Tag Archives: surfing

Waiting

We do it every day in lots of ways.  In the line at the grocery store or as the barista prepares that perfect latte.  In the dentist’s office or in that line of cars on the metered freeway onramp.  For the ladies room during that oh-so-short recess break or that important phone call you were expecting half an hour ago.  Waiting…

As I walked the beach the other day I noticed a bunch of surfers out on their boards on the waves…waiting.  Or were they?  Does it only count as waiting if it feels like time is slipping away?  That you could be doing something more important or more productive (or more fun)?  As I’ve watched surfers over the years, I notice that surfing involves spending quite a bit of time sitting on the board, watching the waves develop, visiting with other surfers, perhaps even enjoying the sun (or rain or fog or even cold) in the time between actually paddling into a wave and standing up.  Do surfers see that time as waiting?

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When I know I am going to wait, I come prepared.  I carry my book or some work I need to get done, I pull out my phone, flip through social media, news, photos.  If it’s a long wait–like an airplane ride, I bring an assortment of activities and hope for access to a movie or TV shows to help pass the time.  The worst waiting for me is the kind of waiting when you can’t do anything but wait–like sitting in rush hour traffic.  My only options then are to listen to the radio or maybe squeeze in a phone call (hands free, of course!).  But sometimes, waiting leaves you with only you to spend time with.  Time for thinking and reflection…alone with your own thoughts.

So maybe waiting is about your frame of mind.  When it is part of an activity you enjoy–like surfing, waiting isn’t waiting, it’s just what you do.  So what about those lines at the grocery store? Can we make them more enjoyable, time spent in thought, perusing tabloid papers, visiting with the stranger in line in front or behind you?  Maybe we need names for the different kinds of waiting–like the names for snow in those really cold places–to express the nuanced differences between them.  I’ll be thinking about that as I sit in traffic tomorrow…

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Best of Summer

With Labor Day right around the summer, it’s time to step back, reflect, and curate some of those summer gems!

Some of my favorite images from the summer come from our trip to the Pacific Northwest, outside of Seattle.  There’s this wonderful town called Sequim that boasts a lighthouse accessible only at low tide.  And even though we didn’t time our visit to allow for the (long) walk the lighthouse and back, my zoom lens let me capture this view from a distance.  I’m in love the with monochromatic effect featuring all the shades of blue.

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And this is the same area where we glimpsed several bald eagles.  These magnificent birds were not easy to photograph, but I fell in love with this one perched on a piling recognizable by its distinctive white head.

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Back at home I continued my practice of taking regular walks on the beach.  This hasn’t been a particularly warm summer–in fact there were many days when the marine layer kept the sky gray all day.  I noticed this seagull on one of my walks with its head tucked in. Since the day was already so gray, I played around with black and white making the seagull and the shadow even more the focal point of the photo.

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Living in a place that others travel to creates opportunities for “happening” upon special events like the Switchfoot Bro-Am surfing contest and concert at our local beach.  We enjoyed exploring the exhibits on the beach, listening to the opening band of young teens, and watching the surfers paddle out to compete.  We were even lucky enough to watch a local favorite, Rob Machado, in action!

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I love it when I’m fortunate enough to capture the quirkiness of beach life in an interesting photo.  I noticed these wetsuits laying up along the seawall as I walked not long ago.  When I saw them I couldn’t help thinking of snakes, leaving their empty skin behind when they shed.  I like that you can see the flatness of the wetsuits against the depth of the stairs.  I took this picture as I walked one direction, and when I walked back passing this place again, they were gone.  Sometimes it’s all about timing!

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And no set of “best of” photos would be complete without a food shot. My favorite of the summer is this shot of Geoff’s homemade beignets and cafe au lait…a wonderful treat of a breakfast on a lazy summer weekend!  The overhead shot captures the contrast of light and dark–perfectly fried southern “doughnuts” awash in powdered sugar, yum!

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I ended my summer with some work in Tucson, AZ and managed to squeeze in a few photos before and after the long days of work.  The University of Arizona campus is an interesting one and the building I was in had many interesting architectural features.  I captured this unedited image of the endless corridor with brick walls.

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And who can resist the natural beauty of our National Parks?  We discovered that Tucson is home to Saguaro National Park, a place where the majestic Saguaro cactus grows abundantly.  I loved seeing these tall cacti up close, I’ve read many books and taught many children about these unique and special plants.  The monsoonal rain clouds and setting sun create the perfect backdrop for Saguaro silhouettes.

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So, here’s an invitation to take a walk down memory lane and relive a bit of your summer.  Take some time to curate your summer photos and pick one or two (or more) to share as your gallery of “Best of Summer” photos.

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #bestofsummer16 for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

And if you haven’t yet taken those summer photos yet–no problem! Head out with your camera and get snapping…don’t forget to share your best of with the rest of us!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Sound

I tend to be drawn to silence, those quiet spaces where my mind can wander while my feet move. But it’s summer in San Diego, crowds gather and space becomes a premium.  The sounds of the waves are dwarfed by the screams of delight as kids rush into the cool, salty waves, families laughing and talking over chips and sandwiches, and the loudspeaker of the lifeguards reminding swimmers to stay in the zones deemed safe from the dangerous rip currents.

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But early in the morning, the quiet remains. The beach is mostly empty, wide open for exploration and introspection. Damp morning air kisses my cheeks as my feet delight in the almost warm summer surf.  (I did say almost–probably not warmer than 68 degrees!)

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I notice others who revel in the sounds of the morning beach too. A seagull tucks his head as I appreciate the mirror-like effect of the wet sand.

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I wonder about the sounds the surfers hear as they ride the waves.  Are their ears filled with the whoosh and roar of waves and water?  Or is there an exquisite quiet that happens when the waves wash away sounds from the shore?

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And what is the sound of dilemma?  Rock or surf or smile?  You pick which direction to head!

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I can hear the sounds of conversation in these windows, fun artistic silhouettes I found in these warehouse buildings.

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So…take a look around for sounds.  Sounds of silence, of delight, of pain, of loneliness, of summer–you decide.

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #sound for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

Listen with your eyes this week–what sounds do you hear and how will you represent them in your photographs?  Be sure to share…I can’t wait to hear your sounds with my eyes!