Tuesday, January 29, 2008

My Best Friend

My best friend is a dog. He is a purebred Siberian husky and his name is Lakota Sunrise. Lakota for his father Lakota Brave Heart and Sunrise for his mother Tequila Sunrise. I mostly call him Koty. Koty has been my constant companion since he was eight weeks old. He flew to me on December 1, 1999.

He saw me through the long years of caring for my mother and now he brightens my day every day. Koty is a tenderhearted boy and I have never known anyone with the joie de vivre that he exhibits. If I had a dollar for everyone who asks me how old my “puppy” is I would be a millionaire. Lakota is a master at living in the moment.

Today I realized that I have been living so much in the moment with my photography I haven’t been with him very much even though he is with me every step of the way. I have just been dragging him from one place to another telling him to hold still. I’ve been so totally focused on "my" moments he has been left behind. The realization did not make me pleased with myself. So, I determined that Lakota and I would spend the day just we two. I would not even take my camera with me.

We had a grand day. Most of it spent combing the beaches. Koty raced around in the sand, smelling all the delicacies the ocean had thrown up on the shore. I reveled in his delight and enthusiasm for the mundane. We sat together and watched the waves roll in. We were in the moment together.

It got me thinking about living in the moment again. And what I thought was; living in the moment is all well and good but not to the exclusion of our companions and loved ones. One must be careful and not selfish in their pursuit of a full life. Maybe we ought to make the effort to spend more conscious time in the moments of those we love?

© Kinsey Barnard

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

In The Moment

It is so important to live in the moment. Because moments are all we have or can ever hope to have. Moments are everything. Eastern philosophies understand this inescapable fact.

Photography is all about moments. No matter how good or how bad your image is, it is yours. It is a moment in time that can never be repeated. No one, now or in the future, can take that photograph. It is unique for all of eternity. Think about it.

In this photograph the lighting is unique to the moment. The colors are unique to the moment. The droplet of water, falling from the egret's beak, will only fall in that way once in all of time. How incredibly awesome is that?

Live the moment! It's all you've got!

© Kinsey Barnard

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Keep Me Close

This photograph I call "Keep Me Close". It was taken in Jasper National Park, Alberta Canada.

When I spied this mother and child, high up on a cliff, they brought tears to my eyes. The sight of them flooded me with memories of my own mother who I lost five and a half years ago to Alzheimer's.

Alzheimer's is a nasty business. Watching someone you love just fade away right before your eyes is heart wrenching to say the least. I cared for my mother for seven long years and I have tremendous empathy for those who are doing the same.

For those of you who are fortunate enough to still have your mother cherish every moment. After all this time I still have my "Mama Moments" when I am overwhelmed by her loss. I used to say to her "You are my mother and I shall know no other." And how true those words were. I wish she could know how much I miss her. I think she would want to know that.

I still talk to my mother. Especially when I am out in the mountains searching for subjects to photograph. I speak often to both my mothers. Mama, my earth mother, and Mother Nature my spiritual mother. I feel so close to them when I am in the wild. I always ask of them "Keep Me Close".

© Kinsey Barnard

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Just a Relic?

Today is my 59th birthday and I am wondering if I am just a relic like this old boat I photographed at Inverness yesterday.

Granted 59 isn't very old and I am in exceptionally good health and physical condition. As I peer out from this carcass I perceive myself as the same "girl" I was at 18. However, those eyes looking at me are no doubt seeing a woman with some barnacles and rust. I am most cognizant that time is marching on and the days are flying by, as I was told they would.

What got me wondering is; I have been asked to lecture at my alma mater in February. I am just starting to formulate my talks and I am trying to remember who I was when I was college age. I suspect the students I will be addressing are much different than I at that age. Our respective sets of experiences which led us to college must be so very different. The world is so very different.

To give you an idea: When I was in college I took a computer science course. At the time we used punch cards and the computer filled up a whole room!

I haven't quite run aground yet but I am certainly starting to show some wear and tear. I'm electing to age naturally and, hopefully, accept the evolution gracefully. In some ways I hope I am like this old boat. A relic to be sure but also interesting and not without a certain charm.

© Kinsey Barnard

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Life is an Illusion

Life is an illusion and things are often not what they seem. Life got much easier for me, on this mortal plane, when I finally understood this simple truth.

In my youth I took myself and most everything seriously, much to the chagrin of those around me I am sure. I believed there was but one reality and that what I perceived was what everyone else perceived. I've since come to discover that there are as many realities as there are people. We each have our own.

Look at the above photograph. What do you see? The moon shining on the water? A tropical island in moonlight? Personally, I like the tropical island in moonlight interpretation. As the photographer I don't care what you see as long as what you see evokes some kind of positive emotion within you. It is what it is to you and that's all that matters.

The "truth" in this instance; The photograph is of Humboldt Bay in the middle of the afternoon. I used no post production manipulation. So, you see, even the camera can be fooled!

© Kinsey Barnard

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Photography: An Art Form

As one might imagine, I am passionate about Nature. To be able roam this great land and observe Nature in all its magnificence is a gift beyond measure. If there were no cameras I would do it anyway. But, there are cameras so I try and share with you that which I see.
I see the natural world as one huge canvas filled with living art.

When I started out in photography, some thirty-five years ago, it was pretty much considered a science not an art. I have never wavered in my belief that, in the right hands, the camera is the equivalent of a paintbrush and every bit an art form. I continue to try and prove my point with my own camera.

The above photograph is a very simple picture of a loon floating on Pyramid Lake in Jasper National Park. From my point of view the image is not so much about the loon as it is about the water. Don’t get me wrong. Loons are incredibly beautiful creatures and their call is one of my three most favorite sounds in the wild. (The others being the howl of the wolf and the bugle of an elk.)

I don’t know if you can really see it in this photograph, you might want to view it here Canada Loon. Make it as large as you can. The color and the texture of the water make this photograph appear is if it were a painting. The rich blue and gold colors swirling on the water would often be missed by the casual observer. It is very exciting for me to be able to capture this with my camera and share it with those who appreciate the artistry of nature as I do.

©Kinsey Barnard