Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Sunday, November 11th, 8:45 A.M.

a fallen leaf on Webster Street
Click on photo to enlarge - © 2007 jim otterstrom
Ten days ago I found myself walking down Webster Street in Alameda, California, where this leaf happened to be lying on the sidewalk near an iron planter-grate.
I noticed how the morning light glorified the rather ordinary scene, so I laid down on the concrete trying to capture the moment.
It occurred to me that there was a police cruiser in the neighborhood, and that I very much resembled the homeless guys waiting for the liquor store on the corner to open, and that it might not be in my best interest to be horizontal on the sidewalk at that particular moment, but I took the picture anyway and continued on my walk without incident or interrogation.
I had just been talking with those homeless fellows, both disabled Viet Nam Veterans, and contributed a couple of bucks to their delinquency, hoping they might buy some food with it. But more likely it went for a bottle, which, if it brings some temporary comfort to their shattered lives, is OK with me. Who am I to judge? I suppose most people are somewhat fearful of desperate characters like that, but I'm more wary of those who command the police cruisers.
For me, the photograph can be a metaphor for fallen lives and bygone times. A complex leaf, once integral to a thriving community of leaves feeding a tree, is now just so much colorful refuse deposited along a hardened urban streetscape, compost for tomorrow's world.
By the way, I still haven't had time to finish the posts on my recent train trip or the acorn processing class, but they're in the works.
Anyhow, I thought I'd share a quick photo this morning to keep the blog from sitting empty.

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5 Comments:

Blogger arcolaura said...

That is glorious.

Happy Thanksgiving, Jim and Peggy!

I have a question for you on my blog, but it can wait till after the holiday.

8:27 PM  
Blogger Alan said...

Fantastic color Jim. Sandra wanted you to take a look at her portfolio when you get a chance, seems you two have alot in common when it comes to photos.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/a__s/

Freinds in Fawnskin

6:36 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Hi Laura-

I visited your blog yesterday and read your 'Mindful Milking' post. I was working on my comment when I was interrupted by a phone call.

Then right before we went to bed I found your comment here. I'll get back with you soon on this, probably after dinner or in the morning.

Happy Thanksgiving...

12:07 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Hey Alan!

Good to see you here man!

I went and looked at Sandra's portfolio (all 29 pages) and she really is a talented photographer.

I love her perspective where she uses strongly designed elements in the foreground with wide-angle shots, the flower pictures are stunning, and I really liked the black & whites, especially the one of the desert with the phone sign in the foreground.

So much good stuff that I'll be going back many times to steal ideas. She obviously has a professional grade camera, my guess is a digital SLR of some sort.

And, perhaps you're right! Sandra and I may have something in common in the ways we graphically or compositionally interpret what we see (the boat dock comes to mind). Many of her photos really do hit home with my eye.

And WOW! You guys get around dontcha, the good life indeed...

I understand we're losing you and was sorry to hear that. Peggy has enjoyed working with you.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to the both of you and thanks for sharing the pictures, I can always use inspiration...

8:13 PM  
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7:12 PM  

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