Life is a collage of Beginnings and Endings that run together like wet paint. Before we can begin any New Phase in Life, we must first achieve closure to the current stage we are in. That’s because many of life’s experiences call for closure. Often, we cannot see the significance of an event or importance of a lesson until we have reached this. Or, we may have completed a certain phase in life or path of learning and want to honor that ending. It is this sense of completion that frees us to open the door to new beginnings. Closure serves to tie up or sever loose ends, quiets the mind even when questions have been left unanswered, signifies the end of an experience, and acknowledges that a change has taken place.
The period of completion, rather than being just an act of finality, is also one of transition. When we seek closure, what we really want is an understanding of what has happened and an opportunity to derive what lessons we can from an experience. Without closure, there is no resolution and we are left to grieve, relive old memories to the point of frustration, or worse. Its been somewhat difficult recently, writing seems to help.
Thank you for the kind visit to my humble Blog, Erik
Heartbreak happens to all of us and can wash over us like the in rushing tide. We are soaked with grief, and the overflow is channeled into the body. Loss becomes a physical emptiness with feelings that often cannot be put into words. The idea of healing can seem so enormous that often we don’t even try for fear of further damage. This leaves an enduring mark upon us and by no means does recognizing that this is not permanent dull its sting for it is the sting itself that stimulates healing. The pain is letting us know that we need to pay attention to our emotional selves, to listen to our feelings and be in them fully. There is a saying that time heals all wounds, and this may be true to some degree. Time tends to dull the pain. Most importantly, open yourself to the possibility of loving, trusting, and believing again. When, someday soon, you emerge from the cushion of your grief, you will see that the universe did not cease to be as you nursed your broken heart. You emerge on the other side of the mending, stronger for all you have experienced.
I discovered this fissure in the rock at Sunset Cliff’s in San Diego during a low tide at sunset. It is quite a challenge to get to the beach from the cliffs above, the final descent is down a 30 embankment where a rope has been secured to assist hardy souls getting up and down – a beginners introduction to rappelling of sorts. Having a hefty Manfrotto Tripod and a pack full of photo gear made this even more fun! The waves were quite vigorous this afternoon and this called for a Neutral Density Filter which allowed a 30 second exposure to smooth things out and capture the many tiny waterfalls. I used a Variable ND from Singh-Ray on a 10-20mm lens. Mounting the tripod on a sturdy rock outcrop stabilized the shot with the tide sweeping around its feet (and mine). There are many such geographical features along the coast of Southern California which emerge during the low tide and will be subject of further exploration in the coming years!
Please have a look to our website http://www.kerstenbeck.com for more scenic landscapes and other gems which would look amazing framed and on your wall!
Thanks so much for the visit!
One of the most wrenching decisions we ever make in life is leaving a long-term relationship that just isn’t working. When attempts at repairing and working out issues aren’t working, it may be time to examine moving on. We are emotional creatures, and when our hearts are tied to those of another, separating from that person can feel like an act of courage. It is not something most of us will take lightly, and many of us will struggle with our desire to stay in a relationship simply in order to avoid that pain. We may question whether the happiness we seek even exists, and we may wonder if we might be wiser to simply settle where we are, making the best of what we have.
We may also almost think the idea that true happiness is not out there so that we can avoid the pain of change. On the other hand, we feel within ourselves a yearning to fulfill our desire for relationships that are vital and healing. Ultimately, most of us will follow this call, because deep within ourselves we know that we deserve to be happy. We all deserve to be happy, no matter where we find ourselves in this moment, and we are all justified in moving, like plants toward the light, in the direction that leads to our greatest fulfillment. First, though, we may need to summon the courage to move on from the relationship that appears to be holding us back.
Taking the first steps will be hard, but the happiness we find when we have freed ourselves from a situation that is draining our energy will outshine any hardship we undergo to get there. Keeping our eyes trained on the horizon, we begin the work of disentangling ourselves from the relationship that no longer fits. Every step brings us closer to a relationship that will work, and the freedom we need to find the happiness we deserve.
This was shot on the beautiful island of Oahu one early morning. Sunrises can be very dynamic with colors, temperatures and winds changing very rapidly so it is important to arrive early and scope the scene and compose your image. Using a sturdy tripod and a Neutral Density filter allowed a 30 second exposure which smoothed out the seas and gave a bit of blur to the clouds. Somehow this lone stump of a tree struck my attention as being symbolic somehow and now fits perfectly with the text of this post.
To purchase a copy of this fine image, visit our Website where you will be presented with a multitude of choices and thank you for visiting!
Transformation is a universal constant that affects our lives from the moment we are born until we leave earthly existence behind. At the root of all growth, we find change. Occasionally, change and the circumstances leading up to it are a source of extraordinary joy, but more often than not they provoke feelings of discomfort, fear, or pain. Though many changes are unavoidable, we should not believe that we are subject to the whims of an unpredictable universe. It is our response to those circumstances that will dictate the nature of our experiences. At the heart of every transformation, no matter how chaotic, there is substance. When we no longer resist change and instead regard it as an opportunity to grow, we find that we are far from helpless in the face of it.
Our role as masters of our own destinies is cemented when we choose to make change work in our favor. Yet before we can truly internalize this power, we must accept that we cannot hide from the changes taking place all around us. Existence as we know it will come to an end at one or more points in our lives, making way for some new and perhaps unexpected mode of being. This transformation will take place whether or not we want it to, and so it is up to us to decide whether we will open our eyes to the blessings hidden amidst disorder or close ourselves off from opportunities hiding behind obstacles.
To make change work for you, look constructively at your situation and ask yourself how you can benefit from the transformation that has taken place. As threatening as change can seem, it is often a sign that a new era of your life has begun. If you reevaluate your plans and goals in the days or weeks following a major change, you will discover that you can adapt your ambition to the circumstances before you and even capitalize on these changes. Optimism, enthusiasm, and flexibility will aid you greatly here, as there is nothing to be gained by dwelling on what might have been. Change can hurt in the short-term but, if you are willing to embrace it proactively, its lasting impact will nearly always be physically, spiritually, and intellectually transformative.
This was shot one evening on the beach in Del Mar, California before covering a Press Event for a local Artist. The smooth waves and ripples were achieved by using a very long shutter speed (30 seconds ) and letting the waves wash over the sand. Using a Neutral density filter, the available light was reduced by 6 stops – these filters are great for making silly waterfalls, flowing rivers, musty waves etc. Also, and often overlooked, one can use these filters in strong sunlight to control the exposure to allow portraits to be shot with a wide open aperture. There are many manufacturers of such filters, this one was from Singh-Ray. Lee, B&H and other also make great products – The Big Stopper by Lee is a 10 stop Neutral Density filter, which can allow exposures of several minutes – awesome for moving clouds against fixed foregrounds!
This image is available for purchase on our website http://www.kerstenbeck.com/International/Domestic-Landscape/23603331_JrbKxX#!i=2293421194&k=9X4jJsP&lb=1&s=A
….or just drop by and have a look around!
This image of the Brooklyn Bridge was taken during March of last year- surprisingly at a time when most of the people on the bridge were completely out of site- as you can see- sometimes patience makes the shot!
Another of the series from Rome and this shot was taken in a rather tricky spot with the wife helping me dodge the crazy cars, motorbikes, and tourists. For tips on how to do this same shot- check out the tutorial section on our website- just click on the photo itself and you will magically go to the site! Thank you again, Kathleen & Erik
There are times when our whole world seems to be falling apart around us, and we are not sure what to hold onto anymore. Sometimes our relationships crumble and sometimes it’s our physical environment. At other times, we can’t put our finger on it, but we feel as if all the walls have fallen down around us and we are standing with nothing to lean on, exposed and vulnerable. These are the times in our lives when we are given an opportunity to see where we have established our sense of identity, safety, and well-being. And while it is perfectly natural and part of our process to locate our sense of self in externals, any time those external factors shift, we have an opportunity to rediscover and move closer to our core, which is the only truly safe place to call home. The core of our being is not affected by the shifting winds of circumstance or subject to the cycles of change that govern physical reality. We can cling to this core when things around us are falling apart, knowing that an inexhaustible light shines from within ourselves. Times of external darkness can be a great gift in that they provide an opportunity to remember this inner light that shines regardless of the circumstances of our lives.
This was shot at the east coast of The Salton Sea on the shores of Bombay Beach. Several decades ago, this area was a thriving Mecca for Hollywood‘s “Rich and Famous” and a very popular Resort Town for people who enjoy water skiing, sport fishing and otherwise soaking in the desert sun. Over the years, popularity has faded and the area has fallen into a state of decay. For a Photographer, this presents many wonderfully dramatic opportunities with old building, piers, machines, cars and the like. The best time to visit this area is in the winter when the temperatures are not quite as scorching and there is the possibility of storm clouds and spectacular sunsets. Using long exposure times on shots like this will smooth out the surface of the water to great effect. Certainly this is a go-to place for the curious and the intrepid Photographer.
The very moment during the day when we very first open our eyes and come into consciousness is a precious opportunity. It sets the tone for all that comes after it, like the opening scene in a film or novel. At this moment, our ability to create the day is at its most powerful, and we can offer ourselves fully to the creative process by filling this moment with whatever inspires us most. It may be that we want to be more generous, or it may be that we want to be more open to beauty in our daily lives. Whatever the case, if we bring this vision into our minds at this very fertile moment, we empower it to be the guiding principle of our day.
This vista was photographed first thing in the morning close to Punakaiki which is a small community on the West Coast of the South Island of New Zealand, between Westport and Greymouth. The community lies on the edge of the Paparoa National Park. The Pancake Rocks are a very popular tourist goal at Dolomite Point south of the main village. The Pancake Rocks are a heavily eroded limestone area where the sea bursts though a number of vertical blowholes during high tides. Together with the ‘pancake’-layering of the limestone (created by immense pressure on alternating hard and soft layers of marine creatures and plant sediments), these form the main attraction of the area.
The picture was taken with a Nikon D90, tripod mounted…we deliberately shot into the rising morning sun to capture the striations of the sunlight on the rocks to the right as well as the tiny plant holding onto the rocky cliff on the left, bsking in the first light of the day.
The time we are blessed with is limited and tends to be used up all too quickly, so how we use that time is one of the most important decisions we make. It is far too easy to put off until tomorrow what we are dreaming of today. Our hectic daily pace affords us an easy out; we shelve our aspirations so we can cope more effectively with the challenges of the present, in order to have more time and leisure to realize our dreams in the future. Or we tell ourselves that we will chase our dreams someday once we have accomplished other lesser goals. In truth, it is our fear that keeps us from seeking fulfillment in the here and now—because we view failure as a possibility, our reasons for delaying our inevitable success seem sound and rational. If we ask ourselves what we are really waiting for, however, we discover that there is no truly compelling reason why we should put off the pursuit of the dreams that sustain us. All the joy, passion, and contentment you can envision can be yours right now, rather than in some far-flung point in time. You need only remind yourself that there is nothing standing between you and fulfillment if you decide that today is the day you will take your destiny into your hands.
This was shot at Huntington Beach in California. We were exploring the wondrous undersides of this pier – we tend to do that searching for a good opportunity for some dramatic High Dynamic Range shots (HDR). When we found what we were looking for and were about to head off to our next destination, we spotted this lone surfer, patiently waiting for The Perfect Wave.
Mountains have always captured our imaginations, calling us to scale their heights, and to pay homage to their greatness. Mountains can be seen from hundreds of miles away, and if we are lucky enough to be on top of one, we can see great stretches of the surrounding earth. As a result, mountains symbolize vision, the ability to rise above the adjacent lowlands and see beyond our immediate vicinity. From the top of the mountain, we are able to witness life from a new perspective—cities and towns that seem so large when we are in them look tiny. We can take the whole thing in with a single glance, regaining our composure and our sense of proportion as we realize how much bigger this world is than we sometimes remember it to be.
Mountains are almost always considered holy and spiritual places, and the energy at the top of a mountain is undeniably unique. When we are on top of a mountain, it is as if we have ascended to an alternate realm, one in which the air is purer and lighter. Many a human being has climbed to the top of a mountain in order to connect with a higher source of understanding, and many have come back down feeling stronger and wiser. Whenever we are feeling trapped or limited in our vision, a trip to our nearest mountain may be just the cure we need. There’s a reason that mountain views are so highly prized in this world, and it is because, even from a distance, mountains remind us of how small we are, which often comes as a wonderful relief. Whether we have a mountain view out of our window or just a photograph of a mountain where we see it every day, we can rely on these earthly giants to provide inspiration, vision, and a daily reminder of our humble place in the grand scheme of life.
This is a shot from the top of Gate’s Pass, just outside of Tuscon, Arizona. It was a short hike to this location where we watched the sun setting and the sky slowly changing colors. Equipped with a tripod mounted Nikon D90, we were able to take some very long exposures as things became progressively darker. We lit up this cactus during one such long exposure with a quick burst from a flash. This is a common technique used for portrait shots – one exposes for the background using the normal techniques and then illuminates the subjects using off camera flash. This is very effective as not only does the background remain properly exposed in the image, but the subject tends to pop out! We have used this technique often during Family Portrait sessions on the beach in California during sunsets and invariably, the clients have loved it!
Most people agree that a more peaceful world would be an ideal situation for all living creatures. If we are to have true peace in this world, each one of us must find it in ourselves first. If we don’t like ourselves, for example, we probably won’t like those around us. If we are in a constant state of inner conflict, then we will probably manifest conflict in the world. If we have fighting within our families, there can be no peace in the world. We must shine the light of inquiry on our internal struggles, because this is the only place we can really create change.
Being at peace with ourselves is not about denying or rejecting any part of ourselves. On the contrary, in order to be at peace we must be willing and able to hold ourselves, in all our complexity, in a full embrace that excludes nothing. This is perhaps the most difficult part for many of us, because we want so much to disown the negative aspects of our humanity. Ironically, though, true peace begins with a willingness to take responsibility for our humanity so that we might ultimately transform it in the light of our love.
This is an image taken during sunset at Gate’s Pass just west of Tuscon, Arizona. The top of the Pass offers brilliant sunsets and is frequented by scores of people every evening when there is promise of a colorful sky. After a short hike, we came across this lone cactus which, along with us, overlooking the valley below and the splendour of the setting sun. To capture all of the light, we shot three exposures and later combined them with a speciality photographic software package called Photomatix Pro. We love the contrast of the lone, prickly cactus who watches the soft sunset with strength and fortitude, being at peace…just being.
Often, we spend so much time reacting and responding to everyone else that life seems to have no personal direction. Other people’s lives, problems, and wants set the course. Once we realize that it is okay to think about and identify what we want, remarkable things will begin to take place! It is not lack of time which tends to be the problem – we all have 24 hours each day. Stop looking at the speedometer and keep an eye on the compass! If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams and live the life you have imagined, you will meet success. Put some things behind you and pass through invisible and imagined barriers. Here is a short verse by Ella Wheeler Wilcox which is fitting for the image for today:
One ship sails East and another sails West, with the same winds that blow.
It’s the set of the sails, and not the gales, that tells them the way to go.
Like the winds of the sea, are the ways of fate;
As we voyage through life, it’s the set of the soul that decides our goal
And not the calm, or the strife.
This is another shot from the Embarcadero in San Fransico, California, taken early one morning as the fog from the Bay was burning away. The entire area is a treasure trove for Photographers – old buildings, fishing boats, unique individuals, crab traps, great food and drink, a submarine… the list goes on. Here we were shooting the long lines of piers as they extended into the misty Bay when a Tall Ship appeared as if by magic. Using our tripod mounted Nikon D90 (10mm, f19, 1/8sec, ISO100, remote shutter release), we quickly aligned the ship with the lines of the piers and shot three exposures. Later these were combined with Photomatix to bring the entire dynamic range of the light to bear. No sooner than we had executed this, the ship had passed!
Like millions of other people today, you will have noticed being a bit more stressed when going about your daily activities, such as commuting, the challenges of the home or workplace. How often have you had your day planned to perfection when, out of the blue, you are inundated with some urgent and important request that requires immediate attention. It is like when you are on the beach and are unexpectedly hit by a rogue wave – suddenly you are knocked down and struggling for breath!
Priorities are like big rocks. If you fill your bucket full of pebbles (small demands) and you have a major crisis (children, financial, health, creative opportunity etc), these major events are big rocks. You no longer have room in your bucket for the things that matter the most in your life. Always think of the big rocks first with a resounding “yes”. You can always say “no” to things, which to others, may seem urgent but not important. Whatever the circumstances, it is living and being driven by the principles you value most, not by urgent agendas and forces surrounding you.
This image is from the South Island of New Zealand, shot in July (Winter), just a bit south from Westport. In the Winter, the beaches are wonderfully vacant of tourists, with the exception of the rogue Photographers, as most have headed further south and up into the mountains to experience the fantastic downhill skiing. To get capture the entire dynamic range of the light during this early morning, three shots were taken using varying exposure values and then combined with a software program called Photomatix. New Zealand is a treasure to visit and a diamond in the raw for Photographers!
When the history of the world and all of its glorious achievements, institutions, cultures, communities, families and individuals is finally written, the prevalent theme will be the degree by which have lived not by their socialized conscience but by their divine conscience. That is the innate, intuitive wisdom contained in the principles that are taught in all global religions and enduring philosophies. Geopolitics, economics, wars, popular culture, art, education or churches will not factor in. The moral and spiritual dimension – how true people are to the timeless principles of right and wrong – will be the overarching and underlying governing force.
“I love those who can smile in trouble, who can gather strength from distress, and grow brave by reflection. ‘Tis the business of little minds to shrink, but they whose heart is firm, and whose conscience approves their conduct, will pursue their principles unto death. ” Leonardo da Vinci
This image is fitting to have this shot of Mirror Lake in Yosemite National Park for today’s post. Mirror Lake has little water much of the year, but in spring and early summer it can grow in size. When water is calm, the lake offers beautiful reflections of surrounding cliffs. Exhibits detail the story of the area’s lake-to-meadow succession. This can also be a good place to spot wildlife, or spend some time in thought and meditation surrounded by the splendour of this stunning national treasure.
Since a young age, we are taught to value speed and getting things done quickly, forging ahead at a frantic pace – after all doing is more valuable than being, right? Yet as we surge forward in search of some elusive sense of fulfillment, we often find ourselves feeling strangely disconnected….we fail to notice the simple beauty of living. When we learn to slow down, we rediscover the significance of seemingly inconsequential aspects of life. In essence, we give ourselves the gift of time—time to indulge our curiosity, to enjoy the moment, to appreciate worldly wonders, to sit and think, to connect with others, and to explore our inner landscapes more fully. A life savored slowly does not need to be passive, inefficient, or slothful. Conducting ourselves at a slower pace enables us to be selective in how we spend our time and to fully appreciate each passing moment.
This is a shot from La Jolla, California. We spent hours exploring the area, thinking of where the sun was eventually going to set, looking for interesting foreground and background and just taking in the briny smell of the sea, listening to the onrush of the waves and soaking in the sun. We waded through the surf to a lone rocky outcrop, set up our camera and tripod and waited patiently for the sun and the surf – this was not a one snap wonder but took place over the space of around 30 minutes. In the background you can see the Life Guard Towers at Children’s Pool where scores of seals bask in the sun and surf and give birth to their pups. You may also notice the huge waves as they are breaking, eventually sweeping into the cove (and inundating these Photographers in often thigh high water). The concept here was to contrast the dynamic rush of the waves with the tranquil descent of the sun at the end of another glorious day.
““Here comes the sun, here comes the sun. And I say it’s all right” and to follow, here is a quotation from the author of this song:
“It’s being here and now that’s important. There’s no past and there’s no future. Time is a very misleading thing. All there is ever, is the now. We can gain experience from the past, but we can’t relive it; and we can hope for the future, but we don’t know if there is one.” ― George Harrison
Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find your here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally. Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside. If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.
It seemed appropriate for this image taken first thing in the morning in Queenstown, New Zealand. It was another glorious start of the day during our adventures down-down under, quite, a bit chilly and very tranquil as the city slowly came to life. As you know, Photographers tend to get up before the sunrise to catch the first rays of sun, “The Golden Hour“.
Typically, lighting is softer (more diffuse) and warmer in hue, and shadows are longer. When the sun is near the horizon, sunlight travels through more of the atmosphere, reducing the intensity of the direct light, so that more of the illumination comes from indirect light from the sky, reducing the lighting ratio. More blue light is scattered, so that light from the sun appears more reddish. In addition, the sun’s small angle with the horizon produces longer shadows.
“Hour” is used here quite loosely. The character of the lighting is determined by the sun’s altitude, and the time for the sun to move from the horizon to a specified altitude depends on a location’s latitude and the time of year. In Los Angeles, California, at an hour after sunrise or an hour before sunset, the sun has an altitude of about 10°–12°. For a location closer to the equator, the altitude is greater (or the time less), and for a location farther from the equator, the altitude is less (or the time greater). For a location sufficiently far from the equator, the sun may not reach an altitude of 10°, and the golden hour lasts for the entire day in certain seasons.
Because the contrast is less during the golden hour, shadows are less dark, and highlights are less likely to be overexposed. In landscape photography, the warm color of the low sun is often considered desirable to enhance the colours of the scene. Sometimes the dynamic range of light is quite large and one can then use exposure bracketing and combination to overcome this to bring an image closer to what our eyes can perceive – this is called High Dynamic Range Imaging, or HDR. (More on this later)
Today is May 17, 2012. It is the only May 16, 2012 that you will ever have –> Make it spectacular!
One of Life’s ironies is that the more time we spend becoming “educated”, be it in a University, vocational school (or just the street), the more we forget that we are all extraordinarily intelligent beings to begin with. The conditioning to which we have and continue to be subjected to simply reinforces the myth that mental prowess is Nature’s unique gift to its favored few. Often we go through life totally oblivious to our innate brilliance and natural abilities.
If we are looking to improve our circumstances, we need to keep in mind that as “part-owners” of that boundless reservoir of wisdom that surrounds and is available to us, we have the means to accomplish more than we ever dreamed of. All we need to do it recognize this source and draw a few buckets from it. Every human has four endowments self-awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change.
This was shot with a Nikon D90, Sigma 10-20mm wide-angle lens, polarizing filter all mounted on a portable lightweight tripod. Three exposures were taken to capture the full dynamic range of the light and then combined with Photomatix Pro – an High Dynamic Range (HDR) tool. This vista presented itself when we arrived at a charming Bed and Breakfast at Bird’s Ferry in New Zealand.
The Northern West Coast Region offers a wide range of scenery and historic sites to see and outdoor adventure sports and activities to do, all set within the natural riches that are found here from the mountains to the sea. By far the region’s biggest attraction is its geography and wildlife, from the rugged coastline and its spectacular rock formations, the deep gorges and valleys carved by ancient glaciers and the region’s many rivers, to the lush rainforests filled with an abundance of unique and wonderful native vegetation and bird life. Truly a must go destination!
We all begin our day not truly knowing what lies in front of us, we follow our paths, often into a nebulous and uncertain future. We understand where we have been, likely know where we are, have an idea of where we would like to go, but where today’s path leads us, is for the most part, unknown. The decisions you make along the way will make all the difference. If you’re in a negative place, the next step you take can be in a positive direction. If you’re feeling down, with your thoughts and actions you can lift yourself up. Advance forward with your own meaningful, positive intentions. When life has been tough and painful, grab the opportunity to make it richer and more fulfilling.
Every moment is an opportunity for growth and advancement, no matter what has happened in the moments before. Seize each opportunity, and quickly leave life’s disappointments behind.
This image is from Rotorua, New Zealand shot late in the afternoon in July (Winter) at the breathtaking Geothermal Park. The mist on the left is generated by The Champagne Pool, a geothermal caldera – the air during the Winter was rather chilly and accentuated the condensation effects. The wooden walkway extends all around the Champagne Pool and also allows a look at The Painter’s Pallet which is awash with vibrant colors…along our trek into the mist, we never knew what gems we would discover – it was magical!
(PS The blog contains many more images from this enchanted region – just search the Tag Cloud for more New Zealand goodness)
The biggest obstacle to obtaining a feeling of peace within you is the constant anxiety your past and future causes you. Your mind is another huge impediment to your inner peace. It’s the identification with every thought your mind has that causes much of your inner turmoil. All your life, your mind has been running the show. often on autopilot. It’s time for you to take the controls and become the pilot. Finding inner stillness is only possible when you develop the ability to turn off all thoughts as if you’re turning off the water faucet.
Somehow, most people have lost touch with the truth when it comes to how to find inner peace. Inner peace is quieting your mind, living vibrantly in this very moment and feeling completely still inside no matter the chaos happening in your physical world. You are inner peace. The secret and magic of happiness and abundance is already there within.
This shot was taken during the winter in New Zealand (for all you Northern Hemispheric-types, around July 4th). As we descended along a serpentine-like highway down the mountain, we were presented with this striking vista. The mist in the valley and the glow in the sky after the sun had passed being the mountains was enchanting. It was getting dark fast and the glow was disappearing, so we had to think fast! After a very abrupt stop, a short scramble along the brown meadow, we found the perfect vantage point. Everything seemed to be frozen in time with not even the fog moving or even a wisp of breeze – it seemed like magic!
Serenity means maintaining a sense of inner peace even in difficult situations. We gain serenity by accepting the things we cannot change and focusing our energy where we can make a difference. Fear, anger or desire can create a sense of urgency that triggers us to react impulsively. When this happens, we risk undermining our goals, damaging relationships–even violating our deepest values. By contrast, when we cultivate serenity, we don’t fear our emotions, but we do keep them in balance. We govern ourselves rather than being ruled by external circumstances and our feelings about them. Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment .
This was shot mid-morning from The Embarcadero in San Fransisco. The Nikon D90 equipped with a wide-angle lens and polarizing filter was stabilized by hand against a sturdy post. Ordinarily a tri-pod would be used along with a remote shutter release and mirror lock-up to avoid camera shake. What struck me this morning was the calmness of the vista, smell of the ocean…and how quiet everything was. In the distance, the fog was burning off the bay which eventually exposed Alcatraz.
If you’re like me, at the end of the day you’re tired, not looking for a fight, but willing to stand your ground…just like with this modern and irritating verbal crutch. It somehow indicates closure or synopsis, and is used by people who are incapable of finishing a sentence without incorporating at least one tired cliché. It’s hard to escape it. You hear it in meetings, in dinner conversation and, of course, all over the radio and TV.
Often, people attempt to live their lives backwards (or upside down, for that matter); they try to have more things, or more money in order to do more of what they want so they will be happier! The way it actually works is the reverse. You must first be who you really are, then do what you need to do in order to have what you want. All this requires is a change of perspective, just like this image of a the pier at Huntington Beach in California.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do, than by the things you did do. So, throw off the bow lines, sail away from that safe harbor and catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore, Discover, Dream…perhaps, this very instant is your time!
The power to discover our Voice lies in the potential that was given to us at Birth. We were given magnificent gifts – talents, capabilities, privileges, intelligences and insights that often remain unopened except through our own decision and efforts to do so. Because of these gifts, the potential within each of us is tremendous, if not infinite! Marianne Williamsom wrote:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond all measure. It is our light and not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Playing small does not serve the world. We were all meant to shine, as children do. As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we’re liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others!”
This is a picture of Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite National Park (USA) taken during the Spring runoff when waterfalls are the most spectacular. Many shied away from this location as the mist from the falls was so intense, it meant an immediate soaking from head to toe even 50 feet away. At the base of the falls, we composed the image and adjusted exposure, turned our backs to dry the equipment and then quickly spun around to get the shot. It was exhilerating…and fun watching the expressions of people as these two soaked photographers merrily returned from where others dared not go.
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Vision is seeing a future state in the Mind’s Eye. Everything is created twice: first, a mental creation, second, a physical creation. Vision is the start of reinventing oneself and represents dreams, desire, hopes, goals and plans. These are not mere fantasies, but a reality not yet brought to the physical sphere – like a blueprint for a house, or notes in a score just waiting to be played. Albert Einstein said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge”. Memory is past and finite. Vision is future and infinite. Perhaps the most important Vision of all is to develop a sense of self, a sense of your own destiny, unique mission and role in Life, a sense of purpose and meaning.
This image is from Point Loma in California. Here we have elements of the past, the present and the future. The graves of the fallen, the Torrey Pine overlooking the magnificence of the Pacific where an abundance of life flourishes, and the sun breaking from the clouds after a storm. Using a Nikon D7000, equipped with a Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens, all mounted on a Manfrotto Tri-pod, three shots of the same image were taken at different exposure values and then combined, generating a High Dynamic Range Image. This technique allows you to capture a greater range of light, overcoming the camera’s sensor limitations and producing an image that is closer to what the human eye can discern.
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