It is good to remember that one of our goals in life is to not be perfect. If life is about experimenting, experiencing, and learning, then to be imperfect is a prerequisite. Life becomes much more interesting once we let go of our quest for perfection and aspire for imperfection instead. This doesn’t mean that we don’t strive to be our best, but to simply accept that there is no such thing as perfection. Perfection may happen in a moment, but it will not last because it is an impermanent state.
In spite of this, many of us are in the habit of trying to be perfect. One way to ease ourselves out of this tendency is to look at our lives and notice that no one is judging us to see whether or not we are perfect. Sometimes, perfectionism is a holdover from our childhood—an ideal we inherited from a demanding parent. Now that we are the adults, we can choose to let go of the need to perform for someone else’s approval. Similarly, we can choose to experience the universe as a place where we are free to be imperfect, where we can begin to take ourselves less seriously and have more fun.
This is another rusty gem from the grounds of Bernardo Winery – oh, did we mention that they have spectacular vintages as well? Rusty things are just fun to explore and shoot. Here we used a Nikkor 105mm fixed focal length lens (that also doubles as a Macro) allowing us to get up close and personal with our favourite form of oxidation. Having a tripod for Macro work is not a luxury but absolutely essential. The closer one gets, the more critical the focussing becomes and hence, the stability of the camera. In the “old days” of SLR cameras and film, viewfinders often had split image focussing and other optical aides to get that tack sharp image. Now, we always take off the Auto-Focus feature and focus by eye and forget about the camera making choices for us. Also, using a remote shutter release, wired or infra-red, helps minimize vibrations when releasing the shutter. If you want even less potential vibration, you can use the Mirror-Up feature after composing and before shooting (yes, the movement of the mirror to expose the sensor causes the camera to shake).
We all experience frustrations each and every day. Our expectations go unmet, our plans blocked, our wishes go unfulfilled…we discover that our lives are subject to forces beyond our control. The tension that permeates our bodies and minds when we are late for an event, interrupted at work, or sitting in traffic can interfere with our well-being in profound ways. The small frustrations and irritations wield such power over us because they rob us of the illusion of control. However, every problem is a potential teacher—a confusing situation is an opportunity to practice mindfulness, and difficult people provide us with opportunities to display compassion. There is a natural human tendency to invest copious amounts of emotional energy in minor frustrations in order to avoid confronting those often more complex issues on our plates. It is only when we let the little stuff go that we discover that the big stuff is not really so devastating after all.
This image was shot at Bernardo Winery in San Diego, California. The number of rusty vehicles, farm contraptions and other curious objects can keep a photographer occupied all day! The Winery is host to many Weddings and Engagement Parties and is an excellent venue for couples portraits or some fun Vintage Photo sessions! Taken with a Nikon D90 DSLR equipped with a 10-20mm wide-angle lens, it was important to maintain stability, even with reasonably fast shutter speeds. For this, we almost always use a tripod. Not only does this prevent the camera from inadvertently moving during shutter release, but it forces the photographer to slow down and compose the vision.
PS “Dagnabit” a mild expression of frustration uttered for polite company from the convolution of “God Damn It”
When we get caught up in our packed schedules and obligations, weeks can go by without us taking time to look at the bigger picture of our lives and we run the risk of going through our precious days on this runaway train. Taking time to view the bigger picture, asking ourselves if we are happy with the course we are on and making adjustments, puts us back in the driver’s seat where we belong. When we take responsibility for charting our own course in life, we may well go in an entirely different direction from the one supposedly preordained for us. This can be uncomfortable in the short-term, but in the long-term it is much worse to imagine living this precious life without ever taking back the wheel.
This was shot at Bernardo Wineries in San Diego, California. This Winery has a tasty selection of Boutique vintages as well as a scrumptuous variety of rusty machines, farm implements and other eye candy for the willing photographer. This is also a great place to shoot Engagement or even Trash the Dress post Wedding pictures. Always check with the owners before showing up with your Cast and Crew – they are very helpful and accommodating!
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.
Thoughts beginning with these words are pregnant with our deepest feelings. “If only I had told her (him) of my love, life would be so much different”, “If only I had enough money, I could be free to enjoy life” or in the case of the Jockey who came in second at a horse race at Del Mar in California, “If only I had made my move in the third turn!” Clearly, the look in his eyes is brimming with resentments and if onlys! If onlys can be directed to the past, present and the future – we are somehow hoping outside events will save us or make us different or better.
However, we can change our programming, catch ourselves and chose to think something completely different! The rational mind, after all, is a servant to our programming, or as we have trained it in the past. There is nothing to prevent us from changing the software algorithms! Realize that the only power past events hold over us is what we give them. Just as you have created your perceptions of the past, the creative power within you can create a joy-filled today! Here is a thought for today:
“This is the beginning of a new day given to me to use as I will. I can waste it or use it for good. What I do today is important as I am exchanging a day of my life for it. When tomorrow arrives, this day will be gone forever, leaving in its place what I traded for it. I want what I traded to be gain and not loss, good and not evil, success, not failure…in order that I shall not forget the price I paid for it.”
Today is Friday, May 11, 2012. It is the only Friday, May 11, 2012 that you will ever have…make it a great one!
The past forms one parameter of our experience, while the future creates an area of hopes, dreams and wishes. We attempt to live today in between the two. If events of yesterday or tomorrow color today too much, today gets lost because time passes without conscious appreciation of what is happening now. If we invest in the future with many hopes, fantasies and dreams of what might be, we often overlook a present moment rich with its own gifts and beauty.
Being in the now sharpens our senses; our eyes to see and our ears to hear. We detect moments of opportunity with heightened senses, and we experience an enriched awareness of ourselves – our inner and outer motivations creating a more profound life. With this image at La Jolla Cove in California, one can hear almost hear the crashing of the distant waves and the swoosh of the outushing water revealing tranquility below in the tide pool.
Taken with a Nikon D90 and Sigma 10-20mm wide angle lens mounted on a tripod, using a slow shutter speed and a polarizing filter to pierce the reflections on the water, the intention was to capture dynamics of the ebb and flow of the sea.
Dont’ let yesterday use too much of today!
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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