Lunacy

We all knew, years in advance, that this day was coming. Our attention spans are short, so we only really started preparing – with the glasses and the filters and our lunch plans – earlier this summer.

So we took the kids, the grandparents, our fellow students, our co-workers, and we all went outside for a bit this afternoon. Novelty glasses in hand, we looked up, and we saw our sky change.

We watched young and old, rich and poor, conservative and liberal, natural born and immigrant go out into the fading sunlight and watch and wonder. See how the light changes? See how the shadows shift their shape? See that funny cardboard contraption the astronomy students are wearing on their heads?

See how everyone, regardless of background, came outside and shared an experience?

Astronomers have our solar system down pat. They know where the sun and moon and Earth will be in relation to each other from now until Rapture. Barring an unexpected astroid, the future is predictable, thanks to models and observation.

We Americans think we know better. Sure, we show up at an appointed time expecting a celestial show. But when it does happen, we don’t think that makes the scientific method any more reliable. We question and we “fake news” everything, still, even when the heavens dance around us, as predicted.

It’s lunacy.

We rarely get the larger message – in plain view there in the sky, in front of our own filtered eyes – just as we rarely think about eclipses a decade down the road.

We don’t have to “believe” in the eclipse; it happens with or without us. We don’t get that message, either.


Honest Intent

World We Used to Know

Great bit from Peter Dareth Evans:

Point being, don’t just leave it to photographers and film-makers – you can find inspiration anywhere. The more you take from that well of inspiration, the more you shoot what pleases and moves you in that odd little way, then the more your work begins to acquire a character and coherency of its own.

Absorb and adapt. Keep reading, keep looking, keep making it your own.


Sliding Out of Summer

It’s been a perfect summer, weather-wise. We had a week or two where the temperatures reached into the 90s, but mostly it’s been high 70s to mid 80s. Late May, all summer long? I’ll take it.

That means we’ve spent a lot of time outside, playing in our new yard, planting our new garden, walking up and down our new street. We have great neighbors. We love our new neighborhood.

There are parts of me that miss living out in the country. My commute is not nearly as fun, photographically and spiritually, as it used to be. It’s all intersections and highway these days. I miss the quiet, and the trees. But then an airplane flies over our house every few hours, and the kids look up to watch it pass overhead, and it becomes one of those neat little things that make the new home so fun.

This summer I’ve worked steadily on the new portrait project. I photograph the kids as they play around the yard. But there haven’t been any photographic adventures – not like there used to be. There are only so many hours in the day, and photography’s slice of the pie is getting smaller and smaller.

That’s okay. My camera’s always ready when I need it to be. Like these late summer evenings when I can’t resist heading out to the front porch and watching the sun set.


Jubilee

The Hot Air Jubilee is one of Jackson’s big annual events. Photos of hot air balloons are all over the Chamber of Commerce’s promotional materials, and for good reason: thousands of people head to Ella Sharp Park each July to watch the liftoffs.

For me, it never gets old. There’s magic in these giant sacks of hot air slowly inflating, and then leaving the ground, heading to Oz – or the outskirts of the county. It’s not just the balloons, either. The Hot Air Jubilee is like a small county fair, with junk food and rides and games of chance.

Tons of local photographers fight for the chance to get inside the launch grounds. I’ve been there, but it’s just as fun to sit on the sidelines and watch the show as a spectator.

These Never Never Land moments are rare, indeed.