November 2010

Today’s Featured Photo

cut red cabbage expressing love

Cut half of a red cabbage with the word “Love” added with Photoshop Elements.

It’s another of the vegetables from last week’s raw fruits and veggies program I was following and continue to do so this week. For those who are detail oriented, the cabbage is on a Lucite cutting board placed across a narrow stainless steel sink. The scratches are from knife cuts over the years.

To me the image looks like a maze. Ultimately all routes seem to start and end from the center core, so I’ve labeled it “Love.” [click to continue…]

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This week I had fun spending a lot of time with raw vegetables and fruits, cutting, blending and eating them for my friend Rachelle Anslyn’s and her partner Thomas Radtke’s Make It Real, Make It Raw detox blast. Not surprisingly, as I was cutting vegetables, especially peppers, certain imagery grabbed my attention. I, of course, went for my camera.

Today’s Featured Photos

yellow pepper on table and chair back reflections

yellow pepper center - abstract

abstract close up of yellow pepper

The top photo is the cut half of a yellow pepper with the center section of the opposite half turned upside down placed in the center of the half we see. When the photograph first appeared on my monitor, I was unable to identify the lines on the right. I was puzzled for quite a while. Yet I loved the play of light and shadows on the wood, finding a peacefulness emanating from the whole picture. I thus decided to use it as one of today’s feature photos.

Once making that decision I needed to determine what it all was. I originally assumed that the pepper was on my wooden cutting board. I finally realized that, in fact, I had placed it on my table and that the angled “grey” lines were the slats of a white chair pushed up against the table.

The middle photo is a very close-up view of the pepper’s center, creating, what to me is, a very whimsical image. As I inserted that photograph here my eye was drawn to the color and grace of the dark, curving “line” on the left.

I went back to Photoshop Elements to see what it would look if I went in and cropped the photo to highlight solely that line. Thus the bottom photo was born.

I hope you have as much fun with these as I did. If you start “playing” with your own cut vegetables, I’d love to learn about your experiences.

Self-Reflecting Queries
Today’s photos lend themselves to another one of the recurring themes in Picture to Ponder – looking at objects, people and things from a multitude of perspectives. In addition, of course, there is my constant message for “paying attention to whatever grabs your eye.”

So, as I did with the pepper, I invite you to firstly, to divide in half an object, situation, or your thoughts about a particular person. Then look at both “halves”. Do you see differences? Do they change with repositioning?

Then zoom in more closely. Does anything change? Can you find any humor in that at which you are looking either with your eyes or with your thoughts?

Lastly, with the latter perspective, find one thing that is appealing in what you’ve noticed. Zoom in. Move around it. What new do you see?

Despite my saying “lastly”, you are of course welcome to continue your exploration.

When finished, please post your experience in the COMMENTS section below.

As always, have fun and open up to new possibilities.

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As I was searching for photos for today’s issue of Picture to Ponder, I was drawn into the rhythm of the waves and the subtle reflections of the rising sun in Boynton Beach, FL two weeks ago. Some of the magic is lost in the smaller size here, so I’m including a link to a slightly larger version if you wish to click on the photo and be with that photo for a moment or two.

If you wish to spend a few more minutes and experience the rolling waves and listening to the sounds, I invite you to check out my Boynton Sunrise Video leading up to the scene captured below.

Originally, particularly because of the white and the fact that it was on the beach, I assumed the bird in the lower photo was a sea gull. Then, the orange beak had me check it out on Google where I learned that it’s a Tern. You can see a cute 20-second video of his scurrying on the beach at Tern Video. Stay with it for the last two or three seconds and you’ll see his “family.’

Today’s Featured Photos

sunrise on Boynton Beach

orange-billed tern

As state above, sunrise at Boynton Beach and a Tern on the beach.

Self-Reflecting Queries
I spent quite a bit of time today in looking to “adjust” the sunrise photo, cropping it to accommodate “the rules” – the rule of thirds in creating a good photographic composition. Following this “rule” the subject would never be in the center of the photo. That is, the sun would not be smack in the middle. And, as I look at it again, though the sun is central, my eye is drawn to the waves which, in fact, are in the lower third and the focus of interest for me.

Then moving on to the photograph of the tern. His beak is in the upper third corner, his tail is almost in the lower. I suppose this would thus “qualify” as a well done photo. On the other hand he is looking away from us, not usually a good idea, according to the “rules.”

I ultimately decided, today to present the photos that “felt” good and they seem to work fine.

In line with my description above, I invite you, once again, to look into your own life. Is there any place that you are so caught up in what you think are the rules that you are not allowing yourself to play “full out”?

If so, and you were to give yourself permission to look beyond what you think are the rules, might there be something new or expansive that could open up for you? If so, I invite you to take it on.

And, as I final thought today, I suggest you might also check out with another person, or persons, what their interpretation of the situation is; the same as yours, or different? What might the openings here be for you?

As always, have fun and open up to new possibilities.

Then please post your experience in the COMMENTS section below.


New in the Gift Shop –

garlic parts on tileI just received my latest order of new products from my Gift Shop. If you read last week’s issue of Picture to Ponder and the one a few weeks back, you’ll know how excited I’ve been with this particular garlic image. So last week I put it on a Tile and WOW! I am thrilled.

These tiles are great as coasters, hot plates and/or decorative on a small table easel.

abstract silky garlic image on a year-at-a-glance calendarUsing Photoshop, I also placed the garlic pieces on top of the silky abstract image of a portion of the garlic that I featured in Picture to Ponder last week and had it printed on a year-at-a-glance calendar.

Though I’m not anxious for 2010 to end, I can’t wait until January when this calendar and image will have the central spot on my refrigerator. I also purchased a couple more of the calendars – different images. I will cut off the photo on at least one and frame it!

silk mandala on a tileLastly, in addition to the above and other garlic image products, I had the silk mandala of two weeks ago printed on a tile also.

You can see this at Mandala 1 Tile and other products with this silk image on Mandala.

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Today’s issue of Picture to Ponder evolved from some of my experience of “creating” during the last two days. I wound up spending a good amount of time adding new images to products in my Nature Art Gift shop. This included creating prints of the silk painted mandala featured in last week’s Picture to Ponder as well as portions of the garlic bulb imagery below. Also at a customer’s request I put the “Sh*t Happens – I find the beauty” on a mug. She loves the message and wanted one for herself and one for a gift.

After working on the mug I went to the garlic bulb segments featured here and on the blog in September. I particularly love the photograph and wanted to have it on a calendar in my kitchen. (The calendars are actually a very cost effective way of getting 8X10 -approx – prints. I simply cut off the calendar part when finished, or before.)

As I started working with the photo in Photoshop Elements, I “accidentally” focussed in on one portion of it. I then became enraptured with the silky texture and created a page with some variations on one of my sites. Stilll excited, I’ve put a composite of three of them here for

Today’s Featured Photos

3 views of garlic bulb

As you can see the top two are the same view rotated 90 degrees, each projecting a different feeling. The “silkiness” that so appeals to me remains in both.

For the bottom image I created a “montage”, mainly to show the original image with which I had started. There are a couple of more images on the garlic page where it is easier to spend time with each image separately.

Self-Reflecting Queries
Today’s experience and story relates to being open to the unexpected, focusing in and shifting perspectives.

I am assuming that more than likely you never pay too much attention to a garlic bulb if/when you take it apart to get separate the cloves. In the case of the above two segments I was taken aback when I made the “discovery”, kept the pieces for photographing and for further exploration with my camera. Ultimately, as evidenced by the above, the photographs themselves became another playground for exploration.

Is there anything that has caught your eye or attention recently that you chose to spend some time with and look at in a different way? If yes, what opened up for you out of that experience? If no, I invite you to find something very “ordinary” and see what new you can mentally/imaginatively create from it. And, of course, even if “yes”, I suggest you do this.

I also invite you to really zoom in on pieces of the object, person or situation and see what new you can find. Does the shift in visual perspective, create any other changes for you?

As always, have fun and open up to new possibilities.

Then please post your experience in the COMMENTS section below.


Upcoming Jump Start Course for Your Brain
My friend Suzanne Holman, who is doing the three week Jump Start Course for Your Brain sent me five page report with tips for maintaining Brain Health. She said I can pass it on to you. In PDF format, I invite you to download it at BRAIN HEALTH FOR BOOMERS.

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