Grounded

December 8, 2017

BW photograph of several frosty leaves laying upon the ground.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Symbolic Interactionism is the one of four main Sociological theories to which I most subscribe.  The words used, and, more importantly, the meanings given to those words, are often at the base of the manner by which Conflict Theory explains societal issues-a prime example of this is the concern over whether or not the Pope was going to specifically use “Rohingya” when talking with Myanmar officials during a recent visit.  Without words, societies would not be able to perform as described by Functionalism.  Finally,  the meanings of existing words, not to mention the development and inclusion of new words, indicate change as per Post-Modern Theory.

BW photograph of a bird's nest laying upon the ground.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

“Grounded” is the word for this day-here is the Oxford Living Dictionary definition.  The examples provided give a well-rounded view of its use.  Indeed, people most probably first encounter this word upon the violation of some parental dictate.  To those, I would like to add:  “A result of the effects of gravity”.

BW photograph of a nut case laying upon the gound.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

BW photograph of a nut laying upon the ground.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Were it not for gravity, the objects included here would have either remained attached to their host tree, or, once detached, would have floated off into the atmosphere.  As gravity is such an elemental force, these objects ended up “grounded”.

Take care.

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Coffee

December 1, 2017

 

BW photograph of a strongly-lit coffee cup.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Yes, the availability of good coffee, preferably at an independently owned shop, is very much a key to the walkability of a place.

Coffee is an integral part of global history and culture, and therefore very much open to a sociological view.  One of the major sociological theories is Symbolic Interactionism, which essentially argues that societies attach meaning to words and concepts-and it is the interpretation of those meanings that is critical to understanding a given group.  With that in mind, this is an anecdote from a wander in Los Angeles:  Every now and then when walking, I order a decaf, sugar-free, skim milk, vanilla latte.  Given that it is somewhat frightening when I hear myself make that order, I usually just get regular decaf coffee.  However, on that particular occasion, I went with the latte.

In keeping with the attachment of meaning to words, having ordered the latte described above, the barista said “We call that a ‘why bother?'”.

Take care.

Walkability

November 14, 2017

BW photograph of the exterior wall of a church in Shepardstown, WVa.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

“Walkabout” is a term for which dictionaries have variations on the definition, but involves the movement of the indigenous peoples of Australia.  It is a term modified here a bit to become “walkability”, which is used to describe the characteristics of an area with regard to the enjoyment one can have when wandering throughout.  If one is going to use that term, then s/he can define those characteristics.

BW photograph of the clock on the Shepard College campus.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Shepherdstown, WVa. is a place that ranks very high on my walkability list.

BW photograph of large rocks in Shepardstown, WVa.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The photographs included here essentially demarcate the entrance, center, and point of exit for the main portion of the town.  I had not been to Shepherdstown for a bit over a year, and so it was nice to be back on such a pleasant day.  In that time, several stores had closed and been replaced by new businesses.  A few favourites remained, thank goodness, which meant that the walkability has remained unchanged.

Take care.

Shinrin Yoku

March 26, 2017

BW photograph of trees against an overcast sky.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

At the beginning of the first chapter of her new book The Nature Fix, Florence Williams introduces and discusses the Japanese concept of shinrin yoku, or “forest bathing”.  Essentially, this is a deeply immersive experience of being in the woods.  Ms. Williams includes a review of Japan’s work ethic, which makes taking time for forest bathing more than just a pleasant experience.

Yesterday was sunny and nearly 80 degrees-early this morning it was 44 degrees, overcast, and quite damp.  Much, much chillier and monochromatic.  Nonetheless, it was good to take the time to practice forest bathing.  The last post referenced Maryland’s parks-the photographs included here are from Morgan Run, the source of many other photos throughout the years and a favourite place to visit.  Prior to reading that part of Ms. Williams’ book, I was unaware of the term shinrin yoku, however, the concept and benefit was very familiar-it easily translates to American culture.  Part of what makes this such a deeply satisfying experience is the opportunity to turn-off the inner chatter and outer technology, which includes figuring out exposures/compositions and putting the cameras away; sitting quietly upon the rocks; being still; and focusing on the individual sensory experiences:

BW photograph of the water running at Morgan Run.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Close the eyes and listen to the water run.

BW photograph of the water running at Morgan Run.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Cover the ears and watch the water run.

BW photograph of trees against an overcast sky.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Do both and turn into the wind to feel the air move over the skin.

BW photograph of a single boulder mid-stream.

Copyright 2017 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Sit upon the rocks and experience the damp and cool invade the body.

This is one of the best ways to truly feel alive and at peace.

Take care.

BW photograph of a lost glove laying on a brick sidewalk.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

These two seemingly matched gloves were found about one-half mile apart on two different days.

BW photograph of a lost glove laying on a cobblestone street.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Most likely, though, these came from different pairs, as there are many samples of this type of glove lying around the various construction sites in Fells Point.  Visually, given the manner in which they were found, that is, as photographed, it is not possible to tell right from left, although the bottom glove is probably for the right hand.  The background is what sets them apart:  the first is on a herringbone-patterned brick sidewalk; the second is on a cobblestone street.  Otherwise, they are of the same colour, texture, and overall design.  It makes you wonder what happened to the mate(s).

If they were indeed from a single pair, what story could you tell about these two lost gloves?

Take care.

The End

March 7, 2016

BW photograph of a sidewalk that ends in a strip of grass.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Think of all the metaphors for the above photograph.

In 1967, The Doors released their eponymous first album, which contained a song entitled “The End”.  While it is quite haunting and dramatic, if you are unfamiliar with the work, please just know that some may find the lyrics offensive, if not disturbing.  Perhaps that is why Francis Ford Coppola used it as the soundtrack for the introductory scenes of Apocalypse Now.  It is interesting that a song entitled “The End” opens a movie.  Given the narrative that follows, one could argue that it is quite fitting.

BW photograph of a pair of rusty channel lock pliers laying in the grass.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

And so here we are:  the end of winter (it was 63 degrees today, but that happened earlier this year, so one is advised to not get too excited about that…yet); the coming of the end of Daylight Savings Time (if you are in a part of the world with that practice); and most certainly…

BW photograph of silhouetted trees at twilight.

Copyright 2016 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

the end of the day.

Take care.

Which Way to Go?

October 23, 2015

BW photograph of a black metal rail and some stairs on the side of a building

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

This photograph represents all that I find pleasurable about BW photography-it contains the full range of tones from black, through the greys, to white.  The direct sunlight coming from camera right is responsible for the crisply defined, dark shadows and the very bright, white doors and covered windows.  It is that same combination of shadow and highlight that so readily defines the texture of the wall and stairs as well.  It is because of those factors that I had made the decision to convert this image to BW even before the shutter was pressed.

BW photograph of a solitary metal fork lying in the road

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Speaking of choices, Yogi Berra, may he rest in peace, once said “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.”  This particular fork may still be laying there…

Take care.