Weekly Photo Challenge: One

Posted December 24, 2013 by Alicja Mann
Categories: Feelings, Opinions, Photo essays, Photo stories, Photography, Thoughts

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Loneliness of ONE or power of ONE?

Actually, feelings of power and loneliness are tied together. Any powerful and magnetic personality in politics like Nelson Mandela or Vaclav Havel could attest to that, and so would persons involved in visual arts, writing, composing, or performing. Actually, we all experience such feelings at one time or another.

Red color is usually associated with power while blue with sadness, but really we live all colors of the rainbow and in a variety of their shades.

Here is my selection of “ONE” for the photo challenge of this week, which happens to be Christmas week.

I wish you peaceful Holidays in whatever color they happen to be for you – Alicja

Road sign reading Population 1

Population ONE

Blue Peacock

Proud Blue One

Trombone player alone

Necessity for ONE

Truck with picture of huge bear

ONE bear on the road

Lonely dove waiting

Waiting ONE

One red bass lying on the floor

Red ONE

Blue Shadow of the author

Blue ONE

P.S. Three years ago I wrote in this blog the post “Blue Days of December” and perhaps some of you would like to read it: https://alicjamann.wordpress.com/2010/12/17/blue-days-of-december/

Again, my best wishes for this Holiday Season!

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Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

Weekly Photo Challenge: Grand

Posted December 12, 2013 by Alicja Mann
Categories: Celebrations, Events, Feelings, Kudos, Memories, Photo essays, Photo stories, Photography, Places, Thoughts

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Silver Bridge at the bottom of the Grand Canyon

There are many grand things, events, and people that I have encountered in my life, but the day of hiking the Grand Canyon down and up with my Canadian friend several years ago stands out. It was awesome to be able to face that ancient and grand creation of nature and at the same time to feel our minuteness in contrast with that rocky giant. I took this photo on Silver Bridge over the Colorado River – at the bottom of the Canyon, facing the lengthy journey (9.5 miles = 15.3 km) up the Bright Angel Trail to reach the top before the inevitable arrival of darkness.

I wrote about that hike in my post Footprints Left Behind  https://alicjamann.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/footprints-left-behind/

Potrait of Nelson Mandela

A similar feeling of awe and humbleness enveloped me last week when we faced the departure of Nelson Mandela – his strength, vision, perseverance, and political skills were not only grand, but super GRAND and will continue to inspire others for many years to come. I am happy to cherish memories of encountering that man during his visit to Boston in 1990 – soon after his release from prison. Even though I was a minute spot in the huge crowd of others who gathered at the Hatch Shell to honor Mandela, I will never forget that grand day.

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Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

Weekly Photo Challenge: Unexpected

Posted November 26, 2013 by Alicja Mann
Categories: Celebrations, Events, Feelings, Photo essays, Photo stories, Photography

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I am running out of time this week for my blog writing, but not for writing a thankful note to my readers. Readers that I know and readers that I do not know, and for the very faithful ones who make comments regularly.

I am truly grateful for your presence in my life.

Thanksgiving flowers in a vase

THANK YOU, GRACIAS, MERCI, DANKE, ARIGATO and, in my native tongue, DZIEKUJE!

This year Thanksgiving falls on the same day as Jewish Hanukkah. Supposedly such convergence will not happen again for about 80,000 years. How this was calculated beats me, but one thing is sure – I will not be around for the next time! So we will celebrate this year the combination of both important holidays -THANKSGIVUKKAH! Somebody came up with this tongue twisting new word – cute enough to name some babies born at this time of this year, I suspect.

Something unexpected and amusing happened this morning. A daily blog written by my artist friend (painter) GC Myers (gcmyers.com/)  arrived as usual in my mailbox – thank you GC! It included Thanksgivukkah Anthem, a humorous musical creation by the Jewish singing a capella group Six13, that I am delighted to share with you.

Photo of a computer screen with the image of Six13 singing group

Please, please, click on this link and have a lot of ha ha’s with your family and friends.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=yaFUcQZSvoE

Have a very joyful Thanksgivukkah Day!

From Tucson with Love – Alicja

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Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

Weekly Photo Challenge: Layers

Posted November 21, 2013 by Alicja Mann
Categories: Memories, Opinions, Photo essays, Photo stories, Photography, Places, Thoughts, Travels

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Commonly the word layers is associated with layers of rocks or bricks, layers of sweet tasty cake, or layers of clothes – especially now when cold days are on our horizon. However, there are several meanings of this word. Here is one of them: layer – “a hen kept for egg production.”

Chicken in their coop

Here are my photos of “layers of layers” traveling or rather being transported to their new destination – perhaps to lay more eggs or…perhaps not.

Layers of white containers with chickens (layers)

Chicken in theirs containers being transported on a red truck

During one of my visits in Amsterdam (several years ago) I was stunned and mesmerized by colorful layers of bicycles waiting patiently for their riders in specially designated places – right in the heart of that big European city.

Layers of parked bicycles in special designated multi level place in center of Amsterdam

Many European cities are bicycle-friendly. Amsterdam is in fact super friendly. Consequently, the Dutch can eat their layered cakes without feeling guilty or fearful of gaining weight. Our cities should be full of bicycle-envy and follow Amsterdam’s path.

More bicycles in Amsterdam

 

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Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

Weekly Photo Challenge: Habit

Posted November 13, 2013 by Alicja Mann
Categories: Arizona, Feelings, Photo essays, Photo stories, Photography, Places, Thoughts

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There is a natural readiness in us to label our habits as bad or good ones. They are also difficult to photograph. For instance, my good habit of religiously wearing a seatbelt while driving is not very photogenic, nor is my bad habit of misplacing sunglasses and frantically searching for them – a few moments before leaving home.

My custom of drinking wine on the patio at sunset I consider a very pleasant and definitely photogenic habit.

Patio on the end of the day.Glass of wine on the patio's table

Ever since we built our large, sunny patio that connects and embraces the house, my studio and a beautiful mesquite tree, we have had the custom, an end-of-the-day routine, to sit on the patio and enjoy the last warm rays of sun. The fact that the sun goes down right behind my studio is a nice coincidence for me. I welcome that soft announcement of the end of the day and, perhaps, the end of my work…. A glass of wine is a must!

closeup of the glass of wine and image of the studio

I offer a toast to the gentle, late warmth of Tucson’s sun, since most of the day that very same sun is hot and harsh – even in the middle of November.

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Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

Weekly Photo Challenge: Horizon

Posted October 31, 2013 by Alicja Mann
Categories: Feelings, Photo essays, Photo stories, Photography, Places, Thoughts

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This photo challenge arrived at a perfect moment for me. Being absent for three months from these pages, I was having a hard time to get back to them. Why? Many doubts, many worries, lack of time. So I welcomed “the horizon challenge” photographically and, even more so, metaphorically.

The boundary between earth and sky, as the horizon is usually defined, is easy to visualize. The synonyms of horizon – range, perspective, limit, scope, reach – are also familiar. My favorite is “a field of vision.”

Here is a photo that I took this past September while visiting Cape Cod.

Two birds and the horizon

The minute I noticed these birds’ synchronized sitting, I knew that I had to capture the moment! I was afraid that they would fly away the minute I touched my camera. This time I was lucky – they did not! I was even able to take a couple more pictures of them.

One bird with the dark horizon

The field of vision differs greatly for each bird. For this one, it is a dark field.

Another bird with the bright horizon

And for this bird, it is a very bright field – almost blinding.

The same horizon, different fields of vision! This is also how we, people, perceive our horizons, our vistas, or our dreams…very differently!

The darkness arriving with the night or heavy dark clouds covering the sky affect greatly our visions, our perspectives. And that’s what has happened to me recently. The huge dark cloud of grief and disappointment engulfed me and blocked my vista.

For birds dark clouds will be blown away by strong winds. For us, people, that seldom happens. So I know that it is I who has to move that dark cloud away– inch by inch– till the horizon appears again, clear and crisp….

Sea horizon with a dark cloud over it

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Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann

Weekly Photo Challenge: Masterpiece

Posted August 1, 2013 by Alicja Mann
Categories: Photo essays, Photo stories, Photography, Places, Thoughts, Travels

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seaweed and sand interesting image # 1

This masterpiece was created by ocean waves challenging the sand and weeds on the beach. I was enchanted by such “paintings” during my walks on Solana Beach, California, this past June.

Seaweed and sand interesting image #2

And here is another one!  The sand of Solana Beach is characteristically gray in comparison to the light beige of other sands I know on Cape Cod and Florida. It is that wide range of grayness that makes these images from Solana Beach so strong and unique. Their beauty and temporariness evoked my desire to make them a bit more permanent – with my photographic lens.

Little Flower Girl playing in the beach sand

Children love to play with sand on the beach, regardless what are the circumstances. I took this photo a few years ago while watching a formal wedding ceremony on Silver Beach (Cape Cod). This little Flower Girl just had to play with sand the minute her work of throwing petals was done!

Children seem to recognize instinctively the hidden beauty of seemingly ordinary things. Fortunately some adults do too.”Every grain of sand is a jewel waiting to be discovered,” according to Dr. Gary Greenberg of Hawaii who combines his knowledge of science and art of photography with amazing results. Thanks to my friend Valerie, who introduced me to Greenberg’s photography, I can share it with you.

See awesome masterpieces of nature under our feet!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M2_eKX9iVME

http://www.sandgrains.com/

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Text and photos copyright © 2013 by Alicja Mann


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