Color, Peace and Flow in Life as Shown in Orange Hibiscus – Picture to Ponder v7-issue 5

by Sheila Finkelstein on February 3, 2011

Several Picture to Ponder subscribers have written about how much they enjoy seeing flower photographs here. To accommodate, especially since the weather is so harsh in so many areas, I started looking through my files. I then decided to make it “easier” on myself and simply reprint an earlier issue.

The following was featured in Issue 118 in June 2005. (Note the issue number, which meant I had done 118 issues in 6 months!) Most of the text is as written then.

Today’s Featured Photos

light orange hibiscus - view of a section

closing in on a portion of an hibiscus.

“I planned to give you the full view of this hibiscus (below), which beckoned for me to photograph it yesterday afternoon, as I glanced out our dining room window. Today, when I selected the photo, I started studying it to see what it was that caught my attention.

There was the color and its delicacy and definitely the rhythm and the flow in the shadows, textures and the edges of the petals. I then closed in on it with the cropping tool and liked the resulting overall image.

I suspect, in part, that my particular cropping today might have been influenced by the work of Photographer Karen Nichols. My friend Rebecca Collins had sent me the link to the floral art page of this beautiful fine art photography site. It’s a site definitely worth visiting and spending some time on.

In addition to the various galleries of beautiful photographs, there are reflective and interesting pieces that Karen writes about her work and processes (see VOICE in the left menu).”

(Note: For flower photography lovers the above site is worth a visit. The pages and beautiful flowers are still there, though some of the links are no longer active. )

orange hibiscus

The full flower from which the portion above was cropped.

In 2005 I wrote – “Have as light and flowing a weekend as this hibiscus section suggests, filled with soft and gentle color. Bright colors, also, for those of you who wish them.”

May those, especially who are experiencing harsh conditions, weather or otherwise, find something colorful, light and flowing to appreciate.

Again, in 2005, I wrote, the following, which I see can still apply.

Pay attention to what catches your eyes this weekend. Is there a rhythm and flow to what you are looking at? Is it one that appeals to you?

As I’m writing, the different staccato and jumpy elements I’ve recently created in my life are cropping up for me. “Why not,” I suggest to myself, “try on creating the rhythm and gentleness of this flower for the next few days?” I will!

Is there a visual in your life, or perhaps an auditory piece, that you can find this weekend that you can use as a symbol to match what you would like to be achieving?

A 2011 Added Query
I’m finding it Interesting to note that my repetitive “mantra” on “paying attention to what catches your eye” was a core message of mine.

So, today, I also invite you to look into your life to find your core messages AND celebrate them!

Then please do share in the comments below what comes up for you. What are your core messages? What do you want your world to know about you?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Helene Mazur February 3, 2011 at 2:18 pm

Gorgeous photography!
So ready to see color among the white, white world up north. The cropped photo has me thinking about light, flowly, bold summer fabrics and the free feeling of being unencumbered by winter coats, hats and gloves….


Sheila Finkelstein February 3, 2011 at 5:39 pm

Thanks, Helene. I’m glad this served its purpose today, warming you up. I love the contrast of the imagery you’ve expressed between the delicate fabric flower and the winter gear.


Adela Rubio February 3, 2011 at 2:41 pm

My core message is that it’s easier to see the reflection of your brilliance in a conscious and loving community. And… your business will grow gracefully with powerful partnerships.

Thanks, Sheila! Love your photographs and am just LOVING your Through and From the Lens course. Off to shoot some dust now….


Sheila Finkelstein February 3, 2011 at 5:41 pm

I love how succinctly you express your core message, Adela, as well as leave, breathe AND mentor it. I’m so glad I’ve had the privilege over the years of experiencing it with you.

And, thanks for the acknowledgment on my photos and the course. I’ve had a flashback to your camera resistance a few years ago 🙂 And, I can’t wait to see the dust photos 🙂


Adela Rubio February 3, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Thank you, Sheila. You can’t imagine how freeing this is for me. I’m busting one of my own assumptions. I’m glad you remember it too.

When I took those pics, I felt, “Wow, not bad!” and “Wow, pretty damn good!” So much for me sucking at photography. Not to say it’s art yet, but there was deep connection and I felt moved by the images to capture what they wanted me to focus on.

So the short of it is that not only am I seeing other things differently, but also myself. With deep gratitude, from your friend, Adela.


Sheila Finkelstein February 3, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Once again you move me and I deeply appreciate your openness, as well as your sharing your gratitude, Adela.

You say “It’s not art yet” and what is “art” anyway? This course, my work, is about the “connection” with self and our worlds and that’s what you are getting. I feel blessed by that.

Although we don’t even cover photographing people during our time together, I suddenly got the imagery of you photographing your family… with your camera adding even deeper connections. Your father’s hands? Maybe it’s your mother’s. I’m imaging, through your eyes and lens, her hands as they prepare the food that’s so important to her.

Simply some thoughts that came up, specific to you and your family and what you’ve shared. Nothing for you to do and maybe I’ve planted some seeds.

It’s all about what catches your eye! not mine.


nancyBe February 3, 2011 at 3:13 pm

I think both images are delicious! It would be easy to pass over the flower if one were only to look at it via the full flower image and indeed, it is perhaps not so special or unusual when compared to other flowers growing nearby.. It is in the examining of this flower in the close-up, cropped image that it’s true beauty is revealed . The cropped closer look encourages slow and deliberate examination of sections, petals, veins,translucency, textures, ripples and so much more.. So it is with others who come into our lives. It is easy to generalize and possibly walk on by someone who, on closer examination, is a unique individual just waiting for close connection.

thanks for sharing and for inspiration and for the links..


Sheila Finkelstein February 3, 2011 at 5:46 pm

Thanks so much for you comments, Nancy. I love the beauty and poetry of your words and the added imagery you created with then.

I love the analogy you made with people coming into our lives. Isn’t it wonderful that what we get from the lens of the camera adds to ways we can view our worlds.


Deborah Lee February 3, 2011 at 3:53 pm

I have always love this color hibiscus. It is so feminine to me. I imagine the Spanish flamenco dancer with one in her hair.


Sheila Finkelstein February 3, 2011 at 5:48 pm

Smiling at your response, Debii. Do you dance? I’m thinking that there are other Picture to Ponder photos in which you’ve also seen dancers. Well actually, as I reread, you didn’t see a dancer in it. You imaged one wearing the flower. I’m dancing with her 🙂 and you!


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