Monthly Archives: August 2016

Positive and negative

Sowerwine Sunrise

Lower Flathead Valley, MT

Let’s play a little game. As you look at this photo, notice only the trees and shadows, the so-called positive space, or the space occupied by form. Now, look only at the space between the trees, the open water, and the sky, termed negative space. Positive and negative hardly encompass what you see, do they? Let’s posit the idea that everything around us is composed in one way or another like this photograph. Our world is much more expansive, much more inter-related than we often comprehend. One of the things I love about photography is that it trains us to see everything differently, and perhaps feel and act differently, as well.

Seeing as receiving

V of F Cliff

Valley of Fire, Nevada

Through our eyes and other senses, we interpret our world. Like this cliff face, many interpretations are possible. As a scene imprints on our eyes, just as it does on film or on the receptors of a digital camera, we receive the image. Isn’t it more accurate to say we “receive” a photo, rather than “take” a photo?  We “receive” a view of the world around us? Perhaps this is a subtle distinction, but, I think, an important one. We are continually challenged to remain receptive to the world around us.


Pt Lobos wildflowers

Point Lobos, CA

Considering Charles Darwin’s “survival of the fittest,” it is fascinating to consider the seeming fragility of certain organisms. The nodding heads of wildflowers, the delicacy of butterfly wings, the intricate spider webs essential to the sustenance of their tireless architects. Somehow, by standards of social Darwinism, fitness is equated with “might makes right.” Instead, imagine how the human realm might change if we recognized the advantages of our gentler traits.

Deep summer

Bennington Scene

Walla Walla, WA

Each summer, when enough warmth has seeped into the bones, deep summer arrives. It’s not on a calendar, but I’m sure you know it. It encompasses everything from the dusty ground beneath your feet to the towering clouds overhead. It ushers in languor and a benevolent drowsiness. The sound of the bees and the crickets is more resonant, and conversations are subdued with longer intervals of silence. Harvest is approaching, and I long, as well, to preserve these golden hours as memories to open in the midst of winter.