Archive for October, 2009


I wonder at times about the things in life that attract our attention while we don’t know why they attract us at the time. Sometimes its because of the beauty apparent in what we see. Other times its due to the ugliness. But most of the time its for no apparent reason.

However, as is often the case, understanding something usually occurs after encountering it.  Such was the case with the above photo titled ‘Stripped’.  A barren dead tree snag surrounded by lush green foliaged trees.  I guess what initially attracted me was the starkness of the bare tree.  How its bare branches contrasted against the green.  At the time it held no meaning for me and its graphic nature made me stop and something inside said ‘make a photo’.

Although now, finding myself unable to carry out my business as usual I feel somewhat stripped as well; left unprotected from the uncertainty of the future just like those bare branches are left unprotected from the harshness of the elements.  

Strange is the notion that having the ability to do something somehow imparts the sense of protection or control or stability from unfortunate future events.  Strange how losing a physical possesion effects the intangible spirit.  Strange how in-spite of being afforded every blessing in life from health to loved ones to our daily bread, we still feel bereft if we don’t have money.  How unfortunate it truly is that we attach happiness with monetary wealth.  Especially when we deal with fiat currency – paper has no true value in it – its only worth something as long as everyone believes it does.  Even if the currency was something that had intrinsic worth, like gold, it does not persist.  If we hoard our ‘money’ it is of no real benefit; we can’t eat it, we can’t wear it, it does not hug us or console us with soothing words when we hurt.  And if we do use it, then its gone.  Keep it or not, it cannot preserve us.  Eventually we will expire and leave it behind if it did not already leave us.

I suppose then that it is not the ability to earn ‘money’ that brings us happiness, but the endeavor behind that earning.  When we work as an employee we are paid a wage commensurate with the value of our service.  If what we do is important to others, then we are compensated by them accordingly.  If we work independently providing a service or product to others, we find satisfaction in what we sell when others buy it because we have facilitated ease or utility.  This then has value, and while intangible it still brings benefit to all involved.  Its just that in our age the compensation for our efforts is rewarded monetarily rather than by the transfer of necessities, such as food, clothing, shelter etc…

I photograph the world to share my joy in the beauty that I see.  It brings me great satisfaction when another person finds solace or elation when viewing one of my works.  If it was not a financial burden to produce them I probably would give them away for free, but alas they are not and so I do offer them for sale.  And since we do live in a time where our livelihood is obtained via currency, the photos I sell are also the means by which I provide for myself and my family.  Thus I think being stripped of my ability to bring beauty to others as well as seeking sustenance for myself and those that rely on me, has left me feeling how the tree in the above photo looks.  And until I have the means once again to bring the photos to the world, I have to rely on the world, albeit the virtual one, coming to me to enjoy and purchase one for themselves from this virtual store.

Take care and enjoy what remains of Autumn.

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Fall Photo Sale Addendum

No More Words

No More Words

I just wanted to remind everyone of the Fall Photo Sale that is going on right now. Due to the inability of bringing the photos to the public on a weekly basis at an art show, exhibit or other market place, I have set up an online gallery where the current inventory can be viewed and purchased for Immediate Delivery!

In addition, The prices in this sale are the same as those at any venue where the photos can be purchased in person.  What this means is that you are getting a discounted price – discounts range from 5% for the larger pieces all the way up to nearly 20% for the smaller pieces.  That is a substantial savings from the normal website prices.  But these prices won’t be available for ever on this site.  So don’t miss this opportunity to get some Organic Light into you life TODAY!

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Fall Photo Sale!

Autumn Meadow In Yosemite Valley

Autumn Meadow In Yosemite Valley

This Autumn and for the near future it will be difficult to exhibit at local art shows and markets due to not having a vehicle to pull the trailer that is used to transport the show equipment to the various locations.  To this end, I have set up an online gallery of all the photos that I have in my current inventory that would normally be seen at an art show. 

The prices in this gallery reflect those obtainable at an exhibit or art show which have always been lower than the website price.  They are also immediately deliverable with a wait time of only 3-5 days rather than the typical 1-2 week delivery time with a regular website purchase for an on-demand print job.  I will be uploading more photos in coming days as I have much more inventory and availability of current inventory will be reduced as sales occur.

To view the gallery Click on This Highlighted Link or on the Autumn Photo Sale link in the Right Sidebar.  I have also listed the last scheduled workshop for this year, Maples and Redwoods, October 23 – 26 as well as private photography instruction or photo tour. 

If there is an image that you particularly enjoy that you do not see in the sale gallery, or the image you like is not immediately available in the size you desire, then please visit the Organic Light Photography Website Gallery Page and place your order there and I will be more than happy to custom print, mat and send it to you.

I truly appreciate your consideration in helping keep Organic Light Photography a viable source of beauty and inspiration to all and the source of  livelihood for me and my family.

I Sincerely Thank You.

~ Youssef

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When The World Crashes

On October 14, 2009, on one of the worse rain storm days I can remember in a long time, I was involved in a devastating accident where I hit another car from behind on Highway 280 in the San Francisco Bay Area. The accident resulted in both of our cars as a total loss. I thank God that no one was seriously injured.

Accident Aftermath

Accident Aftermath

This incident has left me full of deep remorse for disrupting the lives of so many people, my family included. My truck, a 2000 Toyota 4Runner, was a critical asset of Organic Light Photography as it provided transportation to and from photography jobs, and trips into the wilderness areas that I photograph, as well as being the workhorse in pulling a trailer filled with the show equipment I use at art shows and exhibits where Organic Light Photographs can be seen, enjoyed and purchased.

Needless to say I need to purchase another truck that can replace the loss. The whole incident has left me very shaken up. Of course any accident like this is bound to do so, and it is difficult to get past it without wondering what it all means. It is diffcult not to wonder if I had just braked a little sooner, or if I took that risk of veering into another lane if that would have averted the collision. But we can “what-if” ourselves to no end with no real benefit. What has happened has happened and it cannot be undone. When a calamity occurs, we need to find the courage in ourselves to stand up, dust ourselves off, forgive ourselves for our own inability to control things outside of our sphere of influence and find the wisdom in what has happend so that we may hopefully grow as thinking conscience individuals.

We are living in trying times. Tribulations seem to be coming upon us collectively as a society from all sides and as often as we blink our eyes. We tend to feel somewhat sheltered however when it is not happening directly to us, but the truth is that it is actually happening to other fellow human beings somewhere. Everyday someone somewhere is in a car accident, or a family member dies, or someone loses their job, and the list goes on. I am sure you don’t drive down the freeway without seeing at least one wreck a week.

The funny thing is that the traffic that results from drivers slowing down at the scene of an accident always upset me. It is a pet peeve of mine seeing all those “rubber-neckers” slowing down to get a glimpse of what happened, as if they did not have enough drama in their lives already, or enough violence as portrayed through the media that they just needed to see a little more of it so that they can get their fix.

But it has occured to me how incredibly insensitive I have been – not to the rubber-neckers, they still bother me, but to those afflicted individuals involved in the accident. The possible loss of life and property, lost earnings due to injury, the sorrow, the regret , the remorse – somehow did not occur to me. It was as if I was oblivious to all this. This was not the first accident that I have been in. When I was 16, I was in an accident with my first car, a Chevrolet Chevette, and it was pitted against a full-sized behemoth Lincoln Continental, yeah, no mystery there as to which car came out the loser. But I guess in the last 30 years I forgot what it was like being in an accident. I hope I never forget again. For when the world crashes for one person we should feel like it is crashing for all of us. In this way we can always feel compassion for those who are living through any tribulation and always express our gratitude for when we are not and showing patience when we are.

Please be safe out there this Autumn as the roads will be slick and slippery with water and snow as storms move through. The beauty of Autumn should not be overshadowed by the gloom of dealing with accidents.

Peace and Tranquilty to you all.

~ Youssef

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