December 2010

garlic on year-at-a-glance calendar 2011Today’s issue of Picture to Ponder brings my wishes for us all to have a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year, with the riches of love and joy and fulfillment of whatever intentions you may be setting for 2011.

There is also a mixture of seemingly disparate photos and a photo/drawing. Not exactly sure why these choices, I decided to simply go with what showed up for me as I prepared this issue.

These two garlic segments evidently have some special meaning for me. I think this is the third time I am featuring them in Picture to Ponder. Perhaps there is meaning for one of more of you. (If you missed the earlier posts you can catch them by scrolling down the page that comes up for “Garlic” in the search here on this blog)

For the next 5 photos and the Self-Reflecting Queries click on [click to continue…]


Last week I had the pleasure of having lunch with Kaitlyn, my college-freshman granddaughter, to celebrate my birthday. The camera was with me and, being involved in conversation as we ate, I stayed pretty much focused on our discussions.

Kaitlyn behind the glass. Wide view of the restaurant.Toward the end of lunch I decided to see if there was anything visually interesting that I might photograph.

I took some pictures of her above her glass and then decided to focus on the glass itself. (Photo on right is initial scene)

It was when I zoomed in on the imagery in the glass that the photographs became interesting. In the first photo below we see a wide variety of pleasing textures and soft colors. I’m moved to stay in it for a while and yet the dark line (her drinking straw) almost cuts the picture in half, falling outside the principles of good design.

patterns in glass - Kaitlyn is behind

As you see below, I thus cropped the larger photo with the straw repositioned in different places in each of the two other photos. [click to continue…]


Using Video of Rippling Water Reflections for Relieving Stress

by Sheila Finkelstein on December 21, 2010

Responding to comments Marifran Korb made on my last post, I thought I’d post the videos. The one above mirrors the first photo in the latter post.  The one below is from further back.

Interestingly, the first time I responded to the scenes, the water motion had me feel quite calm and relaxed and wishing I had my camera. The second time, when I returned, I had a similar response.  I intentionally videoed zooming in and again further back, intending that I would have a couple of videos I could use for meditation and relaxation. [click to continue…]


If you have been following  Picture to Ponder for a while, you’ve undoubtedly realized that I consider my camera as one of my best friends.  It and/or its predecessors have joined me and my family in celebrations and on trips;
1- it has shared in the joys and some of the sorrows in my life;
2- over a period of many years our similar yet different views with our cameras opened some exciting conversations with my beloved husband Sam and me;
3-and, many times its served as a form of meditation AND definitely a stress-reliever.

I make it a practice to ALWAYS have a camera with me and as you know, I encourage you to do the same as you develop the practice of photographing ANYTHING that catches your eye.

Other’s cameras and mine also serve as conversation openers, thus connectors, when out among other people. Today, as I was walking on the boardwalk at Wakodahatchee Wetlands, I pointed out the reflections below to a woman who had paused to ask what I was photographing.

boardwalk reflections in Wakodahatchee Wetlands
Reflections – Rhythms and patterns from the boardwalk [click to continue…]


Happy 6th Birthday
Picture to Ponder

“Where has the time gone?”

Six years ago today, 12/9/04, Picture to Ponder was launched as an “almost daily” ezine. See Issue 1 (You can follow links at the bottom of that page to see subsequent issues.)
In considering how to celebrate I decided to search for photos of my grandson Ryan, whose face always shows exuberance when he’s celebrating. Flip the number 9 candle and we have our 6. Interestingly this 9th birthday picture was taken 6 years (and a few months) ago.
I will celebrate by reading some of your testimonials, knowing that my mission (see below) has been accomplished. [click to continue…]


Ode to a Piece of Cardboard: or, A Philosophy of Life

by Sheila Finkelstein on December 8, 2010

Continuing to explore the background and commitment behind my upcoming Through and From The Lens telecourse, I’d like to share my ODE TO A PIECE OF CARDBOARD: or, A Philosophy of Life. On the course web page, I share the story of my being told to drop out of the college in which I had enrolled to get my Bachelor’s Degree in Art Education. The just-retired art professor suggested I “join a local guild to satisfy [my] housewifely ambitions.”

I ignored the advice and went on to become a successful art teacher. And, as life will have it, I had an encounter one afternoon with a school principal.  I was on my way out and, as I passed her she commented that a bomb could go off in the shared closet where my supplies were stored and “no one would be any the worse for it.” I traveled from class to class on a small cart, teaching a variety of lessons daily to K through 6th graders. I thus stored a wide array of materials there.  Needless to say I got quite angry and wrote the following at every red light on my way to my graduate school class.

What’s a piece of cardboard?
It’s the base of a sculpture, or an
integral part of one.
It’s the support for an assemblage;
A cardboard loom for weaving. [click to continue…]

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Through and From The Lens Photo Course Transforms Seeing

by Sheila Finkelstein on December 4, 2010

Through and From The LensTransforming the “I Can’t”s / “You Can’t”s to “I Can”s –
Using Your Camera
to assist you in making the difference

Sheila Finkelstein's reflections in the lens of a camera

Sheila Reflected Twice in a Camera lens

I have just relaunched my Through and From the Lens Photo / Seeing course with the first session in January.  The name does not make sense to most people, so why would I use it? Mainly because I have yet to come up with another name that describes the course.

It is in the looking “through” the lens of, in this case, the camera and seeing what comes “from” it that gives us a new understanding of  happenings in our lives.  For the most part how we see and interpret what’s going on comes from past-based, often limiting, conversations. Many of them exist in our head, often running the decisions we make, or, perhaps more importantly, don’t make.   [click to continue…]


This morning I set the intention to find a something new in my neighborhood, that would catch my eye, and then photograph it for this issue. During the brilliant sunlit morning here in Florida, I noticed the dance of shadows on a garage door. I took several photos and mentally my “story” was forming. Lo and behold, when I went to download them, they weren’t there. Evidently I did not click firmly enough on the older camera I had grabbed.

I’m guessing now, the latter happened so that we would end up experiencing
Today’s Featured Photo

a brilliant September sunset in Green Cay Wetlands. [click to continue…]