Adapting

Tenants Harbor Adapting, PhaseOne IQ 180 240mm 1/20 sec f25 ISO 100 multiple images

I captured this image of Tenants Harbor, Maine, from our family vacation rental, sunset, early Fall 2018. It captured me - I have been reflecting on the image for months, and tweaking to my delight. I think I’m done - for now.

I call the image Adapting - Tenants Harbor adapting to change: nine feet of water rise and fall twice a day, seasons, light, temperature, fishing conditions, fishing quotas, fish - varying cycles of abundance and depletion - the world’s first CSF (community supported fishery) just a few miles down the road in Port Clyde - survival for the small guy… Are the sailboats taking over, like in Rockland and Camden?

My center of interest, with Adapting, is the island jetties, and white, harbor watch, compound on the breakwater island - the evening sun making the compound a light house, for the moment - at least from my view. Can you image the views from the compound at sunrise, looking out over the vast Atlantic, and the sunset harbor watch?

I reflect on my adapting - my changing life in Vermont with Patty, family, ventures - I quote Glen Libby of Port Clyde, author of CAUGHT, time. place. fish. “what-ever will be will be and everything is as it should be.

OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS - Blue Mindful

Blue Mindful is the state of "clean water understanding." Integrating this understanding is essential to a healthy existence.

Feeling gratitude for the availability of clean water is paramount to taking action to protect it.

We protect what we love. We love what we need and what feels special to us.

I found the perfect book to support and build on this premise: Blue Mind by Wallace J. Nichols. "The surprising science,” he writes, “that shows how being near, in, on, or under water can make [us] happier, healthier, more connected and better at what [we] do."

Dr. Nichols' claim is lofty, but he does a great job supporting it with all kinds of statistics and anecdotes. I especially appreciate his holistic approach, emphasizing the seeming contradiction "emotional science.”

Nichols offers up observations made by the Apollo 17 astronauts, referring to OUR earth as the tiny blue planet; a blue marble in space.

Water is everywhere. In us. We are of it. Without water there is nothing.

GREAT NEWS: Wallace Nichols, author of BLUE MIND, has expressed interest in writing the Foreword for OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS.

Please consider being a sponsor to publish OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS - proceeds from the sale of the book will go to clean water projects. Details of sponsorship are at the bottom of the introduction of the book printed on this website, www.MikeSipe.com, under the tab at the top OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS.

OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS excerpt

Stowe Stream PhaseOne IQ 180 35mm 1/10 sec f11 ISO 35

Stowe Stream PhaseOne IQ 180 35mm 1/10 sec f11 ISO 35

Splendor in Nature is wonder forthcoming.

Follow the flow, portage the passions.

Open to love and Love will be there - certain as spring time streams snow-covered mountains.

We are Nature’s gifted souls.

Hear Inner Wisdom - Love abounds.

All is precious and pristine - Reflect - Respect and Protect.

We are bestowed Free Will to love in nature.

Marvel in the moods of the sky.

Feel the touch of love from all that is provided from above.

Light, Heat, Water, Air… and Love -

All are Life’s essentials.

What’s to happen if we do not care?

OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS is ready for print

I began photographing the pristine of the Lake Champlain region about fifteen years ago. My initial vision was a coffee table book, sharing the beauty with the world with one hundred, sharing-quality images. Since the start, I captured thousands of images, with hundreds worth a second look, and a good hundred, sharing-quality. Thirty-five images are included in OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS, the art and science of living with water.

About five years ago a weightier purpose, for a book, hit me like a brick - WATER QUALITY - the lake water quality is deteriorating with dangerously high levels of phosphorous - toxic enough to close swim areas, threaten drinking water, and maybe even, harmful to breathe! Blue Green algae is not that good to look at, either. This I know is not unique to Lake Champlain.

A few years ago I had the opportunity to get involved with the Vermont Clean Water Network - I learned much - realizing that most of us aren’t aware of the issue, and how we can help. I believe we want to help - protect what we love…. and we love…. and value, water. Knowledge and inspiration empowers - producing resolve.

A couple years ago, because of my connection with the Vermont Clean Water Network, I became aware of an article in the Burlington Free Press, called Thinking like a Watershed. The article was written by environmental teacher, writer, poet, Trevien Stanger. I loved the article and knew I had to marry my photos with his word wizardry - and do my part for clean water - albeit small.

Trevien is the curator of nearly fifteen articles by water quality advocates in OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS, the art and science of living with water. Trevien wrote the introduction - It is reproduced on this site, www.MikeSipe.com, under the tab OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS. I invite you to read it, be inspired, consider some level of sponsorship to help publish OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS, and have proceeds from the sale of the book go to clean water projects.

Book sponsorship details are at the end of the introduction. Please help clean water.

OBOR COVER.jpg

If you wish, I will send you a 16 page BLAD (Basic Layout And Design) of OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS to help you decide about sponsorship of the book. Thank you.

IT'S TIME TO STOP

It’s January - time to start a fresh, and share my favorite images of 2018.

I shot less in 2018. I thought I would not have much to share, but I was wrong. It was a very personal year - a lot of precious family time - special personal images - and some with, I believe, artistic value.

Patty Rosebud, origin Floribunda 2007, Reprocessed Canon EOS IDS Mark iii 105 mm 1/30 sec f9 ISO 100

Richard Reach the Sky PhaseOne IQ 180 80 mm 1/30 sec f11 ISO 35

Richard Reach the Sky was taken three months prior to my brother Richard’s death, August 8th, 2018. The image was captured in Torrey Pines nature preserve, on a side excursion, while working with Richard on completing his trilogy of poems - SMELL THE ROSES, feel the soil / reach the sky. I have no idea where the seemingly supernatural colors came from - to me, a gift of Richard relevance.

A third image I share here is another gift image I received at Walden Pond - The morning light overwhelmed the view. I preserved the moment by highlighting contrast with black and white. I read (listened to) Thoreau’s Walking five times. It was a great treat to saunter the land of Walden Pond and capture the feeling this image insights in me.

Walden Pond PhaseOne IQ 180 80mm 1/20 f14 ISO 35

Thirteen more of my favorites for 2018 can be viewed at the Photography tab of this site www.MikeSipe.com.

I started my favorite of the year images beginning 2011 and now have over one hundred favorite images - It’s time to stop. Instead of showing all those images in Order Your Print, I decided to pair it down by showing only those images that have been framed and have proven Wall-life. (I have projected a little for the 2018 images). Now there are only sixty images that rise to Wall Worthy, by that definition. Take a look. I love it.

I will only add an image to the Order Your Print images, derived from yearly Best of year images, by eliminating one. I hope to pair the list down more, over time, maybe to my favorite ten. Given the personal attachment to my images, this will be quite the challenge, and hopefully an exercise in deep reflection.

Birch and Aspen

Birch and Aspen - certainly different, but hard to tell the difference, at a glance - believe it or not, they are not even in the same family. We have both on the Photo Farm, and I love it.

As a recent Robert Frost fan, who was also a part-life Vermonter, I will refer to both white bark attracters as ‘Birches’, in honor of Frost’s poem titled the same .

Frost writes in Birches: “Earth’s the right place for love: I don’t know where it is likely to go better. I’d like to go by climbing a birch tree, And climb black branches up a snow-white trunk Toward heaven, till the tree could bear no more, But dipped it’s top and set me down again. That would be good both going and coming back, One could do worse than be a swinger of birches.”

Birch Bend SonyRX 100 VI 12.25mm 1/125 sec f4.5 ISO 125 stitched

After a recent snow fall, I better visualize Frost’s sentiments on swinging birches. I shake a snow covered, weighed down, birch over the driveway, as I plow my way to Wolf Lane. Me and my green and yellow John Deere are now white all over. What is astonishing to me is, with a little shake, the tree sprang back to nearly upright, like a catapult. I would have been pulled off the Deere, to the sky, if I hadn't let go.

A short while ago I designated a cove, on the Photo Farm, in a patch of birches, to be a proper place for a bench to rest and meditate. I am moved more to do such, with my recent visit to capture the snow impact.

Birch Cove SonyRX 100 VI 9mm 1/200 sec f6.3 ISO 125

I am now, in my mind, “Some boy too far from town to learn baseball, Whose only play was what he found himself, Summer or winter, and could play alone. One by one he subdued his father’s trees , By riding them down over and over again Until he took the stiffness out of them, And not one but hung , not one was left For him to conquer.”

Photo Farm Beginnings

I love the Photo Farm.

Multi-generational living is new to us, just since April. The Photo Farm went 15% or so over budget, which I swore it wouldn’t, but I believe it is a best decision. Time will tell. It is quite the experience. And, I believe many more nice experiences will be our blessing.

Avi, our oldest grandchild, is taking a photography class in this junior year of her High school. She has a great eye, her father’s eye for photography. More wondrous is, she captured a rare moment of Patty and me, by blasting Alleluia and What a Wonderful World, while she was taking advantage of the professional photography studio set-up. I’d give her an A+, and extra credit for capturing a touching moment of two people who are hard to catch as such.

Bilder Studio First Fall Sony RX 100 VI 29.1 mm 1/100 sec f4.5 ISO 125 multi-stitch

I hope to graduate to Studio lighting some day, but now am pleased as punch to be exploring with my camera, outdoors. I still believe that bigger is better and, accordingly, will be exploring with the new 44” printer, I have almost ready to go, in the loft of the studio.

I want to make the Photo Farm a destination experience. Come visit and connect.

Kripalu Mindful

I recently had occasion to visit the kripalu Institute of Yoga and Health, in Stonebridge, MA, while dropping off and picking up daughter Bridget for a certificate program on Mindfulness and Outdoor Leadership. This would be a great quarterly visit for me for R & R - a service which they pride themselves. I can see myself capturing a piece of nature and image reflecting, with the changing seasons - what a beautiful setting, and accommodative to meditation and a recharge.

Mindfulness in Nature Sony RX100 VI 61.19mm 1/3200 sec f4.5 ISO 2500 multiple stitch


Vermont Horizons

The horizons of Vermont are speaking to me. I don’t know why it has taken me so long to hear the appeal - the calling to capture moments of beauty of the ever changing touch of sky, light, on Adirondack, Green Mountains, Lake Champlain, and many Vermont valley vistas.

My brother Richard recognized a frequentcy of attention receiving horizons in my images before I did. He invited me to include 24 horizon images for his third book of poems - Smell the Roses, Feel the Soil, Reach the sky. He offers, in the introduction, his observation: "Mike’s visions are of and in the light—toward the eternal horizon.”

Richard died August 8th, 2018, advance of finishing Smell the Roses, but not before gracing me with focusing my passion to capture horizons and reflect deeper on those that hold my attention. I am grateful.

Sun Spots PhaseOne IQ 180 240mm 1/3 sec f16 ISO 35 stitched

Vermont is horizon paradise - so many unobstructed views of wide expanse horizons including interesting environs - water, mountains, valleys. And, if the view is obstructed, take a pleasant trail hike a short distance to the top of the low mountains and be delighted by spectacular earth contours, enhanced by frequent cool cloud formations and sun-ray penetration.

Fallen PhaseOne IQ 180 80mm 1/800 sec f11 ISO 35 stitched

General Store Speak

My daily stop at the General Store, a Walmart in a thousand square feet, in the sleepy village of Tenants Harbor Maine, during my respite with family friends, September 8th to the 15th, was a delight. I loved the feel of the local hangout - it took me back in time - a simpler time, where we took the time for friendly chat, about whatever, with neighbors.

I slipped out of our Home Away from home, at day break, to capture a little new light on harbor highlights. After a play in the Golden Hour I would visit the General Store for a muffin… and maybe a morning greeting from local folk.

One morning, a few days into my stay in the faltering fishing village, I noticed a man in the General Store that I had seen each of my visits. I said - do you come here every morning? That’s all it took to get him going - louder as he went on. He finally respected, as he was more and more animated - “Am I getting too loud?”

I’ll call him Charlie. Charlie lived his sixty some odd years in the village and kicked off most days at the store, the only store, the General Store, in Tenants Harbor. He said “This is dog’s country”. I said dog’s country? No, dog’s country. I asked again, dog’s country? He said God’s country - dog spelled backwards…G O D! I said Oh, God’s country! He then went on for ten minutes about how the town has been going to the dogs with more and more fishing regulations and higher taxes.

He, no doubt, loves his life in Tenants Harbor, albeit, not all village happenings are in his control. We should all know, all is not in our control. Nature is a wonder, and doesn’t always give us enough time to prepare for every happening….. MICHAEL, for example!

As a mid-western flat-lander, I marvel at the ocean’s routine, in Tenants Harbor, of rising and falling, on it’s shore, nine feet, a couple times each day. And, how the shoreline infrastructure is designed to accommodate the wondrous way of the water. Like nicely fitting cloths allowing for the heave and contraction of unconscious breathing, shorelines and docks allow for the rise and fall of an unbelievable amount of water. I image the locals response to the major move of water is like their unconscious acceptance of breathing.

I love it.

RISING TIDE PhaseOne IQ 180 240mm 1/15 sec f11 ISO 100 2 images stitched

LOW TIDE PhaseOne IQ 180 240mm 1/50 sec f11 ISO 100

RICHARD - REACH THE SKY

Richard and I were working on a book together at the time of his death, on my birthday, August 8th. It was tentatively titled SMELL THE ROSES, FEEL THE SOIL, REACH THE SKY. It was meant to be his third book of poems. I think of it as his Trilogy. The first book was titled I CONFESS and second titled COURAGE AT THREE AM. Both are personal, soul searching, deep, and sometimes funny. I am sure, both were gut wrenching and, at the same time, rewarding to write. I read each five or more times, gleaning more insight about my famous brother https://www.ncronline.org/news/accountability/richard-sipe-pattern-deceit-celibate-culture-was-his-wittenberg with each read. Poems, with so much to read between the lines, have always been hard for me to glean intent, from just one read. Like a good photograph, I want to revisit for more and more feel. 

SMELL THE ROSES was meant to be a book about love, and hope for more love. This theme would be a nice completion to Dick's Trilogy. My input would be photos of the horizon - then Dick invited me to write captions to the photos - then reflections - then memoir like comments and feelings - then he invited me to let it all out - deeper and deeper, - he encouraged and encouraged, and I learned from his mentoring.

I learned that reflections, attached to my photos, is most rewarding. I am now doing reflections for my photos for my water quality coffee table book I am doing with Trevien Stanger, environmentalist writer - OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS. Thank you Richard for your mentoring.

Richard said "The largest task of life is to love. And love is the only thing that lasts, everything else melts away". I love the thought. He said he was inspired by my thoughts on the Love Priorities of self-realizing, connecting and giving. He certainly was an inspiring example of SCG. 

RICHARD REACH THE SKY, PhaseOne IQ 180 80mm 1/30 sec f11 ISO 35

TDY, it is ... for nowI

I tried to bring in help for Patty - she's not ready - it didn't work. It went ok for a couple hours, and then the aide, a fine person, was asked to go home. She did. This is the third time I tried - I stroke out. The VNA is probably going to ignore me, at least for awhile.

Patty and Mike in Seattle in 2016

I know. I know. I shouldn't take this on full time, but I am going to. I am going to look at it as TDY - Temporary duty. Actually, I feel  good about it, for now. Patty is my top priority and sometimes our top priorities take us out of balance for awhile. 

With being out of balance in mind, I will take advantage of Patty wanting me to do what I want - she not expressing any desires - and arrange for things to do together that I desire. For instance, I want to see my Fidelity adviser in Portland Maine - I called today to arrange a visit. We will meet with him for an hour or two and spend a night at a B&B on the ocean, which will include both of us getting up at dawn to walk the beach and seek an image to capture. I will do the same type of thing in southern Vermont, while going to the Robert Frost museum.

Some parts of these short trips Patty will enjoy, I know. She may not express pleasure but I get glimpses of joy in the eyes. Regardless, I am going to seek beauty and enjoyment, with Patty. It will work for awhile. I can't think beyond.

And, when at home, I will spend some time in the field, watering the saplings, or in the Studio, making big prints - both activities are like being in the back yard. I will put a camera's eye on Patty to always be in some contact. She doesn't like to be alone, but is reluctantly ok with it, until she calls - gone an hour or two - and wonders where I am. I know I will be in and out of the house, a lot, but I need more exercise anyway.

Am I crazy? You'll let me know when I am too far out of balance, won't you?

 

Patty... today

Patty is lucid... sometimes, but not today. 

Patty, A Pecious Moment

Patty is pictured here on June 20th, after granddaughter, Avi,  encouraged and assisted her in showering, shampooing and dressing with fresh summer-like cloths - something I have not been able to get Patty to do.

Now... today - Patty should not be left alone. She does not want to be alone. The problem is - Patty doesn't recognize the need for outside help and is offended by the mention of it. In my attempt to bring in aide she made a stink and told them to leave.

Really, it is not Patty that needs help, it is me. I have been leaving her alone for an hour or two while I tend to the farm - close by, but now, too far away.  She wonders to the other half of the multi-generational home where Jessica already has her hands full with a toddler and a new born. Yes, Patty now needs full time watching and assisting. She doesn't recognize it, but I now do.

Patty says "I'm (speaking about herself) not in a good place today. I'm totally out of wack. I don't know what is going on". She doesn't relate to Alzheimer's - at least her having Alzheimer's. She says "where are we?" She said once she thought we may be on temporary duty with the army or some non-profit, and that we would be going home soon. She twice wondered who I was, and is now frequently asking questions about who are family. The longer term memory has been good, up until now. She moved one more step down stream and it is now serious - I can't just run out for an hour or two. What do I do? I have to force the issue about outside help or go on TDY for real, 24/7

Patty said "I don't know rather to cry or scream", when she was feeling most out of sorts. I now feel the same - I don't know rather to cry or scream.

 

Connecting at Walden Pond

It could be any pond - Minnesota has thousands. It's not any pond, though - it's Walden Pond. I felt the reverence for nature, Thoreau, Emerson, during my brief encounter. I will go back - a draw to the wild, respect for nature blaring. I love it.

Concord is not rural. The Walden Pond State park is a quiet wilderness, aside suburban Boston population, accessible for the price of limited, controlled, parking.

I was dismayed to see the parking areas were only open from 7:30am to 7:30pm - missing both sunrise and sunset.  We left the parking area at 7:15pm - plenty early to counter my fear of being locked in for the night. I drove around desperately looking for a spot to park in the morning. How could I be so close to Walden Pond and not be in place to capture magic at sunrise?

Serendipitously (maybe not), we encountered a park ranger who graciously heard and responded to my plea for access at the sun's coming and going. He said "I'll watch for you at the gate... it's ok until 8:pm, and even if it is five after eight, I won't lock you in." This was thoughtful but still a bit early for sunset. How about sunrise at 5Am? The smily, thoughtful ranger directed us to the fishing access parking that opens at 5am.

I am there at 5am, thinking I would be alone - I usually am, along Lake Champlain or one of it's tributaries at sunrise. I think I got the last parking spot of the 15 or so spots. Fishers, swimmers and even a saunterer were there, quietly communing with nature. Wonderful.

Walden Pond, PhaseOne IQ 180 50mm 1/20 f14 ISO 35

Walden Connecting 1, PhaseOne IQ 180 80mm 1/13 sec f11 ISO 35

The well outfitted fisher in this image said Walden Pond is his second home this time of the year. With a proud smile, he spoke of fishing the pond 65 years ago with his father. I have another image of him lifting high, for me to photograph, a 3 1/2 pound trout he expertly hooked, wading to his thighs to net.

Walden Connecting 2 PhaseOne 35mm 1/50sec f11 ISO 35

Carol is sauntering with sandals this dawn, making her way around the 1 1/2 mile pond sand shore, napping a stray can and one cigarette butt, doing her part maintaining pristine. Carol spoke of living close by, the last 35 years, and enjoying yoga often, near the Thoreau site, over looking the pond. Today she reflects from a perfect perch, the sun reflected at her calf. 

RICHARD

I visited Richard and Marianne, my oldest brother, and sister-in-law in LaJolla, in May. It was a special visit for me.

Richard has been in and out of the hospital recently. He is flirting with death and now restricted to a wheelchair, at home, with very supportive home health care. 

He is tired and needing much sleep, during the week of our visit, but energized by the many visitors - close relationships - that he jokes are the benefit of the flirt.

No fear of death - prepared, I guess.

He feels good enough now to recommence his poems - every word deserving fixating on, for me - gleaning more understanding of he, who is such a great example of SCG - a mentor to me.

Richard speaks of integration of life and death - death - not dark but light...  a new light. He speaks of the light, colors, different dimensions that are unknown, inviting, colors like we might get a glimpse of in nature.

RICHARD PhaseOne IQ 180 80mm 1/30 sec f11 ISO 35

The morning after talk of life and death, serendipitously (maybe not), I find myself in the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, at dawn, looking to capture an interesting image of the rare, native only to California, protected Torrey Pine.

If I am not mistaken, the image above is not a Torrey Pine. However, I was drawn to the unique view. I call it RICHARD - an unexpected gift, presented to me at the instant light touches the sky reaching branches.

Interpret what you see. Art, photography - like poetry, offers a personal take - that's a beauty of the gift to me.

RICHARD - I see a colorful beauty contributing growth, reaching to the light, truth - color enhanced by the light - standing out from other natives - the result of elements experienced - rain, storms and now a golden glow of morning sun. I love it. I love you Dick. 

Future Feel

One of the most powerful steps in the Love Priorities process is the Future Feel. I describe it as a short exercise, maybe a meditation - What do you feel while meditating on the nine activities of SCG (Self-realizing, connecting and giving) - Learning, Serving, Mentoring, Exploring, Relating, Playing, Protecting, Contributing, and Transferring? The power with this brief endeavor is thinking about it in context of the rest of your life. Probably, but not necessarily, the older you are the more impactful. Also, I expect it will be more beneficial with major life transitions.

I am now older, and I am going through transitions - Early retirement from AIS Planning, Patty's Alzheimer's, my stroke, move to multi-generational home in Richmond, Vermont., constructing photo studio, deeper involvement with nature - all are affecting my current Future Feel....  and/or, are a result of priorities I previously set with earlier Future Feels. I strongly believe that we do what is our highest priority, and we never get to lower ones. We deserve, and it is intended, that we do our highest priorities - the activities we love, involving the people we love. Life is too short to be putting off to tomorrow.

Future Feel Abstract PhaseOne IQ 180 80mm 1/5 sec f14 ISO 35

The past is gone; it's color and glory buried. The residuals are memories, many a blur.  Hopefully, there are effects of good deeds - all actions leaving some imprint. Now is the time to do - no better time to step to our light, using our past as a footing - doing what we love - with those we love.

Narcissism or Self-Love?

I'm no psychologist, and I'm going to act like one. 

There is a big difference between being narcissistic and having a strong, healthy, self-love! One is bad, and the other is good. The line was blurred for many in my generation. It is clear to me now -black and white. It is interesting that, still, a listed synonym of narcissism is self-love. Maybe many are still confused.

Growing up, I heard, and Patty heard, words to the affect of "don't give him/her a compliment....they'll get a big head." This was especially true with my dad and her mom, and the nuns and priests that surrounded us. What were thy thinking? All was focused on others... the poor pagan babies. Didn't they know that we are better able to love others while loving ourself!

I guess the way to be then was grace with sacrifice and even self-flagellation for the sin of personal pleasure. Patty talks about the last time she went to confession when the priest said "think of all those boys in Vietnam". Thank God for reason, independence, and Inner Wisdom.

Winter Bloom PhaseOne IQ 180 80mm 1/5th sec f11 ISO 35

Balance is the key word here - Loving others as we love ourself - there is no other with narcissism!

Nature reflects the beauty of balance. I learn by looking, listening and reflecting....or maybe it is day-dreaming.

Crystal Clear Sub-title Search - Help! Please.

About fifteen years ago I fell in love with the Champlain Valley - Lake Champlain and tributaries, Adirondacks, Green Mountains. I see it as one of the most beautiful areas anywhere. I knew then I wanted to capture it's beauty in photographic images, and share it with others.

In the last fifteen years I have taken over ten thousand images of the Champlain area, using the most diligent processes and best equipment I could muster up. I am serious about capturing my image of a lifetime that when printed large and presented nicely on walls will capture and keep the attention of all that view it. I might just capture that image right here, in the Champlain Valley - it's that beautiful ....to me... can't you see...(as the song goes)

Last Light Canon EOS 1DS Mark III 350mm 1/20th sec f9 ISO 100

A few years ago I got involved with the Vermont Clean Water Network - a network of people and organizations interested in revitalizing and keeping the water of Vermont clean. The cause of a having a culture of clean water, in the Champlain Valley, attracted me and gives special purpose to my project of capturing the areas beauty.

A couple years ago, I joined forces with Trevien Stanger, after reading an article he wrote for the Burlington Free Press called Thinking like a Watershed, to produce a quality 'coffee table' book. The book will include inspirational writing and beautiful images. Trevien is an environmentalist, writer, poet, educator, and great enthusiast of life, I am fortunate to be working with him on this project.

I am happy to say we have moved the project along enough to have attracted a number of clean water experts that have written a piece for the book, and a publisher interested in publishing it. 

We now have to commit to a title. We are crystal clear in agreement about the main title - OUR BASIN OF RELATIONS. (we will have a fun black and white graphic of the Lake Champlain Basin on the cover) We are not yet in agreement on a sub-title. Since I have never intended for the images (you can view images at www.mesipe.com, under Lake Champlain Project) to be documentary in nature, it is a little tricky to integrate images and words to present the book as a unique combination of inspiration, education, motivation and image beauty appreciation.

Please give me your thoughts about a sub-title. I know that is hard, not having the piece of work to look at. In my view our audience are people who love the Champlain Valley, are proud to live in or visit Vermont, who want to view the beauty of the area, and people who are on board with keeping the water clean. 

Sub-title ideas suggested - to like or build on:

Seasons

Protecting what we Love

Honoring  what we Love

Creating a Culture of Clean Water

Honoring the Water

Thinking like a Watershed

Clean Water and a Culture of Care

Where our Lives Flow Together 

We are looking for input so we can further our discussions and make a decision. Please don't labor it - just a quick reaction is great. 

Thanks for your input

 

SCG - Simply Saying - Love

What am I tying to say with the principle-based, love-priorities process and SCG - Self-realizing, Connecting and Giving? I am simply suggesting a template to focus loving self and others. I am not suggesting personal values, but suggesting universal principles for which your personal values will fit.

Focusing our priorities on our passions and proclaimed purpose with SCG is key to loving. We all want to be loved - that is universal. Love can not be demanded. Love is not an entitlement. We don't receive real love by being victims. We can not control being loved. We can, however, control how we love. We receive love by giving love.

Sunrise Dingle Bay, Canon EOS 1DS Mark iii 70mm 1/250 sec f9 ISO 200

An important concept in the process is simplification. Like a fog in the bay, details don't distract. We focus on a center of interest (our passions and purpose) and the details come into play, gently, like sun burns off the fog. A focus on your top priorities - your passions and purpose, by relevant learning, serving, mentoring (the self-realizing activities), exploring, relating, playing (the connecting activities) and protecting, contributing, transferring (the giving activities) is an effective planning process to get the most from your resources of money, time and health!

Like with photography, using a good, easily doable,  process results in continuous improvement and your unique best results. I love it.... and I would love if it resonates with you.

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Images of 2017

I know you have been holding your breath waiting for my favorite 16 images of 2017!...No more pain...  Here they are: http://www.myscgpriorities.com/best-of-photography-2017. 

Amalfi, PhaseOne IQ 180 80mm 1/100 sec f12 ISO 35

My favorite image of the year is Blue and White, Positano. I've posted the image a few times already, so I am not going to post it here. That said, I must say - I can't get enough of Blue and White - I have printed it, large, as a  house warming present, for our new home on Wolf Lane.

2018 should be a great adventure. We get into our multi-generational home in March-April and the Photo studio should be done by June-July.

I am anxious for the studio to receive the next generation printer to 'go real big' - prints on canvas 40"x 80". 'Bigger is Better' has been my objective and I am finally prepared to do it right. I was going to use 'Bigger is Better' as a logo tag, until my professional photography son said it was tacky. Instead I am using 'Nature inspired imaging' - a little more classy, I guess, and clearly true, too.