Category Archives: Inspiration

WATER, WATER EVERYWHERE

I think June is making up for time with all the rain we are getting.  Trees are happy as are all the grasses and wild plants.  Not as happy are people and vegetable gardeners.  Peas might like all this water but most gardens do not.

I can sit in a sheltered spot and enjoy the rain, as I do on my porch.  When I was recently in the United Arab Emirates, there were a couple of days and / or nights of rain.  I sat on a balcony in the wee hours of morning to watch a storm in the distance, and to try to photograph lightning.  For an amateur at photographing something as fast as lightning, this was an interesting challenge, and through may failed attempts, came up with one I like.

 

During 1 rainy morning, I was sitting on the front seat of a car, when it dawned on me I could be using my camera to see what sort of distorted images I could get.  No need for computer programs to make distorted images.  I had it right in front of me, so, SNAP, I got an image, a distorted image, that I liked, of the outside of a restaurant.

 

Now that I am back in North America, I spend a bit more time watching rain, and its effect on all of us.  We have the feeling we are living in a swamp with all the water sitting on the land.  Soon it will all disappear and we will be again wishing for water for our gardens and for the water table.  It would seem we humans are never satisfied!

Derailed

Once in a while  events happen that change one’s focus and that is where I am right now.  Several starts to posts never got off the ground and suddenly it is a year or more since my last one.

An opportunity to visit the Middle East this spring changed my train of thought and the focus I would have published here today.  I had a 3-week visit to the United Arab Emirates, more specifically to Ras Al Kaimah, the northernmost of the Emirates.  It appeared to be the safest of all countries in the Middle East, a fact that led to my deciding to go there.  My youngest son is a teacher there in a Boy’s Highschool.  It is another world, so different from ours here.  Needless to say, my camera went with me. His apartment complex is between a large golf course lagoon and the Arabian Gulf.

Desert, sand, 5 million-year-old mountains, camels and a specialized hospital for falcons, a far move from my usual interest in water and water photography.  Yes, but there were opportunities for that as well, especially when visiting the Dubai Aquarium.  That structure covers 2 or 3 floors in a shopping mall, and houses a shark-breeding program along with the usual large and small tank denizens.

 

 

 

 

 

Other than counting the many camels wandering over the hills and beside roads, the Aquarium was the source of many photographs.  There was a huge tank visible to shoppers in the mall.  There was so much more behind this.  We walked right under the main tank with sharks and rays swimming overhead. We looked in many smaller tanks. Between the colourful fish swimming around and various plants and corals, lights bounced off the sides, augmented by the movements of the water, I got a few good photos of the abstract watery images that I like to use.

Aquariums are a wonderful source of colour as can be outdoor swimming pools. Next time I go, I will bring my underwater camera.  Colourful tiles and an underwater grate in a swimming pool gave me much to work with.  It is amazing what can resemble a fish.  Remember, I do not retouch any of my photographs or otherwise change them.

 

 

 

 

 

I will continue this narrative in my next posting, with new photographs.

 

ICE BY LAKE CHAMPLAIN

This has been  a strange winter, a delayed winter, with nearly no snow in the Willsboro / Essex area.   Most of the lake is still open, just freezing around the edges.  And this is where I found an area with interesting ice.

A favourite but private section of shoreline, there are many stones of different colours, mostly small and roundish and smooth, beaten by waves all the time.  I love going there, sitting among the stones, fascinated by all the colours and shapes.  The only kind I recognize is a strong blue which is granite. But reds, pinks, yellows, browns, mottled, occasional green……….

So 2 days ago, I took my camera and went over to see what the shore looked like now.  I stood on the bank above the shore since it all looked really slippery.  And, Wow, so interesting with the ice buildup with help from waves and wind.  This year has been really windy, perhaps more than in other years.

There must be an inch or so on each stone, with some evolving into shapes with darkish enters, some clear through, showing no stone.  And stones aren’t all that has been touched, or encased, by ice.  I found leaves and bits of plants, also with an inch or so, without even crushing the leaves.Icy Leaves by Eve Ticknor Cold Stones by Eve Ticknor

Beach, anyone? by Eve  Ticknor A Star is born by Eve Ticknor

Water that is not or is it?

It is that time of year when most water around us is frozen.  Not so this year as it is the middle of December and we still have relatively mild temperatures outside.  Even so, I have been thinking of water, or liquid, which does not appear to be liquid.  Glass!

I know it sounds strange as you can touch glass with strength and it is hard.  You can cut it into pieces.  You can shape it with heat.  Did you ever look at a very old window pane?  If it is very old, it will appear lumpy at the bottom, or out of focus as you look through it.  this is because glass is a unique sort of liquid that flows with gravity, very, very slowly.

This is actually considered to be a myth.  There are arguments for both sides, the one against being a highly viscous liquid  gaining higher evidence.  It is likely that this is right and glass will be officially considered a solid.  It is fun, though, to picture it moving, very slowly……

Glass shapes can be really interesting.  I encountered some as I was waiting in a dentist’s office. At first I saw plain glass blocks in frames and here and there in the walls.  Then I saw them in a different light, really in a different light.  Each block took on its own persona, colours, shapes within each frame.  Fascinating!  the colours came from the lights, clothing, wallpapers…….Blue Spirit by Eve Ticknor

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meeting of the Minds by Eve Ticknor

Green Devil by Eve Ticknor

How do you see?

Top of a waterfall By Eve Ticknor

Top of a waterfall
By Eve Ticknor

Swan Taking to Wing By Eve Ticknor

Swan Taking to Wing
By Eve Ticknor

Silvery forest By Eve Ticknor

Silvery forest
By Eve Ticknor

 

In all the photos I have been taking over several years, I know if the conditions are right for me, I will see images in the pictures after they are printed out.

The fun is in asking others to look at a photo and tell me what they see.  Obviously my interpretations and others’ interpretations can be different.  Still, many do look at my photos and see nothing.  It used to bother me, until I realized that I could teach others how to look, how to see.

Take a photo, preferably one that is more on the abstract side, but with substance, as in not just 3 lines.  Focus on 1 section and see if anything comes to mind.  Then shift your focus to another part and do the same.  Turn the photo upside down or on 1 side, and do the same you did with the first side.  Continue for the remaining sides.  Did you see anything that made sense?  Anything that made you look at it differently after that?

I have a photo which made perfect sense the way I took it.  However, in showing it around, it was immediately turned around and declared to be an entirely different  subject.  After a while, it was turned onto its side and, surprise, surprise, it was again something entirely different.

Top of a waterfall By Eve Ticknor

Top of a waterfall
By Eve Ticknor

Autumn Advances

IMG_7596

Floater by Eve Ticknor

Autumn has snuck up on me and I just realized I have been remiss with the lack of blogs. Such is life.

Autumn is a wonderful season, full of colour. The past few weeks has seen me leaning over all sorts of bridges. Why? Falling leaves. Leaves floating by, leaves sitting on the bottom of whatever waterway I happen to be leaning over. Some look just like paintings. The ones floating on the surface may look like little boats or a piece of oriental art while the ones below the water often look full of life, rushing by faster than I can snap the shutter. There is a whole different feel to them, different texture, perhaps changes in colour.

As the season progresses we will see less colour, but make up for it with ice.  Ice is pretty amazing, creeping bit by bit.  But look closely.  Do you see bits of colour on a sunny day?  What about designs?  How many kinds of ice do you see?  But enough of this.  Let’s stick to leaves for now.IMG_7609

Winter Musings by Eve Ticknor

DeGaulle by Eve Ticknor Blue Ice Bottle by Eve Ticknor Round Ice Bottle by Eve Ticknor Feet by Eve TicknorWinters are changing, and not to my liking.  Too cold, too windy, too much ice.  Well, ice underfoot and sealing car doors shut.  But there are other kinds of ice, more to my liking.  I wish I were able to watch the ice sculpting itself, to learn how it decides what shape to become.

One kind of interesting ice is that formed in a flat sheet over a puddle,  It seems to have etchings or layers or cracks, etc.  One had lines as if sketching a person’s silhouette, to me looking like Charles De Gaulle.

 

Then last March, I found a patch of ice along the side of a gravel road by a wetland.  Here I took several photos of ice in an area smaller than a square foot.  The result is ice looking like 2 kinds of bottles!  I have yet to find this kind anywhere else.

Along the sides of streams partly open, I can find several kinds of ice.  The most interesting is a sort of bubbly ice as if someone were there with a large straw blowing bubbles. One photo I took of this kind is ice looking like a pair of feet, complete with toenails.

How is it that ice can resemble familiar things to us?  Why can we be looking at the same photo of ice, yet see different things?

 

‘Tween Times

Ice Bird

Ice Bird

This year November feels like the “tween month, past fall but not yet winter  in the way the weather is behaving.  Some days are warm, and I still see dandelions blooming.  Other days are freezing with ice forming over the water.  A few days ago, I saw a rose bush with its delicate pale pink flowers in bloom!  2 days later I was scraping the car windows.

Much of what makes interesting photos in the water have gone now.  These are mostly the boats in marinas, and leafy trees, especially those in fall colours.  But that does not mean I have to wait until next spring.  Not at all.  Buildings can make interesting shapes in their reflections.  Bare branches hanging over water, rain drops, ducks swimming or diving for food, all make shapes, moving shapes in water.

I start to look for frozen areas now, both along the edges of ponds and streams, as well as puddle and tire ruts.  After all, ice is merely frozen water, as is snow, so the months ahead are still full of opportunities for my art.

Keep your eyes open.  You may find very interesting situations everywhere.  Look at the image here, my “Ice Bird”.  It looks like a bird.  But look closer.  It is actually a leaf in a frozen rut from a truck tire.  The black is dirt, the white is ice, the brown is a folded leaf dropped from a nearby tree, the branch is a tiny one that also dropped in a wind.

Look around you.  Then, look again.

New Steps

Leafy Harvest by Eve Ticknor

Leafy Harvest by Eve Ticknor

Baby steps are growing. Thanks to George, I am slowly remembering the steps needed to manage my website, and to give you new photos and a new blog now and then.

Autumn is a wonderful season for colours. We immediately think of leaves on trees, or on our lawns, needing raking up. Leaves fall on the ground in natural areas, and on or in water, and those are the ones that interest me the most right now.
The best water is a stream running over small rocks, not too deep, with a few leaves already underwater. Find some and look at them.
Where are they? How are they being changed? Do they look different under grey skies, or under sunny skies?

I love finding them when it is sunny, and looking to see if they are saying anything to me. Often I begin to see faces or animals, which I didn’t see when taking the photos.

So train your eyes to see the possibilities. It is akin to seeing someone who is not especially attractive and finding their inner beauty. It is there, and well worth the effort.

New Highs

IMG_6538 IMG_7407The roller coaster rises again. I was successful in submitting 2 photos to the Juried Show at the Depot Gallery, 2 that were chosen to hang in the Gallery! This is quite exciting for me. Next season, a solo show there.

I will have photos in an upcoming Conference in Burlington, Vt during November, as well as the Annual Show and Sale during December at the Paine Memorial Library in Willsboro, NY.

Everywhere I go, I see potential for my photos. Water is everywhere. My goal is to show you how to look, not just to see. You can see the reflection of a boat in the water. Lovely boat. So what? Well, look again. Focus on just part of the reflection. What is happening? Is the light changing, the current moving, the wind starting to blow? Look at your boat, at the small section you are focusing on. It will be changing. Parts of the reflection will not stay together. They may make a new design, a new picture. Try it the next time you go out for a ride. Go down to a marina and check out a reflection. See if it works for you. Try it on water somewhere else, with a reflection that is not a boat. Think of what is happening. Let me know.