Distorted Realities?

These are not distorted realities.

They’re not illusions.

These are photographs of exactly what I saw.




This is Marymoor Park in Redmond, Washington.

More specifically, the fringes of the park’s off-leash dog area. With forty acres of fields and woods to run in and the Sammamish Slough to swim in, the off leash area is where “dogs can be dogs.”  At 6pm on a September evening most of the dogs and their friends are heading home. The sun slips behind a cloud bank, then inches back to set the scenery aglow. Matted animal and human paths wind through stands of tall grass.  A few blackberry leaves have turned rose red, the berries themselves are shriveled from the drought.  A land snail holds tight, five feet up a dried tansy stalk.

Past the field and through the woods a boardwalk bends out over the tip of Lake Sammamish. Here, lily pads yellow and curl on the water’s surface and rushes and cattails pierce the cool air, as a Kingfisher rattles a complaint overhead. The little bright orange lanterns of Jewelweed shine at the edge of the woods. Like I do every year, I gently grasp and squeeze a ripe pod – after all, the plant’s other name is Touch-me-not. The lime green package springs apart in a quick and efficient burst of seed-scattering. This human being smiles.

We are hovering at the edge of fall, each in our own reality, each connected to the other, and to all.




































“The camera is a mirror with a memory, but it cannot think.” – Arnold Newman

…and I might add, it doesn’t feel.




A Lensbaby Composer was used for many of these images, a 60mm macro for the rest,  on an Olympus om d1.



  1. Lynn, Your eye for detail and composition is terrific. I was wondering as I took in your images how you created some of the effects– thanks for sharing that it was Lensbaby. Very appealing. I love the delicate grasses and the clouds with lilypads. All wonderful.

    • I thought people would wonder, especially since I don’t typically do this “look” if that makes sense. All but one of the lily pad photos were done with the macro lens, but then I took it off and tried the Lensbaby, and I liked them both. It’s a learning curve though! Thank you, Jane – have a good week!

  2. How about: The camera is a window and it can only capture what you see, think, and feel when you look through it and press it’s shutter; and then it becomes a mirror that shows only you in that moment… And a very fine series! 🙂

    • “Remnants of a slow motion parade” – what a great idea! Thanks very much for stopping by and commenting. I’m forcing myself to get more used to using the Lensbaby – then I carry a favorite lens with me, too, in case I get too frustrated!

  3. I read your preface and saw the first image and thought, ‘Crop Circle! She stumbled upon a crop circle!’

    “Lisa, you’ve been in the cloud forest too long; time to take a break and interact with society…”

    Thanks for taking us along on your always-peaceful outings. It would be hard to select a favorite. Many of your images would work well for Geographic’s present YourShot themes, esp. ‘Lines, Textures,Patterns.’

    • That’s so funny! Yes, maybe time to get into town, sit in a cafe (with internet!) and have some good, local coffee! 😉
      I’m not familiar with that YourShot site – I haven’t done any contests or anything like that. I will take a look though…..OK, I submitted a photo – I’ll try another in a while….had to fiddle with settings, sign up, etc. etc. But it’s a good thing for me to do, so thanks amiga!

  4. Beautiful series of images, Lynn. And you’ve renewed my interest in the Lenbaby. I’ve resisted through sheer will power but, truthfully, I don’t have that much will power. What’s life without something to look forward to.

  5. I’d recognize that schmeary bokeh anywhere. LBDG. (Lensbaby Double-Glass ;-))
    Really nice, judicious use of the effect. It can be easy to go a little wild with it. I have most certainly been guilty of that sin, but that’s part of the fun (and the learning process, I think).

    Less is often more. Which makes me wonder, is the OM-D1 a micro 4/3? That could work to your advantage in the learning curve. It is often easier to find the focus (and comfort) with the lens stopped down a bit (f4-5.6). Makes the sweet-spot bigger and deeper. But a micro 4/3rds sensor would also enlarge it compared to an APS-C.

    I’ll stop geeking out now and just say,
    These look great!

    • I think I was keeping it stopped down a bit for these, as you suggested. By now you figured out that yes, it’s a micro 4/3rd, Long way to go though, getting used to this – and switching back and forth means looking differently, looking for different things…all keeps me fresh, right?
      I appreciate your help – I should have mentioned you in the post! And I’m glad you liked these. Hopefully, more to come.

  6. And if I had to choose (and I wouldn’t want to), 2,3,6, 10 and the last series of the rushes and lilies are the standouts for me. LOVE those reflections, those colors and the textures.

    • The last ones were done with a favorite lens, the 60mm macro – except for the one that obviously has the LB blur. It’s fun to see them together, I like both effects. The 2nd I was happy with, too, and the 6th, I really liked what happened there (but it’s so unpredictable!). The 10th was done with the macro, focused for the grasses. I fiddle around in LR and Color Efex quite a bit sometimes, too. Thanks for letting me know – it’s always helpful to know what people respond to.

  7. I do need to get out more. Our own woods are lovely (dark and deep?), but we have no jewelweed — and I loved playing with the pods years ago. If they’re doing their thing around here somewhere, I’ll find them.

    • Thank you so much Adrian. Lily pads are photogenic. That spot has been good before, but lately the water’s so low it’s getting harder to find nice compositions. Soon we’ll have more rain….

  8. and feelings have feelings…so thoughtful Lynn as you create beauty with your camera…i feel i am there/here…and the rhythm of fall creates for me that knowing i will see that things are conditioned and changing….i had a long walk that seems like a daydream to the one you have here…it was a good dream so it gives me insights…so cool! have a joyful day ~ smiles hedy 😀 many!

    • …your stream of consciousness meets my stream of consciousness…thank you Hedy, you know this Lensbaby is called the Composer, so I guess it helps me compose a beautiful day… 😉

      • no but now i do and i always say little black box now…i’m bored by gear talk but of course curious…it’s about the story and feeling for me 😀 compose a fun day! Friday already 😀

  9. Love these pictures, and especially those above the snail – and especially especially! the one immediately above the snail!!! The camera is a tool, nothing more nothing less – and as I read somewhere recently, the picture is made both in front of and behind it.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed these Adrian, and the one above the snail was one I really liked too. I didn’t have to do much in processing, but on the other hand, I really don’t know why it cane out that way – the lens is mysterious! 😉 I like that saying about in front and behind…

  10. Lovely post with great pics. I swear, Lynn, every time I read your posts and look at what you’ve captured, I feel guilty sitting here with my rear planted firmly on this couch. Makes me want to get up and get out there into the thick of it!

  11. I have to admit (though reluctantly) to a touch of lens envy. Those lilies and the grasses are just too perfect. Perhaps I need to head out on my own a bit more in order to get lost in the wonder around me, rather than that beside me? This is such a wonderful season perhaps my favorite and you capture it so well.

    • Those lily pad photos were mostly taken with the macro actually, but the last one, where you can see the blur around the edges, was taken with the Lensbaby. Money was saved on the LB by buying a used one. I think you have plenty to wonder at near and far – and in between! I’m confident that you’ll be getting out and enjoying it all, especially now.

    • One of the things that’s good about having decent equipment – not high-end, just decent – is that you can shoot into the sun. This time of year especially, it’s rewarding to do. Thanks Steve!

    • That’s something I always have liked, too – soft backgrounds. But part of me also likes a lot detail across the frame. Thanks for being here, Evelyn – one of these days I will get my watercolors out…one of these days…

  12. I think it’s interesting that you say these photos are exactly as you saw what was in front of the camera. They so tell about your strong vision and how you see the landscape you wander around. Your post raises this never ending discussion between what is objective and how we interpret the world around us. I think the world is as we see it – as you show in this post. With amazing photographs.

    • I was playing with notions of what is real, and does a photograph represent something real, etc. I’m glad you picked up on it, 🙂 It’s always good to question “reality” and particularly our ideas, right? Thank you Otto! Have a great weekend –

    • I like the way he put it, too, and I’m sure it’s something you’ve often thought about as well. Hopefully we gravitate not only towards art that expresses something similar to the way we see it, but also towards art that opens our eyes to different ways. And no doubt you’d agree with that, too. I hope you’re enjoying your garden these days – I have a feeling it’s gorgeous in these last days of summerfall. Or is it fallsummer?

  13. I’ve never heard of a lensbaby, and I’m clearly not as in touch with nature as you are — but however you’ve managed to combine your technology and your sensitivities, it’s wonderful.

    • Now I know what lensbaby is (lensbabies are?) sort of, and have a better sense of what you were up to. Both the photos and the comments they’ve evoked are quite interesting, especially since I think I disagree with such radical subjectivity. The world is more than our perception of it — but I need to think about that before saying more.

      • The lensbaby isn’t easy to get used to, and it can be very unpredictable – but maybe that’s because I haven’t used it enough. In any case, it’s fun to see what happens with it. Sometimes the effects are very appealing, and they do give a more subjective than objective take on what I see. I like that, but I’m glad there are many realities to play with.

  14. Such beautiful creativity with your camera and lens, baby 🙂
    You really do have a knack for detail and making those details into something larger than life. Wonderful series of photos, and like the last line of your intro Lynn, “Exactly. (maybe).”

  15. I’m a bit —oy, weeks—late in commenting. This is another lovely trip with you. The sixth photo may be my favorite, unless it’s the eighth. You have been having fun with your Lensbaby, haven’t you.

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