Despite all the troubles and trials of this earth, there is still endless beauty to be found, everyday, everywhere…

November 1, 2021

There are always flowers for those who want to see them.
~Henri Matisse

“There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature.” ~Rachel Carson.

Sitting in a beautiful place, one can feel the healing power of nature. Our mind and body becomes calm as we feel the breeze, hear the sound of the birds, watch the river flow toward the sea. We are not “a part of nature,” we are nature, and if we don’t respect, treasure and protect it, we cannot possibly respect, treasure and protect ourselves.

It’s is surely true that none of us are perfect, and yet in some mysterious way we are when we connect to the natural world around us, and let it speak to us in its infinite silence, we are filled with that infinitude, and peace comes into our soul.

I love the song, by Iris DeMent, “Let the mystery be.”

“Everybody is a wonderin’ what and where they all came from
Everybody is a worryin’ ’bout where
They’re gonna go when the whole thing’s done
But no one knows for certain and so it’s all the same to me
I think I’ll just let the mystery be.”

It so perfectly captures our position here on earth. All the experts, from physicists to astronomers to philosophers are all beginning to say the same thing. “We really don’t know what’s going on here, despite our best efforts to “figure it all out.”

Not all that surprising, this uni-verse, is vast, beyond imagination, but we have the incredible good fortune to be living on a planet so beautiful, so full of life, so varied and wonderful in its gifts of water, air, soil, fruits, flowers, trees, grains, vegetables, sunrises, sunsets, clouds, creatures…(don’t forget wine)😉, (I could go on for pages and pages) that not to consider ourselves truly blessed is to be ungrateful beyond understanding, in my humble opinion.

Our Mother/This Beautiful Earth

October 16, 2021

When we recognise the virtues, the talent, the beauty of Mother Earth, something is born in us, some kind of connection, love is born.
~Thich Nhat Hanh

OK, let’s get a bit serious here. I have been watching and listening to folks like Jeff Bezos and it totally amazes me how incredibly
dense they can be. He runs around in his play “blue space suit,” and talks of there being too many people on earth, and establishing
“colonies,” on other planets. PEOPLE! Space is dark, cold, empty, harsh. We are not ants or bees, we are not meant to live in endless tunnels on some distant inhospitable planet, we are meant to wander the rivers, seas, mountains, and plains of this fantastically beautiful globe that is truly, our one and only home.

We need to solve our problems HERE, NOW, including the overpopulation problem. The earth can survive without us, just ask the dinosaurs. We, however, CANNOT survive without the earth nor would we want to. You think some folks have mental challenges here on earth, wait till they are living in space bubbles, unable to go outside and walk along the sea, sit by a stream, let the sun, and wind wash over them. We need to wake from our silly dreams and fantasies and listen to people like Greta, Thich, John Muir, the indigenous peoples around the world.

I don’t want to be just a voice crying out in the wilderness. See that Black-winged Stilt above, he/she is wiser than most of us are acting; knows where & what home is, where its life and food are to be found. Let’s join all the creatures of this beautiful, beautiful earth and start acting as though we do too.



Enjoy,
Tom

My First Camera

Sept. 19, 2021

Kodak Brownie Junior

The Earth is Art, The Photographer is only a Witness
~Yann Arthus-Bertrand

Yes, and it created amazingly wonderful images, especially Black & White. You had two ground glass little windows where you composed your image. You could go landscape or portrait view. You had to wind each frame by hand and you could only take 12 images per roll. From there, if you were adventurous you could go to a dark space, like a closet and wind your film into a developer tank and then develop you negative strip, which you than hung to dry. From there you could move on to printing. My first darkroom was my kitchen after dark, what fun, all night printing sessions, me having no clue at to weather my images were good or not…still I did it with passion.

Today, I still have the passion, all digital, equipment and software, it’s all still very exciting to me, because I am still “only a Witness.” But I am also a “participant,” I can take my image anywhere I want to, in camera and the digital darkroom, so infact, I am an artist! Hard to beat that, the Witness now is part of the process, although the Earth is still the master, and I the student. It’s a role I am very happy to be in, for this Earth is our mother and only home, to quote Lao Tsu: “The earth is like a vessel so sacred That at the mere approach of the profane It is marred.”

Enjoy,
Tom

Lone Fisher

July 18, 2021

Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.
~Henry David Thoreau

I love to capture everyday life, because to me there is nothing “normal” about it. I feel the same as Albert Einstein,

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

When I was a kid I was always searching for “magic.” Now everything I see and experience is magic, how else to explain sun, water, earth and air standing up, looking around and wondering? For that’s exactly what we are and what we are doing here, right now, at this very moment in time and place.

As for this fisherman, he is unconcerned with what we are doing or thinking, he is totally immersed in his life in his small portion of the cosmos at a particular moment in time. Totally alive and present in the moment, he might catch some fish, he might not, either way he will be enriched by the experience he has gifted himself. To me that is “poetry,” at it’s finest!

Enjoy,
Tom

The Old Barn

July 1 to July 20th.

This images was chosen to hang in the show: “FieldWork: Landscape And Architecture.” In the BlackBox Gallery in Portland, Oregon. It’s a international competition, twenty four works are chosen to hang in the gallery. The show runs from the 1st of July until the 20th. You can visit the gallery or see the show online here: https://blackboxgallery.com/Field%20Work-Land%20and%20Arch-2021-EP.html

There is something wonderful and mysterious about old barns. You know they have a history and a story if they could only talk, but your imagination can travel back and fill in the details.

Enjoy,
Tom

Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach, Oregon

“Smell the sea and feel the sky, let your soul and spirit fly”
~Van Morrison

April 11, 2021

Cannon Beach, with its Haystack Rock is as iconic a place as you can find in the State or Oregon, perhaps all of the US. I visited it many, many times when I lived in Portland, OR. Each time, before going I would say to myself, how will you get new images, when you have been there so often. Every time I arrived, however, there were new weather conditions, new migrations and new perspectives to explore. It is truly a “power spot” that captures the soul of anyone who visits, human or animal. It’s not something you can explain in words, you have to experience it to understand. Every season of the year provides new experiences. There never seems to be a dull moment, or “off season!” At least that has been my experience. It’s a place where sea, land, sky and animals meet, both sea creatures and land creatures in some sort of cosmic dance. Even the seagulls there are incredible creatures, powerfully shaped by the strong winds that they master or perish. They are huge, strong creatures that truly soar, alive and alert to every nuance of their environment. I have walked the beach on warm sunny days and on days so windy one can hardly make headway against it. It is invigorating any time of day, or night, as well as in any season. There are beaches that are warmer, sunnier, and calmer, but there are few that can compare with its “aliveness.” If you can, visit it, I assure you that you will be captured by its uniqueness, as I have been.

Enjoy,
Tom

Note: This is a repost of an article I have published in Landscape Photo Magazine this month. Please feel free to share it. With proper credits, of course.

Pan Pipes At The Market

There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality.
~Pablo Picasso

August 20, 2020

Or you can remove part of the literal and leave just what you want. In this image, I play with both. I believe in doing so, it
becomes even more vital and alive. Some images I will take much further in post than others, if I feel they can be made more expressive by doing so. One has to use one’s own personal judgement when it comes to one’s art. I think I did the exact right thing with this image. It captures the whole feeling of the time and place in a more powerful way than a purely literal representation would have done.

Enjoy,
Tom

Where The River Meets The Sea

“A river seems a magic thing. A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself.” 
― Laura Gilpin
 

July 28, 2020

Adding life to your image… if you hold your thumb over the gull in the above image
you will still have a decent scene. However, by making sure to get the gull in the image
adds a sense of life and action, as well as defining scale, which is so important for the 
viewer in order to get the “feel” of place. Once you have mastered your skills with camera and software, it’s the little things that matter and will set you apart from the crowd. I also did not go for a long exposure, which to me, is highly overused these days, because I wanted to show the movement and flow of the stream, which again, tends to add life to the scene. 

Enjoy,
Tom

Moonflower_Homage to O’Keefe

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The flower which is single need not envy the thorns that are numerous.
~Rabindranath Tagore

Thursday Feb. 20, 2020

The Moonflower blooms for one night, filling the air with the sweetness of it’s scent. Only one night, but that’s more than enough for something so fragile and beautiful. For anyone who doesn’t believe that this globe is chock full of magic and beauty, they only need to come across one such as these and inhale it’s essence that it gives so freely to all.

I have always loved the flower paintings of Georgia O’Keefe and this was a chance to honor her memory. She, like the flower brought great beauty into this world.

Enjoy,
Tom

“Snow was falling,”

Winter Ice & Leaves

“Snow was falling,
so much like stars
filling the dark trees
that one could easily imagine
its reason for being was nothing more
than prettiness.”
~Mary Oliver

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Even nature doesn’t always follow the rules, such as “moving water won’t freeze.” In Maine I captured this image of water frozen solid as it flowed in two small streams. Infact, sometimes even the small salt water bays and harbors, along the ocean will freeze, which is quite a sight to see…so, in art and photography,  which certainly can be art, rules are simply guides, good to follow until you are experienced enough to know when and how to break them in order to best express your feelings and vision for a subject. Creativity and insight always trump “rules.”

“Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around people’s legs like house cats. It was magical, this snow globe world.”
~Sarah Addison Allen

Enjoy,
Tom