January Week 1 – Waves and Artichokes

Growing up in upstate New York in a meat and potatoes and carrot/peas household I had never tasted, seen or even heard of the “artichoke.”  But having been in the Bay Area now for half of my life I am pleased to say I love that “mysterious green thing” (my first description of the artichoke).

Among the winter crops along the coast south of San Francisco you can now find artichokes being harvested.  Even though a friend thought my artichoke images blander than my child hood vegetable selections, I beg to differ.  I suppose the way in which we view images and art in general can often be that subjective, magnificent to one and less than note worthy to another.

What makes this particular image of the artichoke pleasing to me is its simplicity although it is a blossom among thousands.  I used my 100 mm lens at 400 mm to isolate the two artichokes and found an angle where the distant trees were in the background making a pleasant darker solid color (using an aperture of f/11 the background was totally out of focus because it was so far away).

Even though I find that the artichoke on the right is a little heavy and makes that side of the image lopsided it keeps you from exiting the image as you read it from left to right.  It is about green that is not from peas or pine….

The crop was growing along the edge of the ocean near Davenport on Highway One south of San Francisco.  Later in the week the waves along the coast were doing their winter ritual swirling dervish motions and splashing.  One needs a fast enough shutter speed to prevent the image from being a blurry mess (say 1/1250of a second).

Early morning light on the splashing waves makes for stunning images.  Occasionally waves break against each other, or so it seems, and their splashes celebrate their coming together.  The spray of these waves welcomed the 12th Night as ceremoniously as baptismal sprinklings from the font.

As Kahlil Gibran offer us the “Song of the Wave” as a love poem may “Visions of the Waves” evoke in us poetry in motion to celebrate love and life.  Or am I all wet here? (I would have been with 18mms!)

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