July – Week 1

There is a Jewish chant that I often find myself singing.  It has been used in the Sunday Divine Liturgy at herchurch during advent.

Return again, return again, return to the home of your soul.

Return to who you are, return to what you are,

return to where you are, born and reborn again.”

There is something comforting and even enchanting about returning to some place, someone or something familiar.  I of course find this true when I go back to the water’s edge, where the Pacific Ocean kisses the California coast.

This past week I returned again to the low tide sands of Pescadero State Beach.  Even though it is a familiar place I constantly find something new to photograph.  On the morning of the 4th of July at 7:00 AM the beach was still people-less.

The pebbles and stones at the water’s edge were being covered with sea foam. When dead and crushed plankton is pushed ashore it creates foam and bubbles when the ocean moves in and out over low tide pools.  The organic material in the plankton is responsible for the iridescent colors.

I thought the turban snail in the colorful sea foam bubbles made a wonderful composition and provides scale to the bubbles.  The turban snail here is about the size of the diameter of a quarter. Using a 28-135 mm lens I was able to get close enough for this capture.  I use a tripod 95 percent of the time even in situations with lots of light.  The tripod helps me take time to frame the image.  But I was standing in the incoming water for this image so I went to hand holding.  Some of the images with just the bubbles alone were interesting as well as using them in the foreground of a very wide angle shot.

The second image I am sharing from the first week in July is from the small “country” cemetery in the town of Pescadero. I love walking through cemeteries to see how people remember or neglect their ancestors and loved ones.  There was a particular area where four babies were buried next to each other.  In somber contemplation I stood beside them momentarily mourning for all the children’s lives that are extinguished before their intended future.

A small angle statue in a cement base caught my eye, especially as a dandelion grew beneath it.  Two things I never cared much for, death and dandelions, were now the focus of my attention.  I couldn’t quite get the selected focus I wanted for this image so I blurred the background a little in post processing using Gaussian Blur in Photoshop CS2 (yes I know I have to catch up to Photoshop 5 soon).

Aren’t the angel’s pink lips just adorable?  The following poem with its citation below captured the essence of my seeing.

Statue

By Tom Clark

The angel asked, as his shoulders were pressed into the stone
Why me? And taken away from the inhabited body,
Like the lyric voice rustling from memory forests,
Childhood rushes toward death, a wind in those woods,
Crashing through trees, dying out,
Settling like a white mist over everything.
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