May 2009

In the last mailing of Picture to Ponder, I used a format where the photograph was further down the page and wound up receiving some unsolicited appreciation of the layout. Given I’m doing a whole reevaluation of Picture to Ponder, I decided to thus experiment with presentation in addition to some other ideas.

If there are areas you would like me to cover, please send me an e-mail. In the meantime, I’m considering adding TIPS AND REFERRALS as a regular feature. Thus:

1. I discovered belatedly that May is National Photography Month and there are are many celebrative links on the web. Samsung states they are offering 31 tips on their blog, though as of the 20th they are only up to 15. Tips cover parts of your camera as well as suggestions and guidelines for good picture-taking.

2. My friend Nachhi Randhawa is conducting a F*R*E*E “Prosperity & Consciousness” Teleclass on Monday, May 25th. She asks, “Are you interested in building your relationship with money and other forms of prosperity by practicing new ways of thinking about prosperity?” Is so, see Prosperity Class.

3. I was on an interesting call today, and am considering participating myself in The Artist’s Way Virtual Summer Camp for Adults. You can check out the information and listen to the teleclass introduction on Summer Camp.

4. “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust –

June 8th starts the next session of my Expand Your Vision – Explode Your Creativity – Through and From the Lens telecourse which opens participants up to much broader views and out-of-the box thinking and acting and provides abundant resources.

COMMENTS from participants in the April-May session:

“Lots of amazing ideas and so much information and stimulus.” Rosemary Graham

Learning to perceive more of what is right in front of me. Now I see the same things in new ways, making me more creative.
No longer do I assume objects can have one view. Everything is multi-dimensional.”
Marifran Korb

All of which are a great lead-in to:


a Spider Web outside my office window, with an insert of another spider to show it’s top side – The lower photo is of a Spider Web attached to a Banana Tree.

Spider Web with Red Spider insert

Spider Web in Banana Tree

Although not “beautiful” photographs, as such, I am including them out of my fascination with the abundance of full spider webs being created from the leaves of my hibiscus bushes to the drain gutters under the roof, along the house next door to me. The upper photo does not show quite as many anchor threads as some of the webs.

Yesterday, for the first time, I saw the front, or “topside” of the spider and was charmed by its “face”. I thus included it as an insert in the upper photograph. I also had the opportunity to observe the latter “spinning” the web and was surprised to see that he/she was creating it from the outside, rapidly connecting and moving inward. For some reason, I always assumed they went from the center out.

I’ve included the one in the banana tree mainly to add some color here.

Wonder at the abundance of almost “perfect” webs that were, and have remained, right outside my window and beyond, has given me to opportunity to add “meaning” to them and my life.

Without checking out the mythology, or other stories/explanations, of spider webs. I decided that these are an affirmation that all my different endeavors are being firmly held together as a cohesive whole.

Is there anything that has been consistently showing up in your life? If so, are you paying attention, or simply ignoring it/them?

What, if any, symbols do you have, that are affirmations, or reassurances, for you?

As always, remember to have fun with the queries. I might even start doodling some spider webs again, like the ones I drew as a child, even teenager. Did you ever do the same?

Light Up Your Summer with Photography  You won’t Believe is Yours
Nourish Your Soul
Appreciate, in new ways, the People You Meet

All in the JUNE Expand Your Vision Telecourse




A Metaphor for Aging, as Personified with a Turnip

by Sheila Finkelstein on May 18, 2009

For the last session of the April Through and From the Lens Course (next one starts June 8th), I planned an experiential session using self-selected fruits or vegetables. The following turnip caught my eye in the supermarket last week and I bought it as my example for today’s class.

Turnip Top

Originally it was the circular brown lines that I believed most attracted me. It made me think of the wrinkles that are appearing on my skin.

By the time I got around to photographing it, the whole outside had “aged”, puckered and had many more wrinkles, reminding me that unless we pay attention to our health and well-being, it could deteriorate faster than we’d like.

On the other hand, when I immediately cut  the turnip in half, right into the center, the way I usually approach my life,

Turnip Inside

I saw a vibrant circular structure of the healthy cells remained in the center, radiating out.

Turnip Bottom and Quarters

When putting all the parts together, I noticed a wisp of “chin hair” (another sign of age) resting on one of the turnip quarters.  I also used this photograph, set-up, to demonstrate photographic balance. Perhaps it is also reflecting balance in our lives.

I invite you to choose a fruit or vegetable that catches your eye. Peel it. Cut it. Act in whatever way you are so moved. Then step back and away from it, looking/experiencing the action(s) you took. Is there anything in the experience that you see which relates to the way you are living your life.

And, for more revelations on how you can expand your “seeing” using your digital camera, I invite you to check out the June Through and From the Lens Telecourse.


Cells of a cut leaf from a banana tree surrounded by other leaves and the tree trunk

Close-up view of Portion of the Trunk of a Banana Tree, which is actually an herb.

To me, this photograph feels almost like a painting. I love the resultant abstract quality of the image.

My focus was on the cellular structure of the spot from which a dead leaf was removed. The blue colors are simply a result of the lighting. Interestingly when I went back to check what it was I photographed, I had to look for a minute or two. The cells looked so prominent here, I was surprised to see how tiny that segment was.

For a view a little further back to see it more of the cells in context with the trunk, see TRUNK.

Once again, through the lens of the camera, I zoomed in and focused on a particular structure that intrigued me. This created a whole different identity from what the subject was. Stepping back, once again gave me the full picture.

I invite you to consider a situation in your own life, one on which you are very closely focused. Look at all the elements and then step back.

Where is the juice for you? Which view gives you more information that will empower you? What can you take from each perspective to as you powerfully move forward?

And, some of you might wish to use today’s photograph to wander through, explore and see what comes up for you in your own life.

As, always have fun with this and please do share some of your responses on the blog.

Correction on Last Week’s Issue
I identified last week’s photograph as a rock. One of our dear subscribers wrote, “That is a piece of coral – a piece of bone, not a rock.” Thank you, D.

Expand Your Seeing – Opening up to Your Best Summer Ever

Participants are having so many exciting, rewarding and “eye-opening” experiences with their cameras and the photographs they are taking that I decided to open up another four-week course in June.

Current participants, in addition to discovering new worlds for themselves are, especially enjoy seeing and sharing what other participants are doing also.

It was most gratifying for me to have one participant share at the end of Session 2, that she knew when she signed up she was very busy and she figured if she got two or three things out of the course, it would be worth it. She stated that this had already been achieved for her.

Suzanne Holman ( ) wrote: “I am loving revisiting creative photography with you and the group! I was concerned about becoming involved in another class right now …and what I’ve found is that it is a wonderful dimension to add to my life right now with playing and creating.



one Beach Rock with many Faces photographed on three different backgrounds

I was on a call today when Amethyst Wyldfyre offered to do some healing/releasing work with me around my business and my beloved husband Sam, who died almost one and a half years ago. (See Amethyst for “Exploring the World through the Eyes of the Shaman”)

As part of the process, she asked me to pick up a rock or other natural object. The above rock, which fit comfortably in my hand, is the one that called to me from a basket of rocks with faces that I collected years ago on Hollywood Beach in Florida.

In studying it later, totally independent of the exercise with Amethyst, I started noticing several faces. Given I write about “faces” a lot here in Picture to Ponder and we’ve been discussing them in the Through and From the Lens telecourse, I decided to feature it today.

I first photographed it on black. That seemed “too stark.” So, given the stone is an object of Nature I took it outside to photograph, first in the grass and then saw a portion of my landscape that is somewhat sandy. Since the rock was from the beach, I thought this would be a fitting background.

Then, given this week we are talking about color in the Through and From the Lens telecourse and observing the seeming change of the same color on different backgrounds, I decided to put all three together as on unit for you.

The above photos offer opportunities for several different queries:

1 – Do you see faces in the rock? How many? Do they vary in changed backgrounds?

2 – Moving from that, I invite you to consider yourself. Do you have a multitude of faces that you put forth in varied situations?
Are you aware of them? Do you have control?

Years back when I was working in outside sales, two different prospects asked me, “Why are you angry?” I was confused. I wasn’t angry.

In an NLP workshop later that week I mentioned it to the leader. She pointed out that my face contorted somewhat as I went deep in thought. Not knowing how to interpret this, an onlooker might easily see it as “anger.”

Thus, should someone make a comment to you at some point, stating something that doesn’t seem to fit for you, I invite you to remember this example and ask them what they see on your face.

3 – Moving on to a totally different conversation from today’s photographs – Which of one of the three presentations most appeals to you – may not appeal – but causes some kind of reaction? Is it the environment in which they are placed? Does that change the feeling coming from the rock? Do you see the color changes?

4 – From the above, I again invite you to look into your life, and pull out a thing or a person with which or whom you have a challenge. What if you put them in a different context/”environment”? Do you notice a shift?

As always, I invite you to have fun with the photos and the queries. If you would like to see the face/faces on the reverse side of the rock, email me and I’ll put up a page with other views.