Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ Category

What is Beauty?

What is Beauty?
I purchased a Begonia plant at a local nursery recently.  Honestly, I do not care for pink flowers but the one I purchased just looked so strong and vibrant that I did not resist very long.  I have set it down in a large flower pot in my studio.  It loves being there.  The sun shines on it many hours of the day.  I am getting used to the pink color.  Two days ago it acted as if a siren calling to me.  The effect of the sunlight falling on the blossoms pulled me in.  I am telling you I do not care for pink.  I have maybe 90,000 photographs of flowers and cannot recall doing a study of any pink flowers.  Besides Begonias are such a common flower.  I tend to pick the uncommon, the outlander.   I have now recorded hundreds of exposures of this Begonia.  It is privileged to get both the morning and evening sun.  I have photographed it on sunny days and cloudy days.  It has become a part of me.  I will never forget it.  I have not had the time to develop and composite but a few of the compositions.  When I do I know that I will find some beauties.

This experience has emphasized to me, once again, that the common and simple are important parts of life.  If one looks carefully, intently many times beauty will appear where none had been seen.  With this concept in mind I have already ordered Zinnia seeds for next year’s garden.  I am sure that I can reveal their common beauty as images of powerful uncommon beauty.

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It seems we have had the snowfall of the century.  or was it the last hundred years.  Why are we all so intrigued with records?  What’s the point?  As I sit here in my studio I am looking out on a beautiful landscape.  Snow covers everything.  It is hanging off of the trees.  Outside my studio door the porch has snow up to the top of the first glass pane.  There will be some shoveling in my future.  But for now all I see is the beauty, the other-worldliness.

There are no signs of life out there.  No, wait a minute, on closer inspection I do see animal tracks in the snow.  I wonder what it is?  It’s a red fox.  Probably the one I saw last Saturday.  He’s over by the Tractor barn.  For the fun of it I am going to set up my camera with the 200-400mm telephoto lens and see if I can record an image of him.  He has made a resting spot and settled down so all I can see of him is an ear.  I’ll keep on glancing over to see if he sticks his head up enough to record his image.

That seems about it for signs of life.  The sky is lightening.  It a light shade of pink at the horizon transitioning to a light blue with a gradient (photographer talk) up to a darker blue directly overhead.  Already some of the snow is starting to fall from the boughs of the evergreen trees.  With a puff and a fluff it disintegrates into a white dust and falls to the ground.  The snow covers so much.  I see my 45 oak stakes sticking 4 feet into the air.  They remind me of the 45 dahlia plants which I did not have time to dig up this year.  I was too busy preparing for my trip to China where I had a solo show at the Lishui Photo Festival.

I will have to start over again by ordering new tubers from Swann’s Dahlias.  That is actually alright with me since I want to get more collerettes to photograph in this coming season.  I think one of the pleasures of the snow is what it covers up.  The garden cleanups that I was unable to do before winter set in are hidden.  I know they are there but I can more easily push them out of my mind and turn my attention to the coming season.

There are seed catalogs to examine and new photography software to learn and new pictures to create and my annual New Year’s Card to create and …  Beautiful, beautiful snow you have released me to concentrate on other things that are important to do at this time of year.

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