Thursday, January 23, 2014

You're taking a pictures of ...?



"By these labels we recognize everything,
and no longer see anything."

- Frederick Frank


Why yes, yes I did!

I went to the sunrise yesterday toting my camera and my 50mm lens, and well besides loving the sun rise, this weeks lesson with the nifty fifty is landscapes. It was somewhat of a challenge as having a crop sensor it's more like a 75mm, and I'm used to being able to zoom and or get a wide angle shot.

After the magic sunrise moment was over I headed over to the boardwalk for a coffee and a little stroll and as usual I garnered a few followers. I thought it was just because they like me, but apparently they have darn good memories (aka, nice lady that has kibbles in her pocket), and I'll get to that later too, the memory part not the kibbles. See #1 of random facts below

I had stopped to watch the pelicans in the harbor when I noticed one of my feathered friends drinking from a little puddle of water. I got down on my knees to get a low shot when around the corner I hear footsteps and a grumpy woman's voice say, "You're . . . (pause) . . . taking pictures of a . . . (pause) . . . pigeon?"



Now besides her feeling the need to ask me (although I'm not sure it was really a question), it really was about how she said it.
  
I replied back, "It's all about perspective, about how you choose to see things," to which she replied, "oooooh . . . . oh....kay," in a sarcastic tone as she walked away.

We've all heard that saying that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Salma Hayek says, "that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look..." It certainly doesn't hurt my feelings that someone doesn't like pigeons or anything else that I like. You don't have to like the what, but it reaches a different level when you question my why because I see with my heart first and then my camera.

Labels are barriers and to really "see" anything or anyone at their true core we have to take care not to use them, if not for the shear fact that by labeling others we label ourselves.

Here are some random reasons to like pigeons: (aka the Rock Pigeon descended from the Rock Dove)

1. French scientists did research that suggested that not only do pigeons recognize people, but that they will avoid those who have in the past been hostile. (article) See #5 - good reason to never piss off a pigeon, and well they do live for almost 30 years.

2. Pigeon guano was considered a very valuable resource in the 16th and 17th centuries in Europe and used for gunpowder.

3. He is a war hero . . .and messenger. In WWI and WWII the pigeon was able to save hundreds of thousands of lives by carrying messages over enemy lines. And the earliest communication network used them around 5th century BC in Syria and Persia and was used in Roman times to carry the results of sporting events, which is why we today we release white doves at our Olympic Games.

4. They have an incredible knack for being able to 'return home' even when released 100's of miles away. Some theories say they use the earth's magnetic field.

5. They're lifesavers, one of the most intelligent of all bird species and the Navy has found a unique use for pigeons . . . since they can see color in the same way we do they have been trained to identify red or yellow life jackets when floating in the water to save us humans and they've had a high success rate. Don't forget #1


One of these days there will be some clouds again. I noticed the last couple all seem to look the same even though they are slightly different. I was trying with slow shutter speed to really slow down and blur the water again, but I got there and got set up about 15 minutes or less before the sun rose and it was getting too light. And since I got there with not much time to spare I had to pick a spot...hard to do when you know you won't be able to zoom.

Just trying a different composition here and playing with different depths of field. Now if I can get out to find another landscape besides the sunrise.


I hope you all have a really great weekend - we are under a winter storm watch here that could turn to a warning tonight as some areas may get 1/8" of ice...now that could be interesting...in a town that is not prepared for that sort of thing. All I know, is I want a snowflake photo so bad!!

Love, Kim







41 comments:

Sherri B. said...

This woman has "life blinders" on - I feel sad for her that she's so limited in what she can see or appreciate. I'm glad you didn't take it personally and realized it was simply about her...I would've been right there with you on the ground taking a photo of that lovely pigeon and the gorgeous reflection! Your sunrise photos are breathtaking...thank you for sharing your experience, Kim.

Nicky @ Awesomeville said...

What a horrible person! Some people only live to make others feel bad about being happy. I love your shots!

Sarah Huizenga said...

Excellent! I can't believe the lady actually said that to you. Even if I was thinking it (which I wouldn't) I would never say it out loud. Where would Mary Poppins be without the pigeons? Short a song :) I hope you get your snowflake. I will gladly package some up and send them to you :) We probably got 6+ inches since yesterday afternoon.

aspiritofsimplicity said...

there are people who will never be happy...it is in how you look not what you see. Your sunrise pictures are beautiful!

Kathryn said...

It makes you wonder what is going on with that woman that she had to voice her thoughts like that. She definitely has blinkers on and that's such a shame for she'll miss out on so much. Keep seeing the beauty Kim, I love that you do.

Kim Cunningham said...

Her comment says everything about the way she lives. It's quite sad that she can't see beauty in everything around her and even sadder to try to rob others of their ability to see. I'm glad you tried to interject truth.

Jeanne said...

Some thing i reallly love about photography is that it really gives you a chance to see everything with an eye of beauty. Feel sorry who run around missing out on this in life. Love your blurred second shot, and this class looks like fun!

Sarah Carletti said...

Great shots and so amazing to read about pigeons. So cool that they helped us war!

Tamar SB said...

Such a shame when people have that outlook. I love your pictures, way of walking though life, and that you share with us!

Susan said...

Kim, you captured something beautiful in your heart and sharing it with others is even more heartfelt! Im not sure why some people cant keep their negative comments to themselves. Probable nothing is beautiful to her…a sad, miserable person. Hopefully your response will make her take a second look at life! Love the photos, thanks for sharing :)

Snap said...

You met someone who has no clue about really living. How miserable this person must be. I love your shot of the pidgeon ... the water reflection .. the wonderful colors of the bird -- magical. So sad to miss the magic in life. Your other images are great, too!

Claudia said...

I love that you turned this situation around and didnt let HER change your outlook!

Bravo to you hon.

Hugs

TesoriTrovati said...

I love the feathers on this little guy. The iridescent colors dance in the light and such an intimate moment in its life when it is doing what it needs to survive - drinking water. I love the way you view the world and don't leave out the details near and far. By all means, keep getting these shots and sharing them with us! Enjoy the day! Erin

Nicki said...

Fantastic post - absolutely. My family has accepted my propensity to photograph assorted things and have learned to hold their tongue. I am glad you carried on in spite of the lady's rude short-sightedness. The temptation to say "it was this or you and I find the pigeon far more interesting" might have had me revisiting some of my previous Random 5 posts (give good advice - follow none of it).

Love your perspective on each of these shots.

Nancy Claeys said...

Feel sorry for people who refuse to, or just plain can't, see the beauty in nature or simple, everyday things.

Lorraine said...

Perspective is right. She saw a gray bird on a gray boardwalk. She probably didn't and never will notice the beautiful iridescence feathers or see the reflection that you caught in the water. It's a beautiful composition.

Gail Dixon said...

I haven't read any of the other comments, so I hope I'm not repeating something already said, BUT the encounter with the questioning lady speaks volumes about HER Wow, I can't believe how rude people can be. Who pooped in her Cheerios I wonder?

Love the tangerine colors of the sunrise photo. I think the colors of pigeons are beautiful.

Kathy McB said...

HAHA....now I totally understand your comment to me. And no, you did NOT change my mind on Rats with Wings (aka pigeons). lol. BUT...even "I" have been known to take photos of pigeons for various reasons...of which I would never feel the need to explain to a rude passer by WHY. Geesh. We might not all "see" the same things, or even "see" the same thing in the same manner. But WHY would anyone deem it necessary to question another's perspective. RUDE. And THAT comes from a pigeon disliker herself :) :) :) Gorgeous photos my friend. I am soooo happy you "see" what you "see".

I Just Want A Cup Of Coffee said...

Beautiful shots! I LOVE the pigeon shot. We used to have one as a kid named Blue Boy. I still like pigeons and think of them more as pets than city street poopers. Thanks for the perspective. It's what photographers do best! :)

Janet Bocciardi said...

My hope is that the woman was just having a bad day or otherwise unhappy momentarily. Jealous or envious of your passion and peace? Perhaps she later thought about you, your camera, and comment... and learned of a way to be less uptight and to be more focused on the now instead of what was driving her that day. Hope!

I'm glad she didn't ruin your day so we could see more stunning shots, Kim!

Dotti said...

Just keep doing your own thing, Kim, because you do it beautifully.

Cathy H. said...

Wouldn't the lady be surprised to see just how beautiful a pigeon can be if she'd only stop and look. Enjoyed the facts about the pigeons, too!

molly said...

It is sad when someone is so jaded that they can not see beauty in everyday simple things.

Mollyxxx

Evelyn S. said...

We have few pigeons...usually out on some farms. I love the colors in pigeons....and when we visited NYC where our eldest lives, I was fascinated with the variations in pigeon colors. My son: "Flying rats, Mom!" I like seeing the beauty in them.

Sharon said...

The last shot is REALLY a beauty! My view is that when we're out and about with a camera, we may have to ignore people who wonder why we shoot what we do. I'm trying to learn that. I get amused when someone thinks I'm a "professional" just because I have an SLR. That's the other side of the mean lady story -- when people give too much credit :)

Brea said...

I certainly think you succeeded in finding some beauty!

Judith @ Lavender Cottage said...

I guess if one sees pigeons all the time they don't actually notice how beautifully coloured they are.
A great shot, and taken from a complementary angle.

June Caedmon said...

I hope you got your snowflake shot, Kim. Your pigeon shot is great - love the contrast of the greys and the colors in her feathers. It is amazing how people's perspectives are about certain things. All life has value, but fewer and fewer people seem to "see" it that way. Thank you for sharing.

hula-la said...

Great shots...especially your little pigeon friend! As for your rude encounter...ya gotta wonder, who peed in her corn flakes??? Sad she is missing out on so very much! If you see her again, be sure to snap a picture of her...that should really get her goat! Have a great weekend, and stay warm and safe and dry. Your Houston ice will be gone soon. Aloha

Margie said...

Great shots and love your random facts about pigeons. Read somewhere that they can also be trained to pick up pennies in cities and drop them in a pail.

Beth @ E. Lizard Breath Speaks said...

can you delete it? i would. you work makes me happy & i love it. that sunset is amazing. great times. great captures. move on ... you rock!! have a happy weekend! ( :

Kelly said...

Some people Kim. It's obvious to me that people like her miss a lot in life by not taking the time to see. I wonder if she even went home and gave your response a second thought.
That bokeh scene is to die for. Sent off your tags today! xo

Linda@Creekside said...

I love the beach off season. Let the naysayers bake in the summer if they'd like. I so appreciate your beautiful photography!

;-}

bgottsab said...

Really loved the pigeon story - and the reaction of the grumpy lady. Love your perspective and depth-of-field experiment in that last shot - the foreground grasses are so beautiful against the beach, pier and orange sky.

Buttons said...

LOVE your photos and your Pigeon knowledge I am amazed at those stories. Hope you get your snowflake photo but not the ice. Lots of snowflakes here. B

Ida said...

Oh my gosh that lady had "no clue" about the eye of the beholder for sure. The colors of that pigeon are amazing. I enjoyed reading all the facts about it as well. I know I must get strange looks at some of the things I take photos of too but as you say it comes from our hearts and we see life differently.

Katherines Corner said...

I pray that woman will not always be that way. Hugs to you and beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop . Big Hugs

Sharon Collins said...

I often wonder what people think of me when they see me shooting things that well most people wouldn't even consider taking a picture of.. so far no one has said anything to me. I suppose with the woman and her comment to you she just couldn't understand why you would want a picture something as ordinary as a pigeon.

Danielle said...

Love the pigeon photo!

Miriam said...

What a beautiful post Kim. I am choosing to ignore your critic. She is not worth a thought.

shooter said...

You are so right, I am always telling friends that we miss observing the everyday things as we have filtered out this very important element within our daily grind.

I cycle a lot and make images, sometimes even I have to remind myself to savour the moment, be that watching a soaring buzzard a frog hopping merrily across a road in the dead of night.

I hate to sound new agey but being mindful is a tonic for your soul

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