RANDOM OBSERVATIONS

1.

What catches the eye at a random moment –

sometimes it’s the usual suspect,

sometimes it’s not.

2.


3.


4.


5.

6.

††

7.


8.

†

9.


10.

11.


12.

Two of these were taken with my phone – #3, and #8. The rest were taken with my well-worn Olympus OM-D EM-1 camera using several different prime lenses. I didn’t venture far for these; they are things that caught my eye at home or nearby.

  1. A fallen tulip at a local public garden.
  2. A poppy at the same garden. These petals too will fall, and when they do, they will become invisible to most garden visitors. Such is life; most people follow the received wisdom that says healthy flowers on their stems are beautiful, while those that have fallen to the ground are not worth your time. We know differently.
  3. Neon in the bookstore window; let me sing the praises of our used bookstore: they always have the NY Times and a local paper on hand, they serve excellent espresso and bake fragrant rosemary-olive oil rolls right in the store, they often exhibit decent art, they stock an intelligent mix of used and new books, and the WC is tastefully decorated.
  4. Playing with reflections and my shadow.
  5. Seaweed wrapped around a branch after a high tide at Lottie Bay.
  6. Seaweed twirled around branches, three months earlier. It looks like it’s been a long time since the tide was this high – maybe this happened during a winter storm.
  7. Boxes inside a greenhouse, seen through a plastic tarp.
  8. A view through the car window from Fidalgo Island’s March Point; an oil refinery is right behind me, and an uninhabited, protected island is to the right. The island on the left is only accessible by boat or plane and has relatively few residents.
  9. The berries of Twisted Stalk (Streptopus amplexifolius). The woodland wildflower can be found here, and in the Yukon, in Korea, in Burma, in Germany, Spain….in other words, it has a wide distribution. This particular plant is in a small pot and really should go into the ground, but for now I enjoy the bright red berries at the kitchen window.
  10. Looking west late on a summer day, the water glints through tall grasses at Ship Harbor, Fidalgo Island.
  11. A tiny mushroom on a mossy log at Mount Erie, Fidalgo Island.
  12. An old outbuilding collapses into the ground on Whidbey Island. Wood returns to the earth readily in this damp climate.

44 comments

  1. Looking at this mixture of spontaneously taken photographs, I find many aspects which I would say are typical for your subjects. There are shadows and views through something, strange and meaningful combinations, beauty in simple everyday life objects, signs of time passing.
    Short gazes into your life, our should I say out of your life, because we are looking through your eyes and thinking inside your head (which sounds a bit spooky).
    Thank you, Lynn.

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    • 🙂 Yes, viewing the world through something, that’s a way of looking that always intrigues me. And I hope there are some meaningful combinations….it’s good of you to say that…..the idea that viewing someone’s photos puts you inside their head, where you can gaze out, is a good one….too, as long as we can get back out. 😉 Thank you Ule!

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  2. That’s quite an eclectic collection you’ve presented here. #4 is unusual because we rarely see a reflection on a shadow. Did you consider editing to create a version with the reflection brighter and the shadow darker?

    In the caption for #8, my uninhibited fresh-from-sleep brain read uninhabited as uninhibited. The fact that the little island is uninhabited might leave it free to be uninhibited.

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    • It’s interesting you say that about different versions of #4 – I did play around with it and the original has far less contrast than this one,. At the time, when I increased the highlights, contrast, etc. I didn’t like the result. But in another mood I might. I like your misreading – no doubt anyone who ventures ashore there can be freely uninhibited. There are lots of those islands around here; I really need to get into sea kayaking!

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  3. Random is very welcome, you have done what you do, which is make a present of wonderful pictures, that are both beautiful, and intriguing. Each one of these immediately grabs us with a bit of mystery, and the many possible storylines. The first shot, my favorite, of the fallen tulip blossom, might be looking down at a whirling dancer in costume, perhaps dizzy after riding the neon rollercoaster in the third shot. #8 puzzled me, why you included the car door, but I’ve been looking at it, and realize the anonymous auto designers got a nice arc in that door, didn’t they, like a sickle, and it’s great that the cellphone shots #3 and #8 are so successful. #5, I thought seaweed wrap was supposed to be some sort of spa beauty treatment, but in this case, I expected to see Brendan Fraser in the background, The Mummy Returns. 😊

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    • Robert, you’re too kind. Random is a place that I suspect you can dwell in easily, and make a lot out of. I do like the idea of visual gifts; sometimes I think that’s primarily what this is all about. I think #1 has a human element too – glad you saw that. In #8, it’s something I like to do. It’s too easy to just take a photo of the nice view around here, and I’m always interested in what happens when something gets between the viewer and the viewed.
      That door is on a 2002 Saturn and it is heavy! It kills me. No side air bags I guess, so it’s safer. It’s tough getting out on an uphill angle, one foot on the door, pivot, slowly step out, elbow against the frame, push off….. 😉
      BTW I think cellphone shots can be good – for me anyway – because they are often more spontaneous than camera shots. You can always improve them technically in Lightroom. Funny about the seaweed! Thanks Robert, have a good one! 🙂

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    • Ken, you got me laughing! It’s a 2002 Saturn!! See the reply to Robert above for more about the door. A Tesla, wow, woudln’t that be something ! In my dreams! 😉 Thanks, I’m very pleased that you approve of this slightly odd grouping. I had my doubts, but there were photos that didn’t fit into ideas Ihave for posts and I wanted to get them out there. A number were here at first but didn’t make the cut, you know how that is! 🙂

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  4. Very nice what aroused your attention Lynn: the small things so many people don’t see 🙂 I like the pictures of things that are “coming and going”, the poppy leaves and the wood, that are part in the circle of life. I like the random-art of nature (#5 and #6) and your fantastic views “through” (whatever) #7, #8 . In German we have the word Durchblick – throughview, ouch 😉 Kind of a wordplay. Your views through other things are always exciting and keep the mind thinking, what comes next, what is behind – thinking beyond the horizon. Does that makes sense? If not, I really like them 🙂 The Twisted Stalk looks beautiful, like a textile pattern.

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    • Coming and going, yes, that’s it! I’m glad you see the random artfulness in the seaweeds photos. I thought it was very artistic, but I wasn’t sure if anyone else would see that. Durchblick – throughview – I like it. I need to remember that. Do you say “ouch” becasue the English translation is hard to say? Does it hurt? 😉 I am sorry that I gave up so easily on German, it was just beyond my ability to try to pronounce those words. 🙂 I like your idea of thinking beyond the horizon – another one I have to remember!! It totally makes sense, in a poetic way – a different kind of sense. Thank you Almuth!! (Maybe we should think about collaborating on a beyond the horizon post – now that would be a challenge, right?)

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      • I would have given up on German too 😉 And yes, ouch, because the direct translation hurts, but I think you already got that 🙂 That topic would be a challenging challenge 😉

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  5. #12… can I say there are times I feel a little like that?
    “Wood returns to the earth readily in this damp climate.”
    I’ve enjoyed watching the process over the years here at times. That one’s a beauty.

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  6. The photographer’s eye! These photos illustrate perfectly the way in which photography sharpens out awareness of the world around us – its shapes, patterns, textures, colours – and raises our curiosity.

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  7. Sometimes I think that this randomness of a look has to do with the “look of the soul” in that moment or day.
    If a detail can be important in a day and touch us, in another day it can simply be indifferent.
    I love always your work, but I would say that in these photos, some details are “painful” and “sad”. As we are sad, sometimes.
    Do you understand what I mean/feel?

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    • At its best, I agree, a photograph can be a reflection of the soul at that moment. And the way our moods vary from day to day, the same things don’t always move us, do they? I wasn’t conscious of pain or sadness in particular when I made any of these, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t there. Maybe you’re also saying that no matter what I was feeling when I made the photo, it could make you feel something else, or it could help you become aware of a feeling you have, which is fine. It’s rewarding when someone is moved, or when regarding a photo causes someone to look at things differently. To see more possibilities – that’s really good! Thank you!.

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    • Do you know that plant? If not, maybe you recognize it as being related to Solomon’s Seal and similar plants. What made that angle come about was that the plant is in a pot – STILL! – after I bought it at a native plant sale this spring. So I can get under it, which is ideal! Thank you Steve….

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      • I’ve never had the pleasure of its acquaintance, Lynn. We have a twisted sedge here but no twisted stalk that I am aware. I’ve done the same. Although I have a great location for fringed gentians it is a 45 minute ride so I have bought a couple and have them in a half-barrel garden with some bird’s foot violets. I am not sure what I’ll do with them over winter. The gentians, I believe, will self-seed so I may get many years from them. I really don’t have their habitat in our yard.

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      • Oh, gentians, how nice!! I don’t remember the habitat requirement for fringed gentian (but I believe I can remember my mother saying those words!) but I know that family can be particular. It’s not mint! 😉 But if it self seeds and you can keep it going where it is, maybe that will be enough. And Bird’s foot violets – another nice flower, and I swear I remember my mother talking about them too. 🙂

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      • I am excited to possibly have them right here to enjoy on a daily basis. Yes, they are self-seeding so quite likely will return next year. Gentians like somewhat wet but well-drained soil and lots of sun. The sun I have but we are sitting on, I am told, 80 feet of clay laid down during the ice age when the Laurentide ice sheet created Glacial Lake Hitchcock over what is now the Connecticut River. Drainage is a problem for us.Thus I created a barrel garden for them. At sdome point I may replace the barrel with a raised garden of the proper soil.

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  8. My absolute favorite here is the opened car door. The blues are fabulous, of course; I envy them, since we’re been under a veil of Saharan dust for quite some time, and blue skies and water are only memories. But it’s more than color — it evokes all those stop-and-get-out-to-look days that I so dearly love. So far, my record is thirteen miles in nine hours. One of these days, I’ll hit twenty miles in three days!

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