What Might Be

Here is a series of nature-based semi-abstracts with accompanying text. Your reactions to the images are likely to be different from mine and my thoughts would probably be different on another day.

Images have so much to give.

1.

the wind wavered

a shadow

held me still

*

2.

breath sinks

splash of

green

*

3.

crackled hieroglyphics

eyes squint

and smile

*

4.

shudders

of color

their stories always shifting

*

5.

layers reach back

in space

the weaver rejoices

*

6.

breath catches

suffocates

under this chaos

*

7.

In Ghent

I gape, lost

in a distant century

*

8.

I always trust

you’re there

if I…

*

9.

rough path

squirrel chatter

keeps me company

*

10.

we were free

the clouds

sang

*

11.

traces

left behind

detritus of the ages

*

12.

I left something

there

for you

*

13.

inner circle,

outer circle

who belongs?

*

14.

no choice

immersed in

liquid relentlessness

***


81 comments

    • “Just beautiful” sounds just dandy to me, Ken, thank you very much. # 8 and #12, as you might guess were made using ICM. #7 & #8 are pretty heavily processed…#7 has nothing to do with Europe. In reality, it’s a photo of lichen-draped trees, I think Western dogwood. Thanks so much!

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  1. You’ve got some yummy abstractions here. It’s fun to play with sand as you did in #1. In #3 I see runes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Runes) rather than hieroglyphs. That band of “writing” also reminds me of the vertical stabilimentum in an orb weaver’s web (https://portraitsofwildflowers.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/close-view-of-a-female-argiope-aurantia-garden-spider/). I’m guessing you moved the camera in #9, 10, 12, and 14. You could have shot #8 through a curtain. #7 is lovely; given the soft tonality almost throughout, did you consider lightening the dark areas at the bottom to accord with the rest of the image? I like the pastel colors in #4. #11 is mysterious.

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    • Oh yes, runes is much better. Maybe I should change that. πŸ˜‰ It’s an amazing rock, right here on the island but lately hiding under lots of high tides. (I like the Wiki article about runes, which I have never really looked into). Stabilmentum is a very logical word, I like it. I’ve seen that kind of web in yards and gardens, I think. Maybe the crosshatchings in my photo are holding the rock together. πŸ˜‰
      You’re correct about all the ICM images. #9 and #12 while walking, #10 and #14 while in the passenger seat. The curtain effect in #8 surprised and delighted me – that one was while standing still at a garden while moving the camera, probably with a jerky movement added, or maybe it was a sudden stop of the movement. Wouldn’t it be grand if the camera could record the way you moved it for those shots? How fast, whether it was smooth or shaken, etc. Let’s face it, there’s no way I’m going to write all that down after every exposure.
      In #7 I like having some darkness at the bottom for a hint of dimension but I could experiment with keeping the same tonality throughout. #11 is another closeup of a rock made at the same place these photos were made. https://bluebrightly.com/2019/02/01/low-tide/.
      Thank you, Steve, have a good evening. πŸ™‚

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        • πŸ™‚ I’ve been thinking about that place, and another one, too, where low tides reveal nice rocks. Both are off-limits for a while. It seems that the daytime low tides this month aren’t low at all – the really low tides that allow you to explore things are in the middle of the night for the next couple of months. But if I have to be beholden to any rhythm outside my own, let it be nature’s. πŸ™‚

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  2. I love your poetic images and words, dear Lynn. Mysterious and beautiful, they sing a song of nevertheless.
    This time, there are clear favourites among all the beauty, no.8 and no.10 in word and picture are deeply touching me.
    Soon while first viewing the post, I stopped before your words appeared and made my own, and often found me near to yours in mood at least afterwards. Near to you.
    This I found a good way to start my sunday. Hope you’ll have a fine day too.

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    • Singing a song of nevertheless, I like that. You’re bringing a tear to my eye when you pull out #8 & #10. As you might know, those thoughts are directed to Joe. I love that you decided to imagine what you would say before reading what I wrote and it’s good to know your Sunday began with this post – and coffee and some wonderful food, I’m sure! Thank you for fully being here…

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  3. The beauty and simplicity of the images (certainly not as simple as their processing) are perfectly adapted to the phrases / poetry. The words remind me a lot of Japanese Haiku.
    All images have fabulous graphics. Very, very good!
    Being today sunday, I wish you a good week … in this strange and kind of crazy world!

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    • Simplicity is a beautiful thing, and not always so easy to achieve. I didn’t want to call the words haiku because strictly speaking, they don’t adhere to that form. I even hesitate to call it poetry. But I’ve been strongly influenced by the Japanese aesthetic so there you are. I’m so glad you enjoyed the images – I certainly enjoyed making them. Have a wonderful week, hopefully only a little strange and crazy. πŸ™‚

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  4. You are truly a mixed media artist, Lynn. These brief poems accompanying your photographs are proof of that. The first pair grabbed me by my feelings right off.

    The words of #3 stop my wondering what the image is: after reading it, who cares anymore? (But I do find the image fascinating.) . . . I see in your reply to Steve Schwartzman’s comment that it is a rock.

    The word β€œshudders” in #4 helps me see the image as reflections in waterβ€”whether it is or not. Lovely Monet image.

    The complexity of #5 makes me rejoice, too.

    Oh, chaos does that, doesn’t it (#6). Interesting image, beautiful color combinations.

    That’s quite a tapestry you’ve found and created in #7.

    I love the image of #8 and enjoy guessing the meaning of β€œif I.”

    Chatter is made visible in #9.

    I don’t know what to say about #11 except that I like the image very much. Is the poem a clue to the image? I’m wondering about stone. . . . And now, reading the comments, I see that it is rock.

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    • Thank you, Linda….it’s great exercise to take images to new places and it’s good to know that the results are worthwhile. The writing doesn’t come as easily but that begins to work sometimes, too. You realized two photographs you wondered about are rocks and by the way, #6 is a clear plastic tarp left bunched up on the ground after the rain, with leaves caught in it. Our kind of eye candy. πŸ˜‰ Unlike the other images, #5 began with an in-camera effect filter that makes what the camera sees very graphic. Later I messed with the colors. And #4 is a shallow, grass-filled river in the Olympic Rain Forest. You have a new post – got to see it – thank you!

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    • Thanks, Adrian, so glad you enjoy the post. #4 is straight down into a shallow, flowing river that has lots of grass growing in it so it’s an odd combination of reflection and not reflection. Oh, that makes sense!! πŸ˜‰ ENjoy your week!

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  5. I’ve been waiting for the time to reply. I’ll echo Steve S’s comments and say that I’m particularly drawn in by your 1, 8, 9, and 11, but I just get pulled in and lost in the elegance of 3. Oh, to be able to shrink myself to the size of, say, a small ant, and be able to explore a marvel like this.

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    • That rock would be an interesting trip for an ant. πŸ™‚ It really amazed me when I saw it. One of these days, when low tides aren’t in the middle of the night, I will check it out again – it’s not far away but I’m pretty sure it’s not accessible except at a good low tide. You can’t help wondering how in the world it was formed. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Gary, thank you.

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  6. It reminds me very much of a tree near our cabin that suffered a lightning strike many years ago and now bears a scar very similar to your squiggle in the rock. I thought I’d posted a photo of it so I could include a link, but it appears that I was mistaken. One of these days…

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  7. Great work Lynn; an encore for your September 25th post. I love the way semi-abstractions tease perception, flickering between recognized objects and pure abstraction, and many of these do that superbly. Your first and third images are especially strong, and #9 and #12 are like stills from a really great movie you don’t want to end.

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    • Thank you very much, John. I like that in-betweeness of perception, too, and more than that, I think I enjoy the process of working with the original file to make something new and unexpected. The freedom is nice. The process draws from my training as an artist (in general) as opposed to a photographer (in particular). The movie may stop for an intermission but it will be back!

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  8. Now I read the sentences for the 3rd or 4th time and today I have the feeling I understand them best in translation. I love all your processed photos!!! You did a great job with the pictures and your words add up to the beauty and the deeper sense of them. I smile with you about the “runes” (it fits really well and I love those “signs”!) # 1-6, 11, 12 are my favorites this time. Your eye for art is exceptional and you connect them so well with your words. Someone wrote Haiku and I think it reminds me of it too. I like your declaration of love in nr. 8, which is so touching!

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    • I’m sorry the text was hard to understand – poetic words are so much harder than factual information to understand in a second language, and to translate. Thank you very much for making the effort. πŸ™‚ And it led you to say that the words give the images a deeper meaning so that’s great to hear. The eye for art has been working at it a long time….and just the other day we watched an inspiring film about Elsworth Kelly, an American artist from my parents’ generation who had an incredible eye. He got rid of everything extra, making work that is at first glance, very minimalist but with a deeper look, you can see that all his work goes back to nature, to organic forms and the way we feel them in space. He’s probably not that well-known in Germany but if you ever get a chance to see his work in person, go for it. And look for his plant drawings, they are amazing. Thank you, Almuth. πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you! It’s great to hear from you. I really enjoy doing these abstractions. That rock in #3 is actually hardly abstracted at all – it’s just a crazy rock formation that makes you wonder. Not the first though. THanks again, Jackson.

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  9. I always had the notion, that you are tending to some abstraction summarizing your impressions of nature. Being a hidden fan of these kind of photography, I’m very impressed by the poetic results you achieved. Your postproduction doesn’t disturb the impression. It underlines the impact of the pictures like the words you found. Just perfect. Regards, Karl

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    • Your musings are gratifying to read because they support an important piece of my nature (I don’t want to say myself) AND they show how carefully you pay attention to the world around you. I can’t thank you enough for this comment, Karl, it made my day. Thank you!!

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  10. Pingback: What Might Be | THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON...

  11. I love this selection, as a collection and individually The fluid blending of shapes and colours, the discrete use of definable objects and thoughtful cropping combine to produce very effective, sensitive images. I suppose my favourite has to be No.5,

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    • This is right up your alley, Louis! “Discrete use of definable objects” – I love that. And from one grass lover to another, I’m glad you liked #5. It began with an in-camera effect that Olympus cameras have called art filters. That one is called key line and of course, I played with the colors later. Thank you for the kind comment, Louis, and have a very good weekend.

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  12. I’ve wanted to comment…I’ve doing new phone/computer stuff πŸ€¦β€β™€οΈ …now with a tea I revisit and look closer on my computer…WOW…so painterly and abstract…the motion…the colour palettes all draw me in…and stirs creativity…such a beautiful post Lynn, again πŸ€“…sending you all good things for your thanksgiving weekend πŸ™‚πŸ™ƒπŸ€—β£οΈhedy

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    • It’s always better on the computer…thank you, Hedy. I’m really enjoying doing these and it doesn’t surprise me that they would appeal to you. Even better hearing that it stirs some creative urges. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the holiday wishes and I send you belated T’day wishes, too. πŸ˜‰

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  13. Oh joy! This entire collection of images displays what I enjoyed about the Vine Maple leaf I gushed over yesterday. The uniqueness of your vision is so enjoyable, Lynn. #5 reminds me of Hokusai and some of the Japanese artwork from his era. The layers upon layer of #’s 6, 8, and 9 are so pleasing. #2 reminds me of your greenhouse series.
    I think it is safe to say that our thoughts and responses will vary from day to day as we continue to grow. This was a visual treat from start to end, Lynn. πŸ™‚

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    • Keep on gushin’ – we like that. πŸ˜‰ I lie the idea that you were reminded of Japanese prints by #5. That one began as an in-camera effect, called key line. The so-called art filters in Olympus cameras make up for the smaller sensor, in the sense that they can get you to places you would not have thought to go sometimes. #2 is just like the greenhouse photos and it’s very gratifying to know that you recall them. What you call layers, which is very accurate, is something that has appealed to me for years. I think of it as seeing throughs something else and I’ve been tagging photos that do that with the word “through” in LR. I still haven’t figured out why that appeals to me but it does. So glad this was a visual treat, Steve, we can use all we can get, right?

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      • I sometimes use something along that line when doing flower shots. Called shoot through, one tries to find a subject forward of the main subject and line it up in such a way that it is quite blurred and creates a veil in front of the target flower. For example this one with the effect at the bottom of the stem.
        Yes, the more treats the better…that’s gospel according to Bentley. πŸ™‚

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        • I know the technique you’re talking about, and I like it, but what I have in mind is different – it’s more like having a curtain between you and the subject. The “curtain” might be a foggy window or a myriad of tiny leaves or grasses or an actual, gauzy curtain, but it’s something that is usually even across the frame. At least that’s what I tend to look for – not that I ever go out specifically looking for that, but I’m alert to the possibility of finding it.
          I think you put a link in your comment that didn’t “take.”
          Bentley! πŸ™‚

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  14. A fascinating series, Lynn. Your clarity of artistic vision along with your words make for a compelling post. Your lead image with its texture and pop of 3D with the grass is amazing. Your Hieroglyphics took my breath away- so well seen. I squinted. πŸ™‚ Number 8 is stunning and very effective in black and white…a curtain shot, I think – a favorite subject. The leaves on the trees would make a wonderful textile. And your dreamy swipe abstracts are visually beautiful. Wonderful post. πŸ™‚

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    • Jane, you’re too kind. Again. The light in that first image is the kind of light one sees at the beach sometimes, and then there are things like “texture” in Lightroom that help to get the message across. πŸ˜‰ You’d love the rocks on the beach where I found that strange one in #3. I would really like to know why they’re like that! I’m not sure why the curtain effect happened in the black and white of bamboo (there was nothing between me and the bamboo but air). I was moving the camera up and down…but it must have been more than that. It would be nice to repeat the effect – I should have taken notes on what I was doing that day. I can see a silk scarf in #7 (I think that’s the one you’re talking about). Thank you, Jane, enjoy your day!

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    • Thank you, Robert, it’s good to hear from you. I don’t remember for sure but I think the fluidity of #9 came from walking while keeping the shutter open and jiggling the camera just a little. I’m glad you googled Ellsworth Kelly and enjoyed some of his work. Those plant drawings he did are just wonderful. He had a great eye for proportion. Have a good day!

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  15. The way you think and create is something else, love this post. Your photos which depict movement have always has a special feel and are usually my favorite, but #3 had me transfixed and in another realm, and your words matched perfectly: “crackled hieroglyphics, eyes squint, and smile…” Exactly πŸ™‚

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    • It’s good to hear from you and to read this generous comment, Randall….the words come easily sometimes but not other times, as you must know. I’m glad that I could pull you into another realm, if only for a few minutes. Have a good week!

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  16. All beautiful, though the softness and colors of #4 seem a perfect tonic for this artist’s eyes. It looks like a well-executed pastel.

    Your captions/thoughts cast a magic spell from image to image, and in #6 your words capture how many will remember 2020: breath catches — suffocates —under this chaos.

    And the words in #10 are so very sweet and tender: we were free – the clouds – sang

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    • Lisa, you’re right about #6! As much as one wants to be positive, that is very real, too. It’s been a tough year. Words like those in #10 are an antidote – I look forward to that feeling you have on road trips…it’s been a long time! Thank you, my friend, I’m relieved that you’re OK and send you big hugs.

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    • That’s fine with me. πŸ™‚ The next time you’re up here you can find that rock and others like it (if you haven’t already) just to the NE of the boat launch. I think the tide has to be out. The tides have been really high lately! Bowman Bay and the West Beach part of Deception Pass are a mess. The wind has amazing power, especially when combined with a high tide. But I don’t have to tell you that.

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    • I’m so pleased to know that you like this format, Denise. No need to designate a favorite! Making the images is, I think, a way to bring together my much earlier art school experience back in NYC (the minimalism, conceptual art, etc. of the 70s) with my appreciation for nature and interest in photography. The words (which I always hesitate to call poetry) are strongly influenced by the years I spent in a zen community. So it’s gratifying to see a positive response. I trust that you had a good Thanksgiving in spite of this bizarre year, and hope you’re finding some kind of silver lining to this COVID cloud! πŸ˜‰

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