Replied to A Monday Morning Moment by Morning %namejansenphoto (Dutch goes the Photo!)

I’m neither a morning person nor a true night owl, although there is something about the quiet of the morning before everything is stirring, that is very attractive to me; it allows for that meditative time, when all that surrounds us can be breathed in.

Frank, I am definitely a morning person. My energy levels are the highest at dawn and the lowest at sunset. If I could organize my day around my schedule, I would accomplish everything important to my day before noon at (starting at 7 AM) and prepare to shut down mentally by 3 PM. But I do enjoy the moments of solitude on the weekends when I can focus on my photography and some of the personal tech projects I am working on.

I have been this way for as long as I can remember. I am

Yesterday after lunch, I found myself standing in the parking lot soaking in the sunshine, while staring at the water feature, and listening to the birds call to each other from the trees. It was a moment of zen and at that moment I regretted that I could not have more time to enjoy it.

Morning

My vision for the morning keyword challenge was to use one of two concepts, Komorebi and Shinrinyoku.

“Komorebi” refers to the sunlight that filters through the leaves of trees.

Shinrinyoku” is a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. For relaxation, practitioners go deep into the woods where everything is silent and peaceful.

Those were the two concepts I had in mind for the weekly challenge. I also envisioned a fog among the trees that would make that filtered light look a certain way. In my vision, the photo would evoke a mild spring fog among the trees of the Sourland Mountain with early morning sunlight shining on a single spot on the forest floor.

In my mind, I envisioned something like this. The photograph below is by Tomasz Przywecki captured in Trzebiez, West Pomeranian, Poland.

Morning 26677223962 89bdfd28e9 h

But instead I captured an image of light falling on the trees in my backyard. Not inspiring.

In many ways, this photo is a compound failure. I failed to get out of bed early. Normally, I am a morning person. Weekdays my alarm goes off at 6 AM. On the weekends I sleep in, waking around 6:30 AM. Unless I am tired. My son is a senior in high school and starting college this fall. He was accepted into the Honors College at Rutgers University. Yesterday, we toured two of the fours campuses. I was tired last night. I did not get up for the sunrise at 6:30 AM.

One of the challenges of outdoor photography is being at the mercy of nature. We had a nice foggy morning one day this week. In the middle of the week. Is there such a thing as a fog forecast? Had I known about that fog, I might have been able to get up early for some photography. But … it was overcast that day, so there would be no light filtering through the trees. Just fog.

I live on a slightly hilly area in a valley beneath the Sourland Mountain Range. Most of my sunrises and sunsets are through the tops of the trees. But there is one place I could have gone this morning; Carnegie Lake.

On a fall morning two years ago, I looked out the kitchen window and saw a light fog hanging over the area. I can’t see the lake from my home but I imagined what scene might be unfolding.

It was a work day. I quickly assembled my diabetes kit, took a bolus of insulin for my liquid breakfast of Soylent, packed my TimBuk2 messenger bag, grabbed my iPhone 6 and Nikon D5100 and headed out the door. The tripod was already in the car.

Driving along Blue Spring Road I noticed some colour in the sky. A sort of reddish-orange. I headed toward the Princeton side of Carnegie Lake, expecting to capture images of the fog over the lake. But as I pulled off Route 27 into the parking area I knew I had something special. I mounted the iPhone 6 on the tripod and set about capturing some images.

After a few long exposure shots of just the lake, I tried something new. I put myself in the image. I don’t normally put myself into my scenes. With a shutter speed of 60 seconds, I knew I had to stand very still to reduce motion blur and ghosting.

Morning Sunrise at Carnegie Lake iPhone 20151105 1710 1
Sixty Seconds
  iPhone  @ 4.15mm  , ISO 32  , 60s  , ƒ/2.2  on 5 November, 2015  Copyright © 2015 Khürt Williams  Location 40° 21.9862′ 0″ N 74° 37.5718′ 0″ W 

As I stood there counting down the seconds I forgot about the photography. The camera had long ago captured the scene. I stood still. Not moving. Just enjoying the scene before me. It was just me and the lake and the sun. I could hear the sound of the lake water lapping against the lake shore. I listened to the early morning birds call out to each other across the water.

Sixty seconds.

Created by photographer Frank Jansen, the Tuesday Photo Challenge is a weekly theme-based challenge for photographers of all kinds to share both new and old photography. This week’s theme is morning.

I am offering prints of my landscape images for sale. I will be personally taking care of fulfilling these orders via my print provider, CanvasPop. CanvasPop uses the best quality canvas: a matte textured, 20.5 mil bright white, consistent poly-cotton blend. The quality canvas prints are designed to last over 100 years without fading. CanvasPop finishes every canvas print with a protective scratch-resistant UV laminate to make sure the print stays sharp for life.

Each print arrives ready to hang out of the box and includes everything you need to hang the print, including gallery-strength piano wire and protective rubber bumpers.

This is one of the first prints I shall be offering. Your purchase of a print will help me continue to improve my craft. Once you click the link, you will be taken to the CanvasPop web where you can see print size and pricing options.

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… any number of photography blogs will tell you to not focus on the gear and that it’s the photographer that makes the difference. Yes, that’s strictly true, but that’s where it stops. Here’s another way of looking at it: how often do you go on a foodie website thinking about pots and pans? What you do think about is meal planning. Is it for a dinner party? Is it for a romantic dinner for two? Is it for a family dinner on a weekday? Do you go with a 5 course French meal for your guests? Do you want to impress your date with paella, with an bottle of tempranillo? Or is it a shellfish fra diavolo to add a little kick to a quiet night in with the spouse, after dropping off the kids at their grandparents? Are you interested in smoking some ribs?

The purpose of the meal is determined first, followed by finding the recipe, ingredients, and tools. This goes without saying for other crafts. In photography, it still seems to be driven by technology as a primary consideration; we usually don’t think in terms of aligning our tools to the effect we want.Dr. Man Ching Cheung

60 Seconds at Carnegie Lake …

  iPhone  @ 4.15mm  , ISO 32  , 60s  , ƒ/2.2  by Khürt L. Williams  on 5 November, 2015 

A few weeks ago, when I looked out the window and saw the light fog hanging over the area, I knew I needed to hurry. I quickly assembled my diabetes kit, bolus for my liquid breakfast of Soylent, packed my TimBuk2 messenger bag, grabbed my iPhone 6 and Nikon D5100 and headed out the door. The tripod was already in the car.

Driving along Blue Spring Road I noticed that the colour start to appear in the sky. A sort of reddish-orange. I headed toward Carnegie Lake intending to capture images of the fog over the lake. But as I pulled into the parking area I knew I had to do something else. I mounted the iPhone 6 on the tripod and set about capturing some images.

After a few long exposure shots of the lake with Slow Shutter Cam I tried something new. I put myself in the image. I have only done this one time before. I knew I had to stand still to reduce ghosting since I set the shutter speed to 60 seconds.

But as I stood there counting down the second I forgot about the image. The camera had long ago captured the image but still I stood there. Not moving. Just enjoying the scene before me. The air was crisp. For 60 seconds, no cars passed by on Route 27. For 60 seconds I could hear the sound of the lake water lapping against its bank. For 60 seconds I could hear the birds call out to each other across the lake.

60 seconds.