Photo (and Poetry) Blog

There Is No Time For Despair

Gornergrat, Switzerland by Mihaela Limberea

This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, no room for fear. We speak, we write, we do language. This is how civilizations heal. I know the world is bruised and bleeding, and though it is important not to ignore its pain, it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence. Like failure, chaos contains information that can lead to knowledge - even wisdom. Like art.

Toni Morrison

Photography Is About Protecting Memories

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Remember that time you made a photograph of an iconic place - oh say - maybe Notre Dame and some know-it-all said something like "What a cliche - that's been done to death - everyone has that shot." Well - not any more. Photography is about protecting memories. Yours included.

Scott Bourne (@ScottBourne) in a tweet about the Notre Dame fire.

Haiku Tuesday: Cherry-Blossoms

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The messenger, before giving the note,

Handed me branches of cherry-blossoms.

by Kikaku

Translation by Asataro Miyamori

Frida Kahlo: The Woman Behind The Legend

Found on the world wide web: the life and art of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo in a four minutes video from TED Education. The animation is exquisite. 

Lesson by Iseult Gillespie. Animation by Ivana Bošnjak and Thomas Johnson.

Spring Is Like A Perhaps Hand

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Spring is like a perhaps hand

(which comes carefully out of Nowhere) arranging 

 a window, into which people look (while 

people stare 

arranging and changing placing 

carefully there a strange 

thing and a known thing here) and 

changing everything carefully 

spring is like a perhaps 

Hand in a window 

(carefully to 

and fro moving New and 

Old things, while 

people stare carefully 

moving a perhaps fraction of flower here placing 

an inch of air there) and 

without breaking anything.

 e. e. cummings (1894 - 1962)

The Snow of Cherry-Flowers

The Snow of Cherry-Flowers

Ah! the snow of cherry-flowers

Will bury the great Buddha’s lap.

by Kikaku

Translation by Asataro Miyamori

On Seeing In Photography

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I’ve mentioned in an older post that ”seeing”, really seeing what you’re looking at, is an essential skill for a photographer. For any visual artist in fact. Some people may have been born with it, while some may struggle. No fancy equipment can compensate for its lack though. The good news is that you can train it, as any art student can tell you.

And this is not something you’d turn on and off; it’ll change the way you look and see the world. For example, this black & white abstract photo ...


… converted from this.


It’s part of a sun screen structure on a terace in the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Marrakech. 

We’ve been away for ten days in Marrakech, on vacation. I didn’t plan on any photo projects, but I always have a camera and a couple of lenses with me, even on vacation. As you know, the best camera is the one that you have with you. 

We’ve arrived early at the hotel, courtesy of Edelweiss and favorable winds, and the hotel offered us a suite with a terrace and a pool to freshen up and relax while the villa we had booked was being cleaned up.

 As soon as I stepped out on the terrace and saw this pergola, I knew it would make a perfect abstract photograph. I can’t help it. My husband was checking the view, trying the pool and ordering drinks, and the only thing  on my mind was to figure out the best angle for the composition I had in mind.

I’ve ended up spending the remaining hours taking a lot of pictures, from various angles, while my husband did what we were supposed to do on this trip: relax.

But in the end it was worth it.

A Prayer in Spring


Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;

And give us not to think so far away 

As the uncertain harvest; keep us here 

All simply in the springing of the year. 

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white, 

Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night; 

And make us happy in the happy bees, 

The swarm dilating round the perfect trees. 

And make us happy in the darting bird 

That suddenly above the bees is heard, 

The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill, 

And off a blossom in mid air stands still. 

 For this is love and nothing else is love, 

The which it is reserved for God above 

To sanctify to what far ends He will, 

But which it only needs that we fulfil.

by Robert Frost (1874 - 1963)

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