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!
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!
Some people seem called to help others, responding to the needs of family members, strangers, or even animals with a selflessness that is truly impressive. Often, these people appear to have very few needs of their own focusing their lives on rescuing and helping others. While there are a few people who are truly able to sustain this giving lifestyle, the vast majority have needs that lie beneath the surface, unmet and often unseen. Perhaps, their motivation to help others may be an extension of a deep desire to heal part of themselves that is starving for the kind of love and attention they dole out selflessly to those around them on a daily basis. Sometimes, they are unable to give themselves the love they need and so they give it to others. This does not mean that they are not meant to help others, but it does mean that they would do well to turn some of that helping energy within. One problem with the rescuer model is that the individual can get stuck in the role, always living in crisis mode at the expense of inner peace and personal growth. Until the person resolves their own inner dramas, they play them out in their relationships with others, are drawn to those who need them. In the worst-case scenario, they enable the other person’s dilemma by not knowing when to stop playing the rescuer and allow the person to figure it out on their own. However, if the rescuer finds the strength to turn within and face the needy aspects of their own psyche, he or she can become a model of empowerment and a true source of strength in the world.
We found this lone life guard rescue craft while exploring underneath a pair in Santa Monica, California. We seem to have an affinity to go underneath piers to explore the dark, damp, salty realms and more than often we find wonderful treasures of textures, colors, smells – or sometimes just fascinating geometries. It was impossible not to notice this bright red vessel which provided a powerful focal point to this image. In the distance, there is a compelling myriad of posts vanishing into the bright light of the day – perhaps symbolic of the complexities and uncertainties which lie before us. Taken with a tripod mounted Nikon D90, using a small lens aperture (great depth of field or focus) and slow shutter speed (more light) allowed us to capture the details of the boat and surrounding sand as well as bring to light the beauty of the underbelly of this iconic pier.
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.
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!
We are all carrying a lot of excess baggage such as resentments, fear, jealousy, self-pity, and dishonesty. This is a huge burden to us and now would be a good time to let it go. Forgiveness involves forgetting, releasing and moving on. When something is removed, it is always filled with something else. If you let go of your defects and replace them with assets, serenity and peace will fill the void.
Dag Hammarskjold one wrote, “Forgiveness breaks the chains of causality, because he who “forgives” you – out of love – takes upon himself he consequences of what you have done. Forgiveness, therefore, always entails a sacrifice.”
This image was shot off the coast of Maui in Hawaii. The clouds were lingering on the horizon and rolling off the neighbouring island to the right, we set up our gear and took in this beautufil and calm vista. There were few, if any, people at this location, and the gentle wash of the waves and soft trade winds were soothing to the soul. We bundled up some of our negative energy, put it into a “bag” and tossed it into the sea.