Sparks Of Light – 3/13/14

The Earth is sick. It has a fever. And like us, we develop a fever when our bodies have been invaded by a pathogen. The fever helps accelerate our antibodies to exterminate the pathogens.

Only now with the Earth, we are the pathogen making her sick. The Earth is doing what it must to survive. Guess who won’t?

I suppose its true…you get what you pay for.

Peace.

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Speaking In Silence

Each month this lone natural satellite of ours cycles through its phases always returning to the waxing crescent and appears in its performance after the sun has gone down. Each month, it seems, that its performance falls increasingly on an ever growing number of deaf ears.

Crescent Moon of Dhul-Hijjah Setting over the Santa Cruz Mountains

Speaking In Silence

Now you might be asking, how can we hear the moon when it is a visual experience? And to that I would reply, do we really hear with our ears? I had a teacher once who gave me advice. Be careful about what you do, people are listening to you with their eyes. In an age that is filled with imagery, actions speak much louder than words. And in an age where truth has been tipped on its head such that lies are believed to be truths and truth taken as lies, it is becoming harder to ascertain the truth. Nothing man touches anymore is free from the corruption of lies.

Twenty years ago I ventured out with a camera in my hand determined to vindicate the veracity of my tongue by photographing the new crescent moon as solid proof that I was seeing it. Along the way I became enamored by the natural world and have pointed my lens at much of. The world is vast and it has kept me occupied in preserving the moments it presented to me. In all that time, however, I never stopped photographing the moon. I rarely, if ever, shared the photos of the moon with many as I thought they would be of little interest; to simple for the sophistication of the modern mind, to boring for the eyes vexed by the virtual chicanery of our time. Yet in the past couple of years I have started sharing the photos of the new crescent moon and to my surprise they have been welcomed with a refreshing enthusiasm. Perhaps simple is best. After all was it not Albert Einstein who said “Make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler”?

These photos of the moon cannot be any simpler with regards to the subject and still call them photos of something. A sliver of reflected light set against a colorful post sunset sky. As simple as they may seem, they are a far cry from having nothing to say.

At times the color of the sky is vibrant while at other times quiet and tame. The color moves the eye up and down the frame touching upon all the emotions associated with the spectrum from passion to power to peace and sadness, stopping only for the pearly-white glow of the small sliver of light that interrupts the flow. The subject is always the same but placed in the specific context the photos take on many levels of complexity. At times I am treated with a varied sky mixed with silhouetted clouds giving the photo a sense of mystery or a dastardly ominous presence and the crescent provides a glimmer of hope that balances the image.

I also see the moon as a marker of time.  Each day it waxes larger until it becomes full and rises as the sun is setting and then wanes away into a crescent once more before it vanishes for  day or two as it interludes with the sun hidden to our naked eyes.  Its mansions in the sky remind me of the passing of time, or more starkly the running out of time.  I only have a fixed amount to time in this life as do each of you.  Once my time, and your time for that matter, runs out, we cease to exist here.  Our ability to do something to effect change for the better comes to an end.  So it reminds me each month to get busy and not waste the precious amount I have left.

The Moon, Venus and Spica

The Trio

Rarer still, are those times when the moon is hanging in the sky next to other celestial travelers, such as Venus or Mars or other orbs of light that reach out from deep in the galaxy or from other galaxies that are light years away. These little sparks of light not only grace the image with another point of light to aid in giving the eye a place to rest but also giving us a glimpse into the past. For many of the stars that do show up, are so far away that their light reaching us now left those stars long before we ever existed and in some cases their light is as old as the universe itself. For us, looking up at the sky, these celestial beacons all appear the same distance away. Light reflected from the moon however, reaches us in a little over 1 second. From Venus, a regular companion of the Moon in the sunset sky, its reflected light reaches us in as little as 2 minutes or as long as 14 minutes depending on where it is in its orbit around the sun relative to where we are in our orbit. Light from the sun, which on average is 93 million miles away, reaches us in just over 8 minutes.  The next closest star to us is Proxmia Cantauri which is 4.3 light years away, meaning light from that start reaching us tonight left that star 4.3 years ago.  The additional star that showed up on the evening that “Trio” was made, Spica in the constellation Virgo, is the 15th brightest star in the sky and the light that left that star did so 250 years ago!  That was before anyone of us reading this article right now was even born!  And the faintest object that we can see by the naked eye under a sufficiently dark sky is the Triangulum Galaxy M33 which is 3 million light years away from Earth.  Its light seen tonight left it 3 million years ago!  When we look up at sky we are seeing the ancient past.

Then there are those times when I decide to not only include the moon’s neighbors in the sky, but also Terra Firma.  I will place it as an anchor at the bottom of the frame, silhouetted against the colorful sky.  Most times I will wait until the moon is close to the horizon allowing the diffraction effects of the atmosphere to play its magic in making the moon appear bigger than it really is.  And yet, by doing so I emphasize the size of the moon to indicate that it is much more important than we esteem it to be.  Without the moon, the tides on the oceans would not exist as they do.  The variation of high tide and low tide would not be present.  And although the sun and wind would still send waves onto our shores they would be tame compared to what we now see, and coastlines for the most part would remain static, much like those of any lake.  By virtue of the orbiting moon, we have dynamic oceanic coastlines that team with a variety of unique life accustomed to the cyclic nature of the rising and dropping tides.

Further yet, the moon was the first means of marking time beyond a day, ushering in calendars into the human civilization that were used to mark sacred days as well as the counting of years.  Through the discovery and understanding of the cyclic nature of the moon, the cyclic nature of the rising and setting locations of the sun and stars soon followed allowing our ancestors to learn about the changing and cyclic seasons – giving rise to the understanding of agriculture of knowing when and when not to plant.  The relationship of the Moon and Mother Earth is one that runs very deep and the two are intimately connected through an invisible force now known as gravity.  It was the sight of the moon up in the sky and simultaneously seeing an apple fall from a tree that prompted Sir Isaac Newton to question – if an apple falls from a tree to the ground, why does the moon up in the sky not fall to earth as well?  It led him to the rationalization of what we now call Newton’s Laws of Motion which describe the very nature of the motion of our world and those objects in it as well as the motion of heavenly bodies. Through Newtonian mechanics, the motion of objects described by Newton’s Laws of Motion, humans have walked on the surface of the very moon that prompted Sir Isaac Newton to formulate those laws some half a millennium ago.  And yet, to this day, we still do not know what gravity really is.

Yes these photos of the new crescent moon are simple, but by no means are they empty.  The prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, spoke succinctly with few words but with much meaning.  His blessed face was described to shine more than the full moon on a dark night.  He changed the world for the better and left for us in the moon a tradition of going out each month in search of it.  Each month the moon appears is a reminder of the character building lessons that the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, came to teach us.  I see the moon as his final lesson.  If he spoke succinctly in his lifetime he is now speaking to us in silence – through the silence of the moon.  These photos of the moon as simple as they may be, speak volumes, without even saying a word.

New Crescent Moon

More Than Words

Till next time, peace.

 

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I’m Sorry – An Open Letter to Mother Earth

Dear Mother Earth,

I am sorry.  When I think about what we humans have done to you I feel ashamed and embarrassed.  You have been in existence much longer than we have and yet we were foolish enough to take on the role of caretaker, so long ago, but we have proven to be unworthy of such a role.  I guess I cannot take all the blame myself, nor should I really, as when I examine my life and how I have lived it, it has been one of conscience and care.  I am sorry though for how I was misinformed in my upbringing, not by my parents mind you, as they were duped just as badly as I was, never giving thought to how you were treated.  Although there were good people out there trying to correct the wrongs being perpetrated against you, I guess the message they were sending out did not reach everyone or affect them the same way.

I recall as a little boy the television commercials of the Native American man named Iron Eyes Cody looking upon your polluted land, water and air and crying.  Those images and messages affected me very deeply and I have been careful ever since.  Nonetheless, I am sorry for my lapses.  I am sorry for my use of plastic.  I know it never goes away and that it has been stuffed into your belly and chokes your waters.  I am sorry that I never raised my voice against plastic and argued for your sake to my parents who thought nothing of it.  Had I known it was so detrimental I would have.  Now I am at a loss.  Everything comes in plastic and I do not know what to do with it.  No one ever told me that most of the plastic, even the recyclable type, never gets recycled. Nor was I told that the plastic that does get recycled is shipped off to Asian countries where poor people root through it and then remelt it into a toxic sludge that will get reused into something, but not before it poisons them and chokes the air with its noxious black smoke.  For that I am sorry.

I am sorry that as I was being educated as an engineer that I did not connect the dots and see that in the course of using science to make life better for humanity it was making things worse for you.  I am sorry that I did not realize that I could have directed my engineering fervor to find solutions that would make life better for us and at the same time not make it worse for you.  I am sorry for not questioning my teachers about the technologies they were advancing if they would do harm rather than just worrying about how to make them function.  I am sorry for not realizing that the engineering systems I studied were just smaller parts of the whole of your system and that they would affect the whole in ways that we never imagined.  I am sorry that in the course of being an engineer resources were extracted from you to make machines that brought more harm to you than good.  I am sorry that we scientists and engineers have forsaken you for the monetary gains that our technologies can bring.  I am sorry that we scientists and engineers formed alliances with greedy financiers who would rather see a beneficial technology that would be safe for you be put to death if it meant that they could not make a profit from it.  I am sorry that in our effort to extract clean energy from you we develop methods that pollute you beyond belief and that we keep how toxic those methods are to ourselves lest the public rage against us.  I am sorry that we cannot seem to understand that polluting you will kill us before it kills you.

I am sorry that in my current profession as a nature and landscape photographer concerned about your preservation that I have to drive a vehicle to the places where I photograph and to the places where I display the photographs and try to educate people about your importance that consumes petroleum in obscene quantities.  I am sorry that I even have to use petroleum as an energy source.  When as I student, I and team of 30 other students designed and built a car that worked completely and cleanly on solar energy and used it to travel over 1000 miles across the United States that I did not champion such clean energy so that today it might be the norm.  I am sorry that I have to pay taxes that help fund unjust wars against innocent people just so that the oil-thirsty nation I live in can continue to quench its thirst for oil.

I am sorry for the arrogant pursuit of poisonous radio-active alternate forms of energy that just continue to hurt you, us and all living things on your back.  We have no clue how to properly contain its power, or how to dispose of its waste and in our sheer stupidity think that if it is out of sight it is out of mind and does not exist, so we bury it deep inside of you or dump it deep into your oceans.  I cannot seem to understand why we seeing past our own noses into the future and realizing we are just digging our own graves eludes us, and for that stupidity, I am sorry.  Worse yet, we turn to using the waste as ammunition for the guns that we turn on ourselves and spray it all over the land poisoning not only the water we drink but the food that we eat and the dust that inadvertently finds its way into our lungs. We kill our selves and sentence our offspring to gross and unjust deformities that will eventually exterminate all of us, and for that I am sorry.  I find it ironically poetic that you, my dear Mother, will not clean up the mess that we make.  I hope we get the message, but I must apologize once again for our lack of understanding in how to care for the place we live, on your back.

I am sorry for our hubris to think that we have unraveled the mysteries of the genetic code and think that we can change small things to alter our food without it harming the whole of creation.  I am sorry that we produce seeds that do not reproduce themselves and then lay claim on the rights to own it so that we can profit from what the seeds produce one time.  You give us seeds that produce for us over and over in manifold gain without cause or concern for profit.  Your generosity shames us in comparison, and for that I am sorry.  I am sorry for the use of chemicals that kill your life giving oxygen-producing plants and that kill the insects that feed on the crops we grow, teaching us how to share, because we deem them an annoyance.  I am sorry that we use such toxins and fail to realize that once they breakdown into their constituent parts they cause an imbalance in the male-female populations that you so carefully crafted for millenia.  I am sorry that we have failed to learn from your wisdom and generosity.

I am sorry for the insanity that we must exhibit in striving to reach other planets and pondering on ways for us to live there while we systematically are killing you.  Maybe those madmen know we are driving in the last few nails into your coffin and they are looking for a means of escape, or a new place to destroy.  I am sorry that we do not spend our wealth amongst ourselves in preserving the beautiful home you have already provided us.  Maybe someday we will learn.

I am sorry for what we have done to you bringing you to your current state.  You ail today, your fever is rising, and yet we turn a blind eye and deaf ear to your illness because the change will cost us too much financially.  I am sorry for the nonsensical logic that we use to justify the status quo.  It is hilariously-sad to me to see the wealthy trying to hold on to something they will never get to take with them once they die and they fail to use it for the benefit that it can bring before they return to you as dust.  I am sorry for the sad state that humans have devolved to where greed above all else matters most even at the cost of severing their own lifeline so embedded in you.  I am sorry that humans as a whole have not learned how to be as generous as you have been to us for all these eons.  I am appalled that we cannot seem to understand the value of a seed over the value of the fruit bore from it.  For each fruit is of its own, while in a seed lies 70 to 700 times its self in the fruit it will bear.  I am sorry we do not give back to you in the like quantity that you give to us.  It seems that everything on your back knows the meaning of balance except us and for that I am sorry.

I am frightened that as our Mother, you are ready to discipline us with your chastisement for our wrongs.  We do not seem to hear your scolding and I fear it will not be long before the mulberry-switch comes out.

I know your chastisement will be stern, but please have mercy on us.  We are fools and know not what we are doing.

Please accept this apology from me and from those who sign on to this letter as well.  We do care and we are trying our best in a system that has gone completely wrong.

 

Sincerely,

Youssef M. Ismail ~ Organic Light Photography

Tim Gray

Guy Tal ~ Guy Tal Photography

Bret Edge ~ Bret Edge Photography

Michael E. Gordon ~ Michael E. Gordon Photography

Dali Delos Reyes

Mujtaba Ghouse

Alice Gray

Gary Crabbe ~ Enlightened Images

Mark Graf ~ Mark Graf Photography

Floris van Breugel ~ Art In Nature Photography

Terese Boeck

Rabbi Gershon Steinberg-Caudill ~ EcoRebbe

Nancy Schwalen

Mary Ann Donegan

Iskandar Soekardi

Ginny Kalila

David Leland Hyde ~ Landscape Photography Blogger

Larry Kimball ~ Pronghorn Wildlife Photography

PJ Finn ~ PhotoMontana.net

Brad Mangas ~ Nature & Wilderness Photography

John Strong ~ Visual Notebook

Mark Fenwick ~ Fascinating Photography

Greg Russell ~ Alpenglow Images

Patty Hankins ~ Beautiful Flower Pictures

Alexandra Mitchell

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Crying Black Tears

The earth is in pain.  We are hurting it.  We poison its water.  We choke its air. We cut it limbs and we slash into its flesh.  For all that we do to the Earth, it still takes care of us by the sky sending down its life giving rain, the fields still give their nourishing foods and trees still provide us with shade and the air we breath.  For some the earth is an inanimate object held in check by the laws of nature that govern how everything works.  For others, this author included, see the earth as a living and interactive organism that has a spirit and purpose.

There are a set of verses in the Qur’an, the text that Muslims believe was revealed by the Creator to guide humanity to what is ultimately their only success, that speaks of the Earth.  They mean as follows.

When the Earth is shaken with her final earthquake.

And the Earth yields up her burdens.

And man says “What is the matter with her?”

That day she will proclaim her tidings.

Because your Lord inspired her.

That day mankind will come forth in scattered groups to be shown their deeds.

And whoever has done a bit of good will see it then.

And whoever has done a bit of ill will see it then.

Its a weighty set of verses.  They frighten me.  But more than that they help me check myself with regards to what I do to and on the Earth.  I not only consider the Earth my home, but my companion in life and the physical source of what I need to stay alive.  It is my spiritual center and from which I learn many important things regarding how to live in peace with the Earth itself as well as with my fellow humans.  It is my teacher.  It has a persona that we all recognize, for do we not call her Mother Earth?

Everyone can learn from the Earth if we just open our eyes to what it has to teach. For millennial the Earth has taken care of us.  It saddens me that we do not reciprocate that care in kind today.  It seems that in past generations we, as humans, understood the necessity of mutual care between us and the Earth. That what was good for the Earth was ultimately good for us as well.  Today we seem to have lost our way in that respect.  We have become selfish, arrogant and blind that our actions, even though appearing self-serving, are in reality harmful to the Earth and to our own existence.

Faith and belief are sensitive topics, I know, but what if the Earth truly does have a memory.  A memory so sharp that it will tell all about what we individually have done on her back.  That it will stand as witness against us on that final day and bear a testimony that no matter what we do we cannot deny.  Which group do you wish to be among - those who have done good or those who have done ill?

I wonder if the Earth ‘looks’ at us and is saddened by what it must do to us to rectify its unbalanced state and return to equilibrium.  I think it will rid us, or most of us in the process.  I think it knows that and I wonder if it is crying black tears over it?

Crying Black Tears

Black Tear

Just some food for the mind to chew on.

Peace.

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I Found My Dream Girl

Last week on Veteran’s Day I was not scheduled to teach anywhere as most schools close for that day.  I waited patiently as I watched my online schedule for any last minute additions.  When 6 pm rolled around and nothing showed up, I made a snap decision to return to Yosemite Valley to catch the last bit of autumn color in the Valley.

I gather up my entourage of four kids and packed up a day lunch, water and some warm clothing and we hit the road.  Four hours later we found our selves playing in the remnant snow at 6000 feet elevation around Crane Flat from the storm that passed through a few days earlier.  Once the fingers on my children’s hands had sufficiently numbed we continued on our way dropping down in to the Valley.  All four were now very excited to be in the mountains once again.  As we rounded the bend on Highway 120 leading down to the first view of El Capitan and Half Dome, my youngest son suddenly exclaims, “I have found my dream girl!” With astonishment the rest of the kids look at him in wonderment asking what in the world he is talking about.  I had an inkling about what he meant and then he clarified his statement to the rest confirming my thoughts.

He said “the Earth is a girl right?  We do call her Mother Earth.  She is beautiful. She never complains.  She feeds us and gives us to drink.  And she is always ready to accept us when we want to play.  She is my dream girl”

Well my son, mine too…mine too.

Dream Girl

Dream Girl

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The Happiest Place on Earth

The Happiest Place on Earth

The Gates to Happy

Finally here again after two years.  Yosemite Valley has to be the happiest palce on Earth.  As soon as you drop into the valley and move past the Merced River and over Pohono Bridge the colors of autumn in the valley enthrall your eyes. Then as you meander along the gentle road passing through big leaf maple groves and sugar pine the grandeur of the largest monolithic piece of granite in the world greets you and your heart skips a beat in the shadow of its greatness before it settles into a state of tranquility certain in the fact that you are now home.

I will be posting each evening over the next few nights on what I find here this time around.  Stay tuned, the happy can only get better!

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Hidden Pearls

I am not sure how to begin this entry.  I feel melancholy and wonder why.  Every month when the new moon returns, I prepare myself to go out with the hope of seeing it and photographing it once more.  If nothing else, the endeavor reconnects me with the heavens and the Earth.  I am looking forward to it this month, as this moon will not have the fan fare associated with the start of Ramadan or with that of Eid.  It will be a quite trip, a trip of and for the heart, a return to the beginning.  Almost twenty years ago, in the very month of October, I captured my very first moon in a photograph.

First Crescent

First Crescent

It was not the best of photos, but it did capture the moon, one of the youngest I have ever had the good fortune to capture.  Since that time I have seen many moons and have discovered a beauty that is rarely seen.  The new crescent moon, like many things in nature, is a hidden pearl.  I marvel at how the most valuable of things in the world are hidden and require immense effort to acquire them.  Take for example the pearl, a small iridescent orb of crystalline calcium carbonate formed over years inside an oyster or other mollusk deep underwater in the sea.  To find it naturally is quite rare, at least these days, and I cannot fathom how it was even first discovered.  To retrieve a pearl requires great effort in diving down under water tens of feet if not more, wrenching an oyster off the ocean floor, bringing it to the surface and then wrestling open the oyster with the hope that it might contain a single glowing pearl.

There is however, a deep wisdom behind this.  For as soon as something of value is discovered, the greed to own as much of it as possible soon follows, and in the wake of that greed much destruction takes place.  I have often pondered on notoriety and obscurity, asking myself which is best.  If we allow ourselves the license to follow the ego, we will strive for notoriety, for the ego always wants to be known, even if it results in its own demise.  Logic would have it, on the other hand, that obscurity is the more prudent path to follow as it will afford one much protection and desiring that protection will always keep a person safely tucked away behind the veil that conceals who they are.  However, before we all go off to hide in our shells we must understand that the hidden pearls are of no benefit if they remain hidden and revealing them and giving them the notoriety they deserve helps spread their benefit to everyone.

Discovering hidden pearls over the years with a camera in hand and sharing them with others has been both a joy and a disappointment. I find great joy in sharing my photos and more so when those who look are overjoyed with them as well.  As we gaze upon what is depicted in the photos we feel a connection with the Earth that brings all of us closer together.  A sense of wonderment and, in some respects, a longing to see in person the same thing as that shown in the photograph develops and with that the wanderlust takes over and  suddenly my audience become my companions in the field.  All of us searching, seeing and falling in love with the Earth and what she gives us, to the extent that the Earth becomes a priceless treasure, in-expendable and worthy of protection.

Obscurity

Obscurity

Unfortunately, as with many hidden treasures, most people are clueless to their worth until they are elevated to notoriety.  In fact, the true treasures of this world live in obscurity for their whole existence with very few ever finding them and fewer yet benefiting from what they give the world.  Although I relish finding and benefiting from the hidden pearls of the world it also brings me much disappointment that more people do not garner for themselves the benefits at hand.

We need to find some hidden pearls for ourselves and drink in the value they posses to enrich our lives then share what you gleaned from them with others in the hope that we can all come to appreciate and value them.  The pearls you find might be other people, or something in nature like a tree or an animal.  Maybe the pearls you find are the words of a poem or a song, or possibly even the precious shining moments of life when they flash before our eyes.  Whatever they might be, they must be found, valued and shared so that we can all come to cherish what we have in the world.

As I said at the start of this post, I’ll be heading out in a couple of days to search for my hidden pearl, the new crescent moon, and soon thereafter, I will return to the mountains to find the veiled autumn color that glows in obscurity.  I invite you all to tag along if you wish.  Just let me know.

Peace.

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The Cynical Eye

I just finished teaching a class on leaf shapes to a pre-K class of children. I teach kids almost everyday and the topics run the gamut from earth science to physics to photography. Some days things move along so smoothly and other days it is a real struggle to just get through one hour of instruction. Today was one of those days. The children were nearly clueless about trees, had no answers about why a tree was of any benefit, even the teacher who asked for the class thought she was going to have trouble because there were no trees near the school to gather leaves from – her excuse was that the school was in a light industrial area of San Jose and there were no trees. On the contrary, on my way out, I must have counted at least 10 different trees species!

On my way to today’s lesson and on the way back to my studio I drove past two radar gun speed traps with police officers pulling cars over from the side of the road. On my way back I thought I was being pulled over as an officer jumped out in front of me and started waving to pull over. Relieved was I when he pointed to a car behind me and in another lane. With my heart racing I had to calm myself down and was a bit overwhelmed by the world that we have made for ourselves.

I guess I should not be surprised.  We move along in our mechanized vehicles at breakneck speeds never taking the time to just look at any of the natural wonders that surround us.  Actually you can’t while in our sound proof rolling isolation chambers, because if we take our eyes off the road for any reason, even for a split second, we will end up splattered across the roadway in a million pieces!

We have all but completely isolated ourselves from the natural world.  We watch “Sunrise Earth” on cable television in HD instead of actually going out in the morning to watch the sun actually come up over the horizon in RD (thats Real Definition).  We tell time by the artificial circular motion of arms on a clock, or worse yet by reading a digital display of numbers on an LCD screen.  Not ever once asking what do those numbers really mean, or why do the hands on the clock actually spin in the “clockwise” direction, there is a reason for this!  Not to mention the further-removed-from-reality construct of Daylight Saving Time.  We have created an artificial world for ourselves and the longer we immerse ourselves in it, the more artificial we become.

It is well known that if we keep company with people who are ill with a communicable disease, we can become infected with that same disease.  The same is true with spiritual diseases of the heart.  Keep company with people who are misers, arrogant, and angry and don’t be surprised to find yourself acting miserly, arrogant and full of rage as well.  But these diseases have known cures and so while they are troubling, they are not with out a resolution.  What I fear is the time we spend keeping company with all the artificial non-living manufactured things that consume our time.  Will that time spent with machines make us less human?  Will we start to act in the heartless, emotionless, repetitive manner of a machine?

It is very easy to fall into this trap of seeing the world with a cynical eye.  I fall into it from time to time and it concerns me.  It is not a place that I like to be.  When it does happen, I know at that point that I have been apart from the natural world too long.  My heart races in turmoil and needs to find tranquility and peace, even if for only a short time.  Later today, I will be doing just that – finding a natural place where I can just reconnect with the real world and find some tranquility camera by my side or not.  It€™s time.  I invite you to do the same.

Tranquility, Peace, Stillness, Dog Lake, Yosemite

Tranquility

Peace.

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Why PAN?

It seems like a strange name, Organic Light Pan for a web journal. Why did I choose that? Well one reason which is kind of silly, but of importance in the branding of my company, Organic Light Photography, are the initials OLP. From Organic Light Photography to Organic Light Press to, hopefully in the future, Organic Light Philanthropy, I wanted the web journal to keep the same three letter moniker of OLP.

This is where the search started in naming this journal. I went to great lenghts of searching words that begin with the letter ‘P’ that would capture the sense of what this journal would serve. My photographic work is in general concerned with nature and the landscape. More specifically I am concerned with our relationship with the Earth as well as our relationship with our Maker.

For one, I find it interesting that the natural world, taken as a whole, is at peace with itself. Everything is in balance and it would stay that way if we did not come along and upset that tenuous equilibrium. Thus I write about that in the reflections that accompany my photographs. I also tend to see that if we open our eyes to how the natural world functions we can learn a great many things in how to live our lives in peace with each other. However to do this, one has to “pan” across all the strata of existent things in the universe to see this. And that is where the name of this journal appeared. I also found it fortutious that in many instances a photographer has to pan the camera while following a subject in the viewfinder.

And so, Organic Light Pan became the title of this journal that aims to extract Insights Through Reflections on Nature. Hopefully these insights will lead us to living in peace with each other on this planet and in peace with the Earth itself, our home and vessel as we are hurled through the universe.

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