September 2008

Humor and Abstraction – Accidental Art from an Orange

by Sheila Finkelstein on September 19, 2008

orange on a ceramic dish becomes and abstraction

A lady in the top photo with a very wide collar and a “blowfish” in the lower photo.  Neither was posed as such. The top photo was a random arrangement of art peels and the lower “simply” a half orange.  I was mainly interested in playing with the contrasts of the ceramic dish as background.

Have fun seeing whatever you do/will in the photographs.


Juicy Navel Orange – Inside Views

by Sheila Finkelstein on September 18, 2008

navel orange first stage of peeling skin

navel orange more skin gone

navel orange sections awaiting eating

Expectancy? Exposure?

What Awaits?

A juicy, delicious orange,

Nothing more need be said.


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Full golden moon at Green Cay

Saturn Peach in ceramic dish

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
The upper photo is a very bright Full Moon, early in the evening, adorned with clouds and framed by trees in Green Cay Wetlands.

The lower is a cut Saturn, also known as Donut, Peach in a Ceramic Dish

These two may likely seem to be a strange combination of photographs. “What might be the theme?” you could be asking. The lower peach photo is part of a series I describe on the Photography and Transformation blog, per my intention to post fruit photos daily for a week.

My attraction to the peach photo here has nothing to do with the peach itself. When I view the image, I’m caught up in the almost abstract quality of it, when I don’t think about what the main object is. For me then, it’s simply the play and repetition of lines and textures, as well as, very subtly, colors.

The moon photo also has an abstract quality and feeling and given the colors and shapes are somewhat similar to those in the lower photo, I thought it would be interesting to put them together on one “wall”, our Picture to Ponder page.

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
Today, I invite you to look into your life to see:

1. where there may be situations, projects, people that you keep totally separate and distinct – compartmentalized.

2. Is anything, or anyone, standing out, as you look at this here?

3. What elements are there that brings this/these to mind now?

4. Is there any commonality with/among what you are noticing? If so, do you see a way in which putting them together might empower you, them or the situation?

5. If “yes”, I invite you to have fun creating something new.

My Story of the Day
leading to these queries:
There is really not much of a story today beyond the photos that caught my attention. As usual, the queries evolve as I wrote.

Actually the full moon photo was an unexpected one in that it was very late and almost dark when I started my Green Cay Wetlands walk. I almost left my camera in the car thinking it would be too dark to photograph. Then that voice in me that reminds me to ALWAYS take make camera, “You never know what will show up,” had me bring it along.

I was so glad I paid attention, for shortly after I started walking, I had one of the “on-rare-occasions” magical sighting, at least for me!

Have you ever experienced glancing up at the moon and seeing it as a HUGE globular, ball of light, which doesn’t last for very long? Although not huge this time, I did, as I was walking, see an extra large and very orange light beyond the trees.

I scurried to catch it, with my thankful-I-had-it camera, and “grabbed” what I could in photographs, mildly chastising myself for not having started walking from the opposite direction, where I would have seen more of the moon show earlier than I did.

Once again, I could dwell on possible missed opportunities or, more powerfully, be with those that did develop.

I’m sure additional queries could come from this for you. If that happens, certainly, be with and expand on whatever it is that comes up.


Saturn Peach Views

by Sheila Finkelstein on September 15, 2008

shiny saturn peach in a dish


cut saturn peach in a dish


saturn peach cut spread out on background

Today’s fruit posting is the Saturn Peach (label in supermarket), also known as the Donut Peach, according to pages found on Google, because of its flat shape. Actually, I bought two of them, partially for what I saw as their almost “heart” shape, or so I thought, for photo subjects as well as eating. This peach is also said to be very sweet, tasty and juicy, none of which was my experience.

I had committed to posting a fruit a day and was disappointed when at a late hour I started photographing the peach. The first one I cut was somewhat rotted and bland in taste. I put it and the second, uncut, in the refrigerator letting my disappointment rule my behavior. I didn’t even bother to download the photos until two days later when I took the second peach out to photograph.

Before starting, I checked the first photos and was pleasantly surprised.  There was a glistening and lushness to the fruit in looking at it on the screen, an experience I did not have initially. I therefore went out on my patio, for the lighting, and happily started photographing, playing with backgrounds, more photographing, as well as cutting into the inside and grabbing more interesting photos.

Again, I discovered that the second peach also was rotted in part.  Between this fruit and the apple photos of last week, I could make it mean something, AND I won’t!  I did go back to the supermarket and did mention the poor quality of the fruit to them.  I did not attempt to return the two for credit.  I figured I got my money’s worth from the photo experience.


Cantaloupe – Day 2 of Fruit

by Sheila Finkelstein on September 12, 2008

full canteloupe on a banana place mat



canteloupe cubes in a dish

Phases of a Cantaloupe Being Readied for Consumption

Time is running out for the day. I committed to one or more fruit photos per day this week and the cantaloupe, sitting in my photo folder called out. This particular cantaloupe is long gone. Earlier today the images were inspiring poetic thoughts. Not jotted down, they are gone. Maybe later.

The place mat on which the subject poses was made in India – 80% of it is from the banana plant. A cousin of mine who lives in India gifted me with this set. She knows I love my banana “tree” – which is actually an herb. In India, she shared with me, EVERY part of the banana plant is used in some way!


grapes, broccoli and other vegetables on a time

Transitioning from the Vegetable theme to Fruit with mixture of grapes, broccoli, mushrooms and scallions to

photo drawing of berries in a ceramic dish

berries in a ceramic bowl.

In yesterday’s Picture to Ponder, I committed to posting at least one photo of fruit per day, for the next week. One of the subscribers wrote and asked if I had any grape photos she could use for the cover of a book she is writing. I do not have any current photos of grapes and I went back in my files to discover these photo/drawings.

Given I had not committed to their being new photo, I thought these would be great to also introduce new people to my work to my photo drawing art in my Cafe Press Gift shop. The top image can be found on ceramic tiles.


sliced golden delicious apple

another view of cut golden delicious apple

Today’s Picture to Ponder Photos
Sections of a dehydrating Gold Delicious Apple that had been in the refrigerator for some time.

Today, as I started clicking through photos in my MacIntosh’s iPhoto program to make a choice for feature photos, these apples caught my eye. It was the humor I saw in the sideways glance and winking eye of the apple half in the lower photo that first grabbed my attention.

In the upper photo, I think it’s the somewhat unexpected structure of the apple that we see that I find so interesting. And, “yes,” for those of you who, along with me, see faces in my photos, I do see the two eyes.

Today’s Self-Reflecting Queries
Today, I invite you to look into your life to see:

1. Are there things you’ve been saying you would do and then haven’t?

2. If “yes,” is there an intention you wish to declare, something that will make it easier for you to follow through?

3. Are there any games you would like to create for yourself to have them happen, especially when you get stuck?

4. Are there “permissions” you need to be giving yourself? – Perhaps, simply allowing yourself to have fun?

My Story of the Day leading to these queries:
Last month, you may recall, I documented the peeling away of the layers of an onion. If you missed it, you can see some photos and start following on the SECOND PAGE of the blog.

When I started out photographing the onion, my original plan had been to do daily postings on the blog of vegetable photos, continuing with fruits the next week. In preparation for the latter, one day I pulled an apple from my refrigerator. I discovered that it had been in there long beyond the time for tasty eating. The apple did, however, make an enjoyable photo subject.

In the meantime, I got so caught up in the Onion Story that I went well beyond the original intention of one week of vegetable photo posting and totally lost interest in continuing on with the fruits.

As usual, after I made my choices I started second guessing them, “Should I even do the apple? Is this the right choice? What about the lighting, color, quality, etc. etc.” And I decided to stick with my first instincts, at the same time uploading onto FlickR several more of the photos which you can see by simply clicking on APPLE- INSIDE VIEWS.

As always, it’s when I start writing that the SRQ themes develop and for today, I saw, that once again they are falling into the Intention – Completion realm, with a little bit of the “trust” factor thrown in. The latter for today is trusting that there are those of you out there for whom something in these apple photos, and subsequent queries, will be making a difference for you.

On the lighter side, it could be as simple as checking your refrigerator for the credible edibles.

In terms of completions and incompletions, I have been looking this week at places in my life where I have incompletions. Mainly they seem to be in those areas where I had set intentions. And, I’m taking little steps this week, stages of completion.

As I’ve stated, in prior issues of Picture to Ponder, when I remind myself of my stated intentions, it becomes easier to complete and there is a lot less brain “chatter”. And, sure enough, a couple of major things have been accomplished already, beyond what I thought was possible, in some long lingering projects I had dropped, as well as in current ones.

To conclude here, insofar as it relates to today’s discussion, I am commiting for the next week to the daily posting of fruit photos completing on the earlier expressed intention of a month ago, staying open to what might occur.

Given, I’m making up the game, I will also give myself the permission to use some photos I took a few weeks ago when I thought that would be my next activity.

Is there anything to which you would like to commit for the next week, something that might not already have been on your list?

As always, do remember to have fun. You can even divert momentarily and have some fun with
In the nature of fun, check out FIREFLAG LEAF, TALKING IN THE WIND, an 18 second video clip I posted on YouTube. I suspect many of you could create some great expressions that could be coming out of his/her “mouth.”


Rear View Perspectives – Varied

by Sheila Finkelstein on September 6, 2008

little blue heron - rear view
Rear View of a Little Blue Heron at Green Cay Wetlands

Humor for the weekend – At dusk yesterday, I took several photographs of this little blue heron. Because of poor lighting most of then did not turn out well. Then this one of the rear view of the bird came up on my computer monitor, after downloading, and I laughed, mainly at the thoughts that instantly starting running through my head, expressions related to rear-end views. No need to elaborate here. Whatever comes up for you is perfect.

Then as I was doing my morning writing, earlier today, I remembered “Rhino’s Butt” and the photo/drawing (below) that I did several years ago.

rhino's butt photo/drawing on photography and transformation blog

I photographed this particular rhinoceros from the tram at the San Diego zoo. What had attracted my attention was not the butt view of the rhino. Rather, I was intrigued with the repetition of textures in the animal’s hide and along the floor and wall. Thus, I photographed the scene and then emphasized the patterns using my hand-enhanced, photo/drawing technique.

An aside – If you know a rhino lover and collector of art objects, this photo/drawing, as well as those of giraffes and peacocks, can be found on several products in my Nature Art Gift Shop. He and the others are also available on hand-mounted prints on 5″X7″ note cards. See Zoo Animal Note Cards.

To sum up today’s observations on “rear views,” we have the one where the bird, perhaps intentionally, turned his rear to me. Then there is the rhinoceros who was simply standing there to be fully observed in his environment.

Lastly, going back to earlier this week’s Picture to Ponder post with the rear-view of an hibiscus (see a few posts below on this blog, or Picture to Ponder, Vol 4 – Issue 32), we have the situation where we were in a position to walk around and see all sides and angles of the subject – not possible in either of the first two situations.

Where would you prefer your attention to be? There is, of course, the final option where you are the subject AND I’ll leave that to your imagination.

Have fun with this.



Fireflag Sunset at Green Cay Wetlands

by Sheila Finkelstein on September 5, 2008

Fireflag leaves dancing at sunset in Green Cay Wetlands
Fireflag Leaves Silhouetted against Eastern Clouds Reflecting Sunset

I love the grace of the fireflag plant, both the flowers and leaves. In this photo I love the russet colors and the contrasts. To a peaceful weekend, all storms aside.


Anhinga at Wakodahatchee Wetlands

by Sheila Finkelstein on September 5, 2008

pair of anhingas at end of day at Wakodahatchee Wetlands

Birds at Wakodahatchee Wetlands