abstract, "motion blur", "camera movement"Rising tide

SPIRIT STANDING STILL - a blog about photography, mostly

"No matter how slow the film, Spirit always stands still long enough for the photographer It has chosen." (Minor White)


Carrizo Plain - the apogee of spring

April 21, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

wildflowers, "carrizo Plain"In the Temblor Range #2Near Carrizo Plain

"The valley of the San Joaquin is the floweriest place of world I ever walked, one vast, level, even flower-bed, a sheet of flowers, a smooth wildflowers, "carrizo Plain"A golden state #2Carrizo Plain sea, ruffled a little in the middle by the tree fringing of the river and of smaller cross-streams here and there, from the mountains." - John Muir

Today is the birthday of John Muir.  Everywhere I’ve looked during this extraordinary flowery spring, I remember Muir’s words. The San Joaquin valley is no longer that “floweriest place” but, just to the west of the San Joaquin, there is another valley which, in a good year, is deserving of the title: the Carrizo Plain.  Shown here are some of the images from my visit there earlier this month.  Happy Birthday Mr. Muir!

“Well may the sun feed them with his richest light, for these shining sunlets are his very children -- rays of his ray, beams of his beam! One would fancy that these California days receive more gold from the ground than they give to it. The earth has indeed become a sky; and the two cloudless skies, raying toward each other flower-beams and sunbeams, are fused and congolded into one glowing heaven."

Lonesome roadLonesome roadNear Carrizo Plain. Artistic filter.

Classic California

April 18, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

California, "central coast", Cambria, "highway 46"The green of springnear Cambria, California

"sea otters", "morro bay", californiaMutual supportSea otters, Morro Bay


This is what I think of, when I think of California.  Timeless scenes that have endured, and even improved, over the years.  Velvety green hills dotted with oaks - fields of wildflowers along Shell Creek Road - sea otters taking a morning bath.  New images from the Central California coast, just added to the California Spring collection.


wildflowers, "shell creek road", californiaWildfowers #1, Shell Creek Road

Desert solitaire

April 11, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Wildflowers, "anza borrego state park", panoramaRipplesBorrego Springs. Panorama created from multiple horizontal images.

Wildflowers, "anza borrego state park", photoimpressionismThe undulating seaBorrego Springs. Photoimpressionism. Nobody sees a flower - really - it is so small it takes time - we haven’t time - and to see takes time, like to have a friend takes time - Georgia O’Keeffe

In late March I visited the Anza Borrego desert.  It was hot, crowded, and inconvenient.  High winds made photography impossible at times, and it seemed like the caterpillars were madly devouring every flower in sight.  BUT.  When the wind died down…  Away from the most crowded spots…  it was magic.  Masses of flowers stretched in every direction.  It was an opportunity to use artistic license and create a photoimpressionist feel with some of the images - flowers are a good subject for this sort of thing - as well as more traditional  techniques.  The photographs seen here, and several others, have been added to the California Spring collection.  I hope you'll take a look.


Wildflowers, "anza borrego state park", "black and white"Desert lilyBorrego Springs

Some midcentury fun

April 01, 2017  •  1 Comment

photomontageMidcentury madnessPhotomontage

Since today is officially Fun Day (or Fun at Work Day) here’s a bit of abstract fun - a new photomontage.  This one started (I think) with a bit of texture, and grew into something which has a sort of midcentury modern feel.  Maybe it’s the simple shapes and retro colors (avocado green, anyone?) - or maybe it’s that hint of naugahyde.  Makes me want to put on a shirtwaist dress and relax on the davenport with a martini.

California, or Giverny?

March 25, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Wildflowers, "torrey Pines state reserve", "photo impressionism"Torrey Pines impressions #1Photo impressionism

I must have flowers, always and always - Claude Monet

Southern California’s wildflowers continue to color the landscape.  If the orange poppies of Lake Elsinore embody the inland heat, Wildflowers, "torrey Pines state reserve"Ready to unfurlTorrey Pines State Natural Reserve then the purple hues of Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve reflect its cooler ocean climate.  A different color palette, but the same painterly feel.  Mother Nature is a masterful impressionist, but I enhanced the feeling by adding a little photo impressionism of my own to some of the photos.  As an added bonus, the thick fog rolled in, setting the stage for my favorite image of the day (with nary a flower in sight).  The images seen here, and several others, have been added to the California Spring gallery.  I hope you’ll take a look.




Fog, "torrey Pines state reserve"When the fog rolls inTorrey Pines State Natural Reserve

Favorite Sites / Recents Reads

  In the Moment: Michael Frye's Landscape Photography Blog

 Carol Leigh photography blog

 David du Chemin photography blog

 Fine Art Landscape Photography of Seung Kye Lee 

 My Modern Met "where art enthusiasts and trend spotters connect over creative ideas"

 Ian Plant Dreamscapes photography blog

 William Neill's Light on the Landscape photoblog

 Art Wolfe blog

Recently read, and highly recommended:

The creative habit (Twyla Tharp)

The museum of extraordinary things (Alice Hoffman)

Jane Gardam's "Old Filth" trilogy: Old Filth, The man in the wooden hat, and Last Friends

The good Lord bird (James McBride)

Snow hunters (Paul Yoon)