Winter Gray and Winter Green (3 of 3)

Here’s the last of three galleries featuring photos in a gray and green theme that I previously posted in Winter Gray and Winter Green (1 of 3), and also in Winter Gray and Winter Green (2 of 3).

Thanks for taking a look!

My previous winter 2019-2020 posts are here:

Work, Walk, Discover: Hydrangeas in Winter

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (1 of 2)

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (2 of 2)

Winter Gold (1 of 2)

Winter Gold (2 of 2)

Winter Seeds and Berries (1 of 2)

Winter Seeds and Berries (2 of 2)

Winter Gray and Winter Green (1 of 3)

Winter Gray and Winter Green (2 of 3)

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Winter Gray and Winter Green (2 of 3)

Here’s the second of three galleries featuring photos in a gray and green theme that I first posted (and described how they came about) in Winter Gray and Winter Green (1 of 3).

Thanks for taking a look!

My previous winter 2019-2020 posts are here:

Work, Walk, Discover: Hydrangeas in Winter

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (1 of 2)

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (2 of 2)

Winter Gold (1 of 2)

Winter Gold (2 of 2)

Winter Seeds and Berries (1 of 2)

Winter Seeds and Berries (2 of 2)

Winter Gray and Winter Green (1 of 3)

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Winter Gray and Winter Green (1 of 3)

From More Than a Rock: Essays on Art, Creativity, Photography, Nature, and Life by Guy Tal:

“Creativity is a complex subject and one not yet fully understood, making the causes of creative blocks a matter of some speculation. Any number of factors can contribute to them, ranging from external demands and distractions to internal states of mind. Whatever the cause, creative blocks are very real, are very common, and may even be unavoidable. Many and varied remedies for creative blocks have been proposed over the years, indicating two truisms about them: there is no known guaranteed solution, and different situations and different personalities may call for different approaches.┬á

“While an absolute solution to creative blocks is not known, one thing can be stated with certainty: the worst thing you can do when experiencing them is to exacerbate the situation. As many thinkers noted, we may not be in control of what happens to us, but we are in control of how we respond to it. In any such situation two things worth consciously resisting are anxiety and panic. To do so, remind yourself that creative blocks happen to everyone, and they are temporary in nature. Rather than trying to force yourself to be creative (an endeavor almost guaranteed to fail) … have faith that in time the muses will again find you.”

Last week, a day before we were about to begin yet another of the southeast’s infamous three-day rain events, I realized I was caught up on post-processing all the photos I had taken for my winter photo projects so far, and headed over to the Oakland Cemetery gardens to queue up another batch to work on. As I walked through the property, I kept passing by things I’d already taken pictures of and didn’t want to repeat; and after an hour of that, I was a little stuck in that “I can’t find anything to photograph” anxiety that picture-takers sometimes experience. Of course — like a lot of anxieties — that feeling isn’t based on anything real, but instead reflects a lack of relaxed open-mindedness, especially when we think we’re looking for something (and don’t know what). So I shut off the camera and retraced my steps, just listening to the wind and the flocks of chirping birds flitting from tree to tree — sounds drowned out, occasionally, by the thunder of trains changing tracks just outside the cemetery walls.

Back toward the cemetery entrance, starting over, I came across the scene shown in the first two photos in the gallery below: a juniper branch pretending to be a vine, crawling across the front steps of a mausoleum door. The scene presented a nice set of contrasting colors, but especially (to me) the softer contrasts between the pine branches and the weathered gray/green colors in the door suggested winter. So I went color-hunting again, this time for scenes where shades of gray were dominant, seeking out those where gray contrasted with green, or gray highlighted some interesting textures or shapes. Four hours later … I had caught many gray-green things on camera and ended out with 45 happy photos; here are the first fifteen.

My previous winter 2019-2020 posts are here:

Work, Walk, Discover: Hydrangeas in Winter

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (1 of 2)

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (2 of 2)

Winter Gold (1 of 2)

Winter Gold (2 of 2)

Winter Seeds and Berries (1 of 2)

Winter Seeds and Berries (2 of 2)

Thanks for reading taking a look!

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Winter Seeds and Berries (2 of 2)

The gallery below is the second of two (the first one is Winter Seeds and Berries (1 of 2)), where I aimed my camera at examples of plants transitioning through winter at the Oakland Cemetery gardens.

My previous winter 2019-2020 posts are here:

Work, Walk, Discover: Hydrangeas in Winter

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (1 of 2)

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (2 of 2)

Winter Gold (1 of 2)

Winter Gold (2 of 2)

Winter Seeds and Berries (1 of 2)

Thanks for taking a look!

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Winter Seeds and Berries (1 of 2)

From This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are by Melody Warnick:

“The natural elements of our childhood environment imprint themselves on us, forming our earliest memories of what a place should look like.”

From Seeing Seeds: A Journey into the World of Seedheads, Pods, and Fruit by Teri Dunn Chace, with photographs by Robert Llewellyn:

“Like a child in a fairy tale who follows a beckoning songbird far from home into unrecognizable territory, my seed journey began with curiosity and took me to strange places. Sometimes the load seemed heavy and the road looked long — seeds are complicated and puzzling. Other times a seed revealed its inner secrets before drifting away on a breeze. The ingenuity of the seeds of this world, not to mention their sheer volume of production, is astounding and real. Many seeds are small, but we should underestimate none of them. What they contain and do is huge, mysterious, and important.”

Melody Warnick’s book This Is Where You Belong: Finding Home Wherever You Are describes the author’s “love where you live” experiments and techniques, born of her desire to achieve a sense of “place attachment” despite relocating many times throughout her life to American cities of starkly different character. The book is divided into sections discussing topics like buying local, building community relationships, diving into local cuisine, and exploring nearby natural spaces — with practical task-lists and suggestions on how to embed yourself in the region you call home. I included the specific short quote from the book above because it reminded me of connections between my childhood exploration of the woodlands near my home, and what has evolved into an (apparently!) endless engagement with taking closeup photos of the natural world.

Warnick’s book — which I highly recommend if you’re interested in ideas for learning more about your urban or rural environment — is a fine addition to a series of books about environmental psychology that I often use when researching topics for this blog or considering some new photography project ideas — a fascination that, for me, originally developed from a SUNY Empire State College course I took called “Exploring Place: History” where I got the opportunity to perform detailed studies of local historical places, such as Oakland Cemetery. Warnick does cover cemetery exploration in her book, something she found unexpected pleasure in as she realized that she — like many people I get quizzical looks from when I mention my cemetery trips — hadn’t previously thought of a cemetery as a pleasant and historically valuable place to visit.

Seeing Seeds: A Journey into the World of Seedheads, Pods, and Fruit by Teri Dunn Chace is a completely different kind of book, one of two I have featuring astonishing images by photographer Robert Llewellyn. You can see some of the photos from the book on the seeds page of his web site. The book embeds you in the lives of seeds, berries, and the fruits of plants, describing their significance to each plant’s natural growth cycle. With the accompanying Llewellyn photographs, the book reveals a world we don’t typically pay much attention to, one that is astonishing in its form and color, especially with the aid of a nice zoom or macro camera lens.

The gallery below is the first of two, where I focused solely on wintering seeds and berries I found in the Oakland Cemetery gardens.

My previous winter 2019-2020 posts are here:

Work, Walk, Discover: Hydrangeas in Winter

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (1 of 2)

Southeastern Winter Abstracts (2 of 2)

Winter Gold (1 of 2)

Winter Gold (2 of 2)

Thanks for reading and taking a look!

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