the frame…

Day 5 – Solitude and the Rule of Thirds (Photo 101)

 Plane spotter on Saint Martin… Cropped the original slightly so both plane and spotter were more or less on the imaginary grid lines dividing the image into thirds…  The sun is more or less a third of the way down in the frame (a bit too close to the middle…) The cropping definitely made the image more balanced than the original, which also had a very crooked horizon.

Day 4 – Bliss (Photo 101)

Choose Your Bliss

Define Bliss – Day 4 Photo 101 Challenge

Define my bliss. Hm. The Good Buddhist Answer would be that my bliss is wherever I find myself, that no one moment is better than any other moment, that all moments are contained in this singular eternity, this breath, this heartbeat.

Was it Churchill who said, "There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man."

Was it Churchill who said, There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.

But of course, bliss is easier come by in some places than others. For me, very often those moments of pure peace, contentment, and … yes, bliss are found outside – sailing, hiking, climbing, riding my horse, digging in the garden, paddling a kayak, surfing, snorkeling. Or, standing still at the edge of the ocean just as the rain begins to fall, or at the top of Lone Tree Hill, my jacket unzipped, the wind blowing through me, or beneath the crashing weight of a waterfall pouring off a cliff far above. Those are the moments when my molecular structure shifts a little, becomes less tied to the mundane (do I need to pick up a bottle of milk on the way home?) and more open to/intrinsically intertwined with/influenced by some fundamental organizing principle underlying all things in the universe.

My Bliss - Banff, Circa 1970

My Bliss – Banff, Circa 1970

I have heard it said that to find clues about where to find your current bliss you might want to return to those things that made you happy when you were a child. There I am in the mountains with my jacket unzipped, waiting for the wind to blow through me. I’m also with my brother, and I have certainly learned that there are few things more important for the attainment of deep contentment than time spent with those you love most.

Yoga by candlelight, on the path to bliss... (Photo: Ally Pony)

Yoga by candlelight, on the path to bliss… (Photo: Ally Pony)

That said, sometimes the most profound moments of peace are found in solitude, when there is nobody else to hear my breathing. Which, in a pleasing circular sort of way, brings me back to where I began this post – bliss as breath and breath as universe.

Wow. I should refrain from writing posts late at night! Fact is I am too tired after having had a wonderful afternoon sailing followed by dinner and a movie with my dear father to even attempt to sensibly reflect on the idea that ‘all moments are contained in this singular eternity…’ What the heck did I mean by that anyway?

Day Three – Water and Orientation (Photo101)

Water – horizontal

Water – vertical

Yes, I am waaaaay behind on my daily photo challenge!! A couple of words of analysis on this challenge: Vertical orientation = more about the fish. Horizontal orientation = more about the water. And that’s all I shall say about that… I’m rushing out the door (again! – this time to spend the afternoon sailing with friends…). If I don’t post this now I shall never move on to Day 4!!

Street Scene (Photo 101)

I live on a rather small, quiet street – utterly unremarkable and (at least today) not one I felt inspired to photograph. I was casting my mind about for photos depicting street scenes and the one that came to mind was this one taken during our recent sailing adventures in the Caribbean.

Tourists are a funny breed...

Tourists are a funny breed…

Maho Beach on Saint Martin (and the road that runs along its length) are certainly more entertaining than our semi-rural neighbourhood here on Vancouver Island! People from around the world make a pilgrimage to this plane-spotting haven to watch jets drop in low over the beach and onto the extremely short runway at Princess Juliana International Airport.

A whole industry has sprung up to provide sun-baked, sand-blasted tourists with frosty beverages just outside the jet blast zone...

A whole industry has sprung up to provide sun-baked, sand-blasted tourists with frosty beverages just outside the jet blast zone… If I had known then what I know now, I would have parked my backside under an umbrella and shot my footage from a safe distance! 

I thought it was pretty cool to stand on the beach and watch the planes land, but the fun (not!!) really began when we decided to see what it was like to stand behind a jet plane when it was taking off.

What could be more fun than elbowing other tourists out of the way to get your best shot of an incoming plane? I know, standing in the dreaded jet blast zone as one takes off!

What could be more fun than elbowing other tourists out of the way to get your best shot of an incoming plane? How about… standing in the dreaded jet blast zone as one takes off!

Yeah. I know. Who would be so stupid as to stand in a zone plastered with warning signs like this:

Danger! Danger! Danger!

Danger! Danger! Danger!

In my defense, all I can say is that I figured if it was really, really dangerous, surely they would have closed the road. And the beach. And the pilot wouldn’t have waved at us in such a cheerful manner before, yes, he pointed his 707 down the runway and gunned his engines.

Positioned as we were directly behind the plane and across the road on the beach so we would have an awesome view and great camera angles, the roar of wind and that horrible ear-splitting wail of jet engines were the first things we noticed. Followed immediately by the stench of jet fumes and a wave of heat that carried with it a gazillion particles of sand and other debris travelling at velocities fast enough to embed themselves in our skin so deeply we were still picking stray grains of grit out days later!

Bodies flew past us and in the panic of people fleeing and being blown off their feet we lost track of my nephew who, it turns out, was knocked over, rolled down the steep sand bank and into the ocean. The worst part of that was he had his phone in his pocket and said phone did not survive the dunking.

The rest of us managed to stop our retreat before being plunged into the sea, but we all felt somewhat foolish and slunk away along with the other sand-encrusted tourists who had met similar fates.

Tourist Tip of the Day:IMG_3430

Talcum powder is a pretty good antidote when it comes to removing sand, say when you want to put your shoes back on after a stroll on a beach. It does little, however, to help when sand particles have lodged in your scalp beneath your long hair. Swimming off the back of the boat does not help. Neither does showering at the nearest marina. Nor does picking at your head with tweezers. Don’t even waste your time with a hairbrush or head shaking. Scraping bits of sand out with fingernails is a task worthy of Sisyphus. Best to just stay far, far away from the back end of departing airliners.

IMG_3431