A DOZEN DUETS

The pairs of photos you’ll see below developed while I was reviewing photographs I’ve made this year. I looked through everything that hasn’t been shown here on Bluebrightly and has a rating of 3 stars or more. Three stars? Lightroom users can use stars to assign personal ratings to photos. I assign keywords and ratings as soon as I import files. This system gives me general reference points that help me locate photos later.

As I skimmed through the images I focused on photographs that I’m not likely to use in future posts on specific subjects, like southern Utah plants (coming soon, maybe!). I noticed an atmosphere or mood in many of the photographs so I started thinking about putting together a series of images reflecting this sensibility. It’s hard to articulate what it was that I saw in those images, except that they felt contemplative and seemed to lean more toward feelings, less toward facts.

When I narrowed my choices down and put the photos into a folder, relationships between pairs of photographs jumped out at me. Certain images talked to one another. So I thought, why not show them in pairs? The connections – or dialogues – center around different qualities like texture, directionality, color, or something less definable. Usually, the subject matter is different and some other quality links the images. These pairings won’t make sense to everyone but if one “duet” sparks an idea, expands a possibility in your mind, or simply pleases you aesthetically, I’m happy. For me, one important function of art is to get the mind out of its rut, take it off-road, and let it wander into new territory. The ground is fertile there. Maybe the sun is out.

(If you’re curious about the subjects they’re listed at the bottom.)

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  1. Left: amaryllis bud at home; Right: driftwood closeup
  2. Left: padlock on an old shed at a park; Right: lichen-covered bark closeup
  3. Left: Lace lichen (Ramalina menziesii) in the wind; Right: lichen-covered rock in Utah
  4. Left: looking out the car window on a rainy day; Right: tidal patterns in the sand at a beach
  5. Left: more tidal effects at the beach; Right: Lace lichen
  6. Left and right: intentional camera movement images of a Fawn lily (Erythronium oregonum)
  7. Left: eroded rocks at a beach; Right: plastic garbage in the grass on a roadside
  8. Left: Field chickweed (Cerastium arvense) and old roots; Right: Snow geese (Anser caerulescens) flying over a field
  9. Left: beach rock and sand detail; Right: chained fence on a roadside
  10. Left: Lopez island through the window of a park shelter; Right: brick building in Panguitch, Utah
  11. Left: lichen on a tree, maybe Eyed beard (Usnea quasirigida); Right: looking out the car window on a rainy day
  12. Left: eelgrass (Zostera marina) on a beach; Right: a rock in Utah

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90 comments

  1. What marvelous pairings. Ever innovating and exploring are your choices, Lynn.
    In addition, I have to admire your organized approach. I’m aware of the stars, but never could settle into using them in any sort of rational manner.
    Groping to pick a favorite, but the driftwood texture in the 1st pair is intriguing. Who would ever expect wood to have that silky smooth look or feel?
    Of course the lichens have climbed to a favorite spot in my estimation…
    but I’m drawn to the sinuous nature of 5 and 12…
    All the choices are sublime… and your experiment in pairing a fun challenge and success!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s fun to put together a post like this once in a while but it can’t be forced…I think it just has to happen. I thought that silky driftwood was odd, too. I’m not at all sure why it weathered like that.
      You can keep the star business simple by, for example, giving ordinary images you want to keep, like pictures that document something – 1 or 2 stars, whichever makes more sense. For me, 3-star photos are worth coming back to and working on, possibly for a post. So when I import a batch, those are the ones I’ll come back to first. 4-star photos are the ones I’m really pleased with and 5-star is perfection (I don’t have many of those!). It makes looking for pictures that I want to post so much quicker because I’m not wading through a lot of stuff that’s not good enough. You can just use two or three different ratings, 1 and 5, if that’s easier. You can always change your mind about something later but at least you’ll know at a glance where the best photos are.
      Sinuous certainly describes that eelgrass in the last pair. πŸ™‚ Thank you for the good words, Gunta, enjoy your evening!

      Like

  2. I very much like your idea of presenting pairs of images that have revealed themselves to you to be connected in some way. I especially like the unexpected juxtaposition of chickweed/geese. But, of course, the entire collection is most fine indeed.

    β–ͺβ—Ύβ—Όβ—Ύβ–ͺβ–«β—½β—»β—½β–«β–ͺβ—Ύβ—Όβ—Ύβ–ͺβ–«β—½β—»β—½β–«β–ͺβ—Ύβ—Όβ—Ύβ–ͺ
    β–«β—½β—»β—½β–«β–ͺβ—Ύβ—Όβ—Ύβ–ͺβ–«β—½β—»β—½β–«β–ͺβ—Ύβ—Όβ—Ύβ–ͺβ–«β—½β—»β—½β–«

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like your pairings, Lynn and do agree with art having the ability to β€œget the mind out of its rut, take it off-road, and let it wander into new territory.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. β€˜For me, one important function of art is to get the mind out of its rut, take it off-road, and let it wander into new territory. The ground is fertile there.’

    Indeed. I thought the β€œbeach-rock” looked like oil and it’s pairing, a thick, rusty, old chain, a reminder how long we’ve been β€œanchored” to fossil fuels.

    Like

  5. Dear Lynn,
    we find it always a problem how to organise pictures and what’s the similar structure of them (well, that’s with books in a library the same).
    We love most your pairs no. 8 and 10.
    Wishing you an easy week
    The Fab Four of Cley
    πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s interesting to think about all the different systems our minds can impose on things, isn’t it? This was an attempt to break out of some of those categories for a fresh look. The more qualities you are aware of, the more possibilities there are to play with.
      #8 might be my favorite, too, and I’m glad that you liked the window and building. I imagine that you might have a view nearby that’s a little like the one out the window.
      I wish you an easy week, too. Thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

    • πŸ™‚ You know, I wanted to add one or two more when I had about 10 and for some reason, that took several days. Maybe it’s the kind of exercise that can only be done successfully when you’re in a particular frame of mind. Another dozen may take a year….
      πŸ™‚

      Like

  6. What a wonderful set of details, whether each one for themselves or in beautiful partnerships.
    Only a couple questioned me, given the similarity of theme. I refer to pair #6, the two images of Fawn lily.
    Is the relationship here just a resemblance, like the one that unites the “twins of the same egg”? That is, equal but different?
    Sometimes the simplest thing is what questions us…
    I loved the post!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I think you noticed that #6 doesn’t really fit because the two photos are of the same flower and were even taken on the same day. To go with the rest of the pairs I should not have included them but I like them. πŸ˜‰
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Your mind is always asking questions and investigating things – I like that very much. Thank you, Dulce!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. πŸ™‚ You know, it wasn’t that difficult at first – most of these just popped out at me. But then I wanted to have a few more and that took days. I wasn’t seeing the relationships anymore, I was hunting for them instead of letting them emerge. I waited it out and the last pair came to me.
      The pairing of #8 excited me – how cool that those little flowers on a dark background arranged themselves in a manner reminiscent of the geese in the sky. I should get them printed and framed – do you think in one frame or two, side by side? Maybe two frames.
      Thank you again!

      Like

  7. The pairings that struck me most deeply are:

    3,4,5,8, and 12.

    If I had to select a favorite amongst those I loved most, I would probably choose #3. The colors are similar and the subject is lichen in both images. For that duet, I am not sure what I love about it: Is is the muted tones? The ethereal light in the first image juxtaposed with the crusted rock and the process of change in the second? The lace lichen is captured with such precision and delicacy as is the case with many of the organisms you photograph, and maybe ultimately that is why I love that pair the most.

    I love this idea of a dialogue between photos. The idea that they’re communicating visually or subliminally, or that there is simply a common subject or color between them opens up vistas only visual art can explore.

    I appreciate very much these duets. They’re so stunning! I take photographs, and I love photography–but I’m a very amateurish photographer who has plopped her butt down for many years in the rut of iPhoneography. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lace lichen became a favorite as soon as I got to know it, after moving to Fidalgo Island. It’s plentiful in places and makes a wonderful subject for the “poetically inclined” right? I like that those two photos have lots of similarities but meaningful differences, too. And I very much like that this pair caught your attention. The pairs in #4 & #5 are nice together and I’m fond of that look so I’m glad you mentioned those as well.
      It’s gratifying to know that you played with this thought of images dialoguing. I’d like to do this again but it will probably just have to come to me – it can’t be hunted for or forced, I think. Does that make sense?
      It takes lots and lots of time to expand a liking for photography into something deeper but I’m sure you could do it – given the time. Retiring helped enormously, in my case! πŸ˜‰
      Thanks so much, Holly, have a good week!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Love your couples! The shots are great and ‘yours’.. The pairings make sense and I can make my personal connections. The couple that inspired me most is nr7. The piece of plastic in the right shot looks like an extension of the grey piece of rock in the upper right corner of the left shot. It feels like an extension because ‘they’ have the same angle/direction. Lines make a very strong connection. Makes them a couple of the same thing, but in ‘parallel universes’.. Greetings for both of you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It’s cool that you talk about #7, I liked that pair. I had several photos of things like the plastic – an old tire, etc. – and they don’t fit with my typical posts so it’s nice to see that they really do fit, at least in this way. Yes, it’s mostly about the diagonals there but I think the colors are similar, too. Parallel universes, I like it. Joe says Hi back and I say sorry I’m so late getting to your blog. I hope all’s well with you & the family. πŸ™‚

      Like

  9. Pingback: A DOZEN DUETS – Nelsapy

  10. Oh my! Such a creative collection, Lynn – my eyes and my mind were completely intrigued. I loved them all but #7 was almost one complete image, with the rocks flowing into the plastic seamlessly. And the serendipity of #8, with the repetition of small subjects arranged in a similar pattern against a neutral background – amazing! It is always a pleasure to see how your visual mind works, and yes, it does trigger ideas for this viewer!

    Liked by 2 people

    • What a treat it is to read your comment, especially your view of #7, with the piece of plastic. But #8, yes, it says something about our universe, or at least our earth, that arrangements like those two happen along the same mysterious “fault lines” of some greater force(s) that we’re ignorant of. And for me, it’s enough just to recognize the patterns. Happy you enjoyed the post! Have a good weekend – in the garden, I bet. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I would’ve never guessed the first was amarillo! This was such a terrific collection of gorgeous and intriguing photos. You definitely have an eye for pairing completely unlike things in a way that makes sense.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting, I think that autocomplete played with your comment and you meant to say amaryllis – but I understand! Buds are always interesting to look at closeup. It’s good to hear that these pairs made sense, thanks again.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Beautiful and intriguing. I especially love 1. and 4. The relationships of the pairs definitely enhance the experiencing of each image for me. This would be an excellent gallery show or exhibit. The variety and kinship of the batch is interesting as well as each pair, so I think it would be a cohesive and moving presentation as a whole.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sorry to do two comments… I enjoyed them so much I went back over them, and I realized part of what intrigued me so much with 4. is how the tree shape in the first stands against the water, or in spite of it, and in the second the tree shape is formed by the water and wouldn’t exist without it. Then I thought of how the first tree wouldn’t stand without water in a literal sense. Got me thinking of relationships, indeed. πŸ˜€ Thanks for the mental/aesthetic exercise and enjoyment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s interesting…I didn’t analyze those images to that degree but mainly saw the branching resemblance, the softness, the subdued palette and I guess they’re both images of wet subjects. πŸ™‚ You’re good to take it further – thank you for taking the time to explain what went through your mind.

        Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a very nice idea, a show – I have to at least get myself to frame a few. But you’re right, they would work all together as a show. Someday I need to stop long enough to make that happen. As it is, I tend to move on to the next thing pretty quickly. Thank you, Sheri.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Don’t stop your creative process to fit it into a mold, I’d say. You’ve made a virtual show in a post. I feel privileged that you take the time to organize you images, experiences and observations so thoughtfully and share them with us. But I guess if you ever wanted to frame and show something this could be a handy group to look back to. Thanks! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  13. This is so playful! I really enjoyed your pairs, that play together in so different ways. It tickles my brain πŸ™‚ What I like best here is the pair with the plastic garbage and the one with the snow goose and chickweed. This is so good! Or the one with the windows and the house. But all your photos are exquisite and your choice of pairs is genius πŸ™‚ I repeat myself, but I love it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • You know I’m always happy to tickle your brain. It was fun to do this. Someone said it would make a nice show or exhibit, which would be so nice. But that takes a lot of work and a lot of money to get things printed and framed. Thank you very, very much. Have a nice weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi! What an imaginative and creative idea. I am imagining your mind at work, going with your intuitions and coming up with these apt pairings. Your lead duet sets the tone and idea with its similarity in shapes and angles, I love how you found mirroring shapes and patterns like the birds and flower, the lichen and rock, the textured sand, smooth rock and the chain. Some quite subtle but connected visually. So good!
    On another note, I do love the myriad organizational tools LR offers. When I first go through I give anything remotely worthy one star and try to delete the throwaways X, anything I’ve edited at all 2, further culling get 3’s and 4 and anything I’ve posted on my blog or website gets a five. I also love the color coding, collections and also Smart Collections are fantastic. And of course, keywords. And, as we’ve discussed, the improved masking tool is great. Thanks for another enjoyable and inspiring post. πŸ€—

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sounds like we have a similar system, at least partly. I always give the whole import batch 2 stars (a photo that serves no function at all except to document something and isn’t very good is a 1). The batch also gets a location keyword. Then I look one by one and delete what I have to and give 3 stars to photos I want to be sure to come back to. Everything gets more keywords, too. I’ve been really funny about giving 5 stars to my photos…I should figure out why. Images that are posted are usually 4’s. I also have a single color code for everything posted on the blog – a lifesaver! I haven’t been using collections a lot, I need to utilize them more. It’s good to compare notes with you. πŸ™‚ Thanks for the thumbs up on the post idea and execution. I’d like to do this again but I’ll have to have that spark lit, you know, the intuition has to be alive. (Thinking about a related idea connecting very old photos that have been digitized to current & ongoing interests). I enjoyed reading about what you saw in the pairs because it reflects how you think and see – thanks!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Congrats for your great idea and it’s convincing realisation!
    It’s as if the pairs have their similar rhythms and melody in a composition of all of them together. The last pair seems to lead back to the beginning or just backwards .The first pair can come in and lead downwards. πŸ˜‰
    It has been a great pleasure for me to see all the fascinating different forms , patterns and colours. My faves (difficult to choose) are pairs 5 and 8. Pair 2 strikes me with two faces on each behind a closed door.
    I ‘m leaving here richer than before! Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Petra, thank you very much for writing such a nice comment. I didn’t think about how the last pair can lead back to the first. I do try to arrange images (or pairs of images) so they work together and move forward but it’s not always perfect. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for telling me your favorites, too, that’s interesting. Maybe I’ll do this again sometime. For now, it’s great to know that you enjoyed it. πŸ™‚

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  16. What connects each of these partnerships is immediately obvious and needs no explanation. At least if they are already arranged next to each other.

    However, it is a strong achievement to filter out such pairs from a large number of photos that are not visible at the same time, and I suspect in your case a huge source (not to speak of unquestionable quality πŸ™‚).

    The couple that immediately captures my heart are the Chickweeds/Geese – what adorable partners! The picture of the formation of the bird flight would not be that extraordinary on its own, you see and photograph something like that more often.Β Also the view of the flowers… (although you brilliantly processed their glow!).Β  Only the combination adds something special to each of them.

    Anyway, the whole thing is a wonderful idea, designed with a lot of feeling, dear Lynn.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have to smile at your comment about finding these pairs amidst a plethora of photos – almost 80,000 now. But I only looked at recent photos and photos that I gave 3 or more stars (which means I think they’re good enough to show). Certain images were stuck in my head – I wanted to show them but they didn’t fit into my usual post categories. So they were calling to me already. πŸ˜‰ The first 8 or 10 pairs were easy, then I struggled but I wanted a few more. So I let the whole thing rest for a few days, which I’m sure you have done, too.
      I think the Chickweed and geese might be the strongest one. I should think about framing them together. Thank you, Ule!
      (We think of our time with you often….)

      Liked by 1 person


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