Tag Archives: dark

“In My Darkness, Light”

“In My Darkness, Light”

“Don’t look for peace. Don’t look for any other state than the one you are in now; otherwise, you will set up inner conflict and unconscious resistance. Forgive yourself for not being at peace. The moment you completely accept your non-peace, your non-peace becomes transmuted into peace. Anything you accept fully will get you there, will take you into peace. This is the miracle of surrender” 
― Eckhart Tolle

I find my life, at present, troubling, I struggle for direction and find myself torn between a multitude of emotions: anger, sadness, grief, disappointment, and betrayal to name a few. I am uneasy about the future, the world around me. It’s a maelstrom of sensations I have not felt before. It seems like negative thoughts and emotions may at any time overwhelm me. And then, beacons of brightness remind me of the path forward. My family is there, trying to comfort me and I hear their words and feel their concern. This is a temporary moment, a juncture of the unfamiliar, yet ahead is brightness and hope. I know this in my heart and need to get my head to follow.

I have been blessed with not just abilities and skills but good and caring people, and as I sit writing these words, trying to make sense of things that make no sense, I’m able to draw on my art, my images, the words and actions of the good people in my life and put things in perspective.

The world I live in is alive and filled with good and joyful things, I just need to remember them, constantly. Images, like this one, as I let the image fill me, remind me of so many of those experiences, they help ground me.

There is a reason for me being in this place and time, just like there was a reason for me being at the place and time when I made the photo, and I find they are weaving together to help me make sense. The word “surrender” echoes through me, not in an “I give up” sense, but rather, I “accept” this moment for what it is, a mere step on the journey. I may have stubbed my toe, but that will heal and I will move forward, stronger for the experience. Despite what feels like darkness, there is always light, I just need to keep focussed on it and appreciate it for what it is, then the darkness seems less dark.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP AF 90mm f/2.8 Di Macro 1:1 (272ENII)@90mmm
1/4 sec, f/22.0, ISO 400

For more images like this, please visit my website (images are available for purchase)

“A Light in the Darkness”

“A Light in the Darkness”

“May it be a light to you in dark places, when all other lights go out.” 
― J.R.R. Tolkien

I can almost put myself in a Tolkien story when the elements combine to produce scenes like this. The forest seems imbued with its own stories of wonder. The more time I spend in the forest the more I become aware of this phenomenon. I have stood in deep spruce groves and witnessed a singular beam of light fall upon one single tree like a heavenly spotlight. It’s a surreal effect and really stops you in your tracks. It’s as if the forest is trying to impart some special message to me.

The isolation in light makes you really notice details previously washed out against the background. Much like the studio floral images that I have enjoyed making so much this year. The world around seems to disappear like so much noise and I have the opportunity to appreciate those singular wonders, only to later realize that this is only one element among thousands in the forest, yet it’s precious to take focused notice, even briefly.

Such it was with this bright orange leafed beech sapling growing from a tangle of fallen limbs within a dark grove of tall red pines. I happened to catch that brief moment when a ray of sun chanced upon it, making me pause and simply enjoy it, as well as saving the memory as a photo, presented here. It was not till I started editing the image that I noticed the small spruce growing in front of it. It’s so nice spending time with these images and appreciating the forest all the more as I begin to really begin feel the life that makes it such a draw for me.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD@78mm

1/4 sec, f/18.0, ISO 400

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“West of Yosemite”

West of Yosemite

Today’s post is a bit of a step back in time to 2013. One place I can never get enough of is Yosemite National Park in California. The sheer scale of the landscapes is overwhelming for a ‘flatlander’ like myself. There are opportunities for images that are just not possible where I live.

For example, the image above was made while leaving the park after a day of photography. Just when I thought I was saturated for the day, this wonderful scene presented itself.

The photo was made from a roadside “pull-out”along highway 41 and highlights the layers of hills that make up the Sierra Nevada foothills. It was late afternoon and it had rained off and on all day. This diffused the light nicely and created a faint mist that lies between each layer. Again, being a rather dull, wet day, also created the nice dark silhouettes of the trees in the foreground. It’s kind of a ‘moody’ image that conveys the type of day it was. I like to think this is a non-typical image of the Yosemite area, which is usually portrayed with images of waterfalls and grand vistas. I have found that the drive to the valley is also very picturesque.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 80mm
1/200 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 200

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“Summer Skies over Ancaster”

“Summer Skies over Ancaster”

This is a VERY recent photo I made this past weekend during a family event near Ancaster, Ontario.

As usual, I had my camera along to capture those family moments, but I found my kids had that pretty much covered off. Yes, my children like photography too. I had visited this location many times before and had photographed it many times, and so, was having a hard time figuring out what I might photograph that had not already been done. Photographer’s block?

After dinner, I walked out into the nearby corn field looking for opportunities. Last Sunday was a hot, somewhat humid day, typical of southern Ontario this time of year. The forecast called for a chance of showers, but as the day progressed,  the showers never materialized. But, some beautiful clouds formed. As I walked the field I was struck by the appearance of this particular cloud in the distance. It had the making of a potential rain storm. It was big, billowy, and white, with the appearance of cotton balls. What set this cloud apart was the contrast of dark portions in the foreground against and white clouds within the same structure, against a deep blue blue sky. All this floating over fields of corn and a few trees.

I made the photo and when I got to my iMac to process the image I found it required very little work. I boosted the contrast a touch to get the ‘look’ of the cloud as I remembered it. Then, I just desaturated the whole thing and sharpened it a touch. The result is the attached image. For me, it really portrays the scene as I saw it, with a bit of extra drama for the black and white treatment. Overall, I am very pleased with this photo and hope you enjoy it too.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300mm @ 70mm
1/400 sec @ f/10, ISO 250

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“Out of the Storm” – Sauble Beach, Ontario

“Out of the Storm” - Sauble Beach, Ontario

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of spending the weekend with family and friends at Ontario’s Sauble Beach, on Lake Huron. It began as a wonderful hot summer day splashing in the surf and playing hours of volleyball. The forecast was for thunderstorms late in the day. We watched across the water as the sky gradually darkened. The storm approached over the lake like a black wall, slowly creeping our way.

I took this as a wonderful opportunity to get some powerful storm photographs. As I stood on the shore making photos of the storm, I was struck by just how bright the circling seagulls were, in strong contrast to the dark skies.

This one kept circling me at just the right distance to make some good images. I’m really pleased at how it turned out. The biggest challenge was trying to keep him focused and framed properly.

Nikon D300
Nikor 70-300 mm @ 210 mm
1/60 sec @ f/10.0, ISO 450

“End of the Day” – Memorial Park, Stouffville

"End of the Day" - Stouffville Sunset

On returning from a late day walk last summer, I looked up and saw this unique view of the sunset in Stouffville’s Memorial Park. The sun was just setting and the silhouette of the leaves against the setting sun got my interest. I’m always pleasantly surprised at the beauty all around us, whether grand mountain vistas or a simple tree in a park. You just have to be able to see it. This was a nice way to wind down from the day.

Nikon D300
Tamron 70-200 mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm
1/320 sec @ f/9, ISO 200

“End Of Darkness” – Fraser Lake Forest Abstract

End Of Darkness - Fraser Lake Forest Abstract

Another one of my “Trees” series of photo abstractions. This photo was made four years ago, at Fraser Lake Camp, near Bancroft, Ontario when I was just starting to play with this technique. I re-edited it last year because I was not happy with the ‘feel’ of the image. Again, it comes down to the strong vertical elements and good light. In this case, I was following a game trail and looked up to see the beautiful glow of sunshine on a single tree standing in the middle of the path. The surrounding trees were quite dark because it had just rained. The rain also made all the undergrowth nice and saturated with colour. For me the image is like the end of a journey through darkness into the brilliant warmth of daylight.

Nikon D200
Nikor 28-70mm f/3.5-4.5 @ 70mm
1/4 sec @ f/4.5, ISO 100