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)


Get in line

February 18, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

photomontageLine upon linePhotomontage




For years of our lives the days pass waywardly, featureless, without meaning, without particular happiness or unhappiness. Then, like turning over a tapestry when you have only known the back of it, there is spread the pattern. - Jane Gardam


Pattern upon pattern - there’s something about these images that I find meditative.  Maybe it’s the horizontal lines and the way they’re interrupted by other lines going in different directions.  They eye keeps finding new shapes within the image.



UCSD, architecture, "black and white"This way and that

Into the woods, part two

February 11, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

"Los Osos Oaks Preserve", sepiaJumbo

I think people who don't know the woods very well sometimes imagine it as a kind of undifferentiated mass of greenery, an endless continuation of the wall of trees they see lining the road. And I think they wonder how it could hold anyone's interest for very long, being all so much the same. But in truth I have a list of a hundred places in my own town I haven't been yet. ... So many glades; so little time. - Bill McKibben

More photographs from Los Osos Oaks.  There's so much to see in this little glade.  These images go beyond the lichen drapery, focusing on lush ground cover and the contorted shapes of some of these venerable old specimens.  Black and white, and sepia tones, help bring out the dreamy quality of this enchanted forest.

"Los Osos Oaks Preserve", "black and white"Lush undergrowth "Los Osos Oaks Preserve", sepiaIf you go out in the woods tonight

Into the woods, part one

February 05, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

"Los Osos Oaks Preserve", "black and white", lichen, sepiaThe ancient woodsLos Osos Oaks State Preserve

A quiet winter morning at Los Osos Oaks State Reserve.  It’s a landscape to move through slowly.  Ancient oaks dressed in lichen, contorted shapes - a place out of time.  In the images above and below, I decided to celebrate the chaos and enter the mood of the place.

“Until we understand what the land is, we are at odds with everything we touch. And to come to that understanding it is necessary, even now, to leave the regions of our conquest... and re-enter the woods... Only in this silence and darkness can he recover the sense of the world's longevity, of its ability to thrive without him, of his inferiority to it and his dependence on it... As its sounds come into his hearing, and its lights and colors come into his vision, and its odors come into his nostrils, then he may come into its presence as he never has before, and he will arrive in his place and will want to remain. His life will grow out of the ground like the other lives of the place, and take its place among them.” (Wendell Berry - The art of the commonplace: agrarian essays)

"Los Osos Oaks Preserve", "black and white", panorama, lichenThe beautiful draperyLos Osos Oaks State Preserve

Step by step inspire your heart

January 31, 2017  •  1 Comment

photomontageStep by stepPhotomontage

Step by step the longest march

Can be won can be won

Many stones can form an arch

Singly none singly none

(traditional / Pete Seeger)

This old song was going through my head yesterday, and as I sat with eyes closed I saw a vivid field of bright colors, overlaid with darkness but with lines and shapes scraped away to reveal the hues underneath - much like the way we used to scrape away the top layer of a crayon drawing when we were kids.  So up at the crack of dawn this morning, with the song and the image still in my head (and no idea why I would associate one with the other), this was the result.  It took on a different feel as it came together - I wanted the dark layer to have a beautiful feel and texture, with a sense of all the color underneath on the verge of bursting through.  Somehow it became a flag, and then a flag with stars overflowing.  Sometimes, you’ve just gotta make art!  And it’s only fitting, after all, since today is “Inspire Your Heart With Art” day.


January 24, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Ripple in still water / When there is no pebble tossed / Nor wind to blow

(“Ripple”, Grateful Dead, lyrics by Robert Hunter)

I processed several more images, from the same photo shoot as the previous blog post, and gathered them all together in the slideshow above.  Reflections in distorted glass - mysterious abstracts that suggest an otherworldly landscape.

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)