Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Nature's shape

I took a nature photography class last semester. While the class in general did little for me, some of the prompts helped me think about what made up a photograph. One such assignment was called "natural still life." For some in the class, this just meant any still life, meaning they set up a bunch of fruit in a bowl or something. I interpreted it to mean that we needed to find something that held the same aspects that still life was supposed to bring (that of studying the form represented by something) but being found completely in nature. It also requires that nothing was moved.
In Oregon, my Aunt and Uncle live on the coast. The Pacific has a habit of tossing up lots of driftwood in really interesting patterns on the sand. I found one such toss up that really falls under what I think of as "natural still life."
Being a photographer really means seeing what the world has for you to capture. Some the best places to look for photographs is right in nature. While man may mimick the beauty and complexity of nature with *some* success, it can never truly reproduce what exists naturally in buildings. This is why my best photographs (or at least my favorite) are all of true nature. And that is why nature is my number one subject in the photographs of this blog.

Monday, May 26, 2008

And the silence prevails...

It's Memorial Day, so the newsroom is exceedingly quiet right now. It's odd to be working full time in the professional world. Kind of anti-climatic actually, but it is quite enjoyable here. I thought that I would miss writing, but a year and a half of copy editing has left me hungry for more editing jobs.

One thing about returning to this job, though, is that I have again become nostalgic for last summer. This, of course, has left me yearning for Morocco, one of the best countries to visit if you want to get a sense of Islam without getting shot at (a gross overgeneralization, I'm sure, but still a great country). And so I bring to the interwebs a few of my favorite shots from my time in Morocco. The first shot is looking Northeast along the coast of Morocco near Tangiers. If you look closely on the left in the distance you can see Spain and across from it you can see the part of Morocco that reaches out to touch it's neighbor across the Strait of Gibralter.
Lone Tree
And next, from the same place, looking southwest down the curve of North Africa:

Twilight Falls

Finally, here is a shot from a medina in Tetuoan. The medinas, or 'old cities,' of Morocco are some of the most wonderful places to visit. Not only are the alleyways tight and close together, but exploring them often means navigating a maze, with little surprises here and there. In this case, we turned a corner a found beautiful potted flowers decorating old, crumbling plaster that covered the walls of houses where people lived.

Where the Path Chooses You

Hopefully I will have more time to go on photography expeditions soon! But until then, I will continue to rely on old fodder.

Also, one of my current favorite poets, Gary Snyder, has been captivating me lately. A beat poet and buddhist, his poems leap off of the page with references to both his love of nature and his Zen Buddhist training. So here is a quick poem that thought I would share(unfortunately I cannot keep his same formatting, but I will direct you to a site that has a few of his poems with his unique formatting):

"Regarding Wave"
The voice of the Dharma
the voice

A shimmering bell
through all.

Every hill, still.
Every tree alive. Every leaf.
All the slopes flow.
old woods, new seedlings,
tall grasses plumes.

Dark hollows; peaks of light.
wind stirs the cool side
Each leaf living.
All the hills.

The Voice
is a wife

him still.

~Gary Snyder

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

My Imminent Return

Man, I wish I was here right now!

After two months of a self-imposed, and much needed, break from blogging, I may soon be back. Between getting schoolwork done and finishing my bout with The Captain's Log, I've had little time for
updates. I have kept up with my lj, but only because I don't really care what is in that. I'd like to think that this blog is much more professional and so the words mean more and so need to be more thought out. In the meantime, I have become addicted to food blogs and blogs in general really. It's easy to not do your homework when you could be reading about good food that you don't have money to make or cutesy dogs. Anyway, I have no time left to update a blog myself, though that will shortly change I hope :-). I still have a paper to turn in and a paper to finish writing, but when all that is done I will be completely finished with my undergraduate career. I just have to take a breather and focus to get there.

I have a job now. It's a full-time copy-editing position with a starting salary somewhere around $24,000. Unfortunately that is par for a journalism job in Newport News. At least entry level. Which is why I am not really staying here for long. Hopefully the future I am working towards will include a stint in Oregon. Because it is one of the most beautiful states I have ever visited, even in the city it is wonderful!

Portland at Night

And to end with a quote:

"Thus shall you think of all this fleeting world:
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream;
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream..."
~ The Diamond Sutra, Buddha