Lens-Artists Challenge #25 – Reflections
“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has many; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.”
This week Patti has given us a challenge that can be interpreted in two entirely different ways. The dictionary tells us that a reflection is either the “throwing back by a body or surface of light without absorbing it” or “serious thought or consideration”. (actually there is a third meaning related to mathematics but I’m going to simply ignore that 😀)
Each of my images this week illustrates the former – the throwing back of light. After all, what is more pleasing to a photographer than the play of light?! As for “serious thought” – what better time to reflect back on the year just ending as we prepare to move into the year to come?
“Reflect within yourself for that reflection is far better than what you see in the mirror.”
This year my husband and I were overwhelmed by the beauty, spirituality and history we experienced in Israel and Jordan. It’s a journey my husband had long listed at the top of his bucket list, but which had always landed in second place behind places like South Africa, China, Australia/New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Patagonia – you get the idea. Happily our very high expectations were met and exceeded by this remarkable area of the world.
“Choose your friends carefully. They are a reflection of you.”
While we have thoroughly enjoyed our journeys to every corner of the world, we are also blessed to live in a beautiful place surrounded by some of nature’s most pristine landscapes and the amazing creatures who reside in them. This year we saw some of the most incredible cloudscapes I’ve seen in 20 years here on Kiawah. On top of that, as always our birds were ubiquitous – perfect subjects for an inquisitive lens.
“What is the good of experience if you do not reflect?”
Frederick The Great
There are times when nature is best seen without the distraction of color. The two images that follow seemed to speak most beautifully to me when presented quietly. I made both captures during an inspirational photography class with Ralph Lee Hopkins, National Geographic‘s Director of Expedition Photograph. Ralph led a terrific two-day class for our amazing Photography Group here on Kiawah.
“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”
This year also represented a major departure for me as I transitioned fully from the Nikon gear I’ve loved since my first FM film camera in the early 1980s to a Fuji X-T2 mirrorless. I’ll admit the road was not a smooth one but after finally getting a defective lens replaced (kudos to Fuji for the replacement) I am once again happily shooting with confidence. The lighter weight makes everything easier and the WYSIWYG is great for visualizing and experimentation.
“Be a reflection of what you’d like to see in others. You get in return what you give.”
Ziad K. Abdelnour
In hindsight, 2018 has been a year of many blessings. My husband and I have enjoyed time with family (which has grown by one), travel to wonderful places, good health, fun times with both old and new friends (3 with whom I share Lens-Artists moderation) and a world, for the most part, at peace. I wish you all a wonderful Holiday and a New Year filled with joy.
“Thirst drove me down to the water where I drank the moon’s reflection.”
I’ll close with thanks to Patti for her thoughtful challenge, and a quote that I thought perfect for this beautiful season.
“Thoughts turn to others just a little more this time of year. Days grow shorter and memories grow longer. Families and friends gather in celebration or hope. Giving is a reflection of our love and caring for each other and those less fortunate. May your thoughts turn to gratitude this holiday season and carry on throughout the next year…”
James A. Murphy