Thursday, January 7, 2010

Golden Opportunities

“Every moment is a golden one for him who has the vision to recognize it as such” ~Henry Miller

For me, photography is a small series of golden opportunities.

I miss many of them. I can tell you of many instances when a moment presents itself and immediately vanishes - long before I can find my camera, much less get the setting right and snap a shot. Sometimes it's a sight seen from the car, too close to the road to capture a shot as we speed by - long passed before the thought fully registers. Other times, a bird lights quickly and perfectly in front of me but is gone before my hand can reach to adjust the lens.

Those are lost golden opportunities which will always remain as my mental snapshots. Below are just few that I didn't miss. Please remember to click on each image to enlarge it.

"Early morning hath gold in its mouth." ~Benjamin Franklin
Proof that not all of our squirrels in Ontario are black.

"Gold’s father is dirt, yet it regards itself as noble." ~Yiddish Proverb
A winter Goldfinch a few months before its body is as golden-yellow as its throat.

"Gold gives an appearance of beauty even to ugliness." ~Nicholas Boileau
Those giant burrs which Benny had on his back a couple of posts earlier.

"Night’s darkness is the bag that bursts with the gold of the dawn. ~Rabindranath Tagore
A couple of geese basking in the last of the golden sunlight.

“I can see, and that is why I can be happy, in what you call the dark, but which to me is golden.” ~ Helen Keller
A light snow covering helps to light the park path at night.

"Stories are like fairy gold, the more you give away, the more you have." ~Anonymous Snowman
A whimsical winter decoration adorned my neighbour's table top on New Year's Eve.

"For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver." ~ Martin Luther
A bit of snow and nearby streetlamps help light up this tree. That blur in the foreground is Benny.

“And all is not golden that glitters, And not all that glitters is gold” ~Aloysius Charles Swinburne
Headlights, taillights and streetlights as seen through the back seat window on a rainy Christmas night.

"Water is best, but gold shines like fire blazing in the night, supreme of lordly wealth." ~Pindar
On our way to Christmas dinner. The rain-soaked streets provided some vibrant reflections of the street lights.


Steve Gravano said...

Great series, I specially like the burrs photo. I think that missed opportunities happen to photographers deliberately so we get to see more of the world from the other side of a camera. It allows us to see the bigger picture and ultimately makes us better at what we do...see things others miss.

Brian Miller said...

great pics...the burr and the boileau quote did it for me as well. maybe it just gives me hope. smiles. grabbing those golden opportunities...

Jinksy said...

Another beautiful collection of golden words and pictures; I loved the water birds' dawn best, I think, thought the wet lights through the back car window was amazing, too...Shows that something magical s never less than a blink away.

Anonymous said...

What are we bloggers going to do with you?!! You are always sharing your talent of creative photography at is best. You need to publish a photo collection album and make some big bucks!
Again, thanks for sharing. Have a great day! The Bach

Tabor said...

All of these photos are worth printing. Good eye. I so agree with Steve that we need to remember to view the world other than through our lense sometimes.

Hilary said...

I love the burrs.....nice shot.
Thank you so much for the mention in POTW. That is very nice.
Woke up at 5:55 this morning.....just thought you would like to know. :)

Sueann said...

Wonderful photos!! I especially like the lights through the rain-covered window! Beautiful!

Unknown said...

I miss so many photo opportunities, primarily because I don't carry my camera around with me. My bad.

The tree shot is superb; I have a tee fetish.

the Bag Lady said...

Hilary - you need to publish a book! You are such a talented photographer.

Dianne said...

I have many mental snapshots as well

I love the geese in the golden light
and the shot with blur Benny

your magical touch never wavers

Mental P Mama said...

Prophetic and beautiful. As always....

ellen abbott said...

I like the burs and the lone tree.

L. D. said...

You are taking some very impressive photos here. I admire your close views of the birds and squirrel. The special effects of the light on the tree works so well. It looks like you are cold up there also.

Frank Baron said...

Ah, some of your best stuff here. I knew that snowman shot would be a winner. I really like the tree with blurry Ben too. And the burr in the foreground puts me in mind of the man-eating plant in Little Shop of Horrors.

All are quite beautilicious, like the photographer. ;)

Susan said...

Lately I've been realizing that I've been letting so many golden opportunites get away. Not because I'm busy adjusting a lens, but because I've not been carrying around my camera. It's my one get back in the habit of taking pictures this year! Not that I have a smidgen of your talent or anything!

I think I love the snowy path the best, it just seems so serene.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos!! I love the tree, it looks very ominous! And that photo of the geese is spectacular! :) I'm grabbing opportunity by the collar these days, I don't want to miss anything!

Land of shimp said...

The picture of the lone tree made me shiver. I like that it is at once beautiful and oddly could also be seen to bode ill. It just looks like it has some sort of purpose.

I've been trying to think how to say this in way that would have impact. I think when we have a specific gift, we just assume it isn't anything extraordinary, or unremarkable. Just as a for instance, I have a very detailed memory, and can recall conversations from years before verbatim. It took me well into my adult life to realize that not everyone could do that. That it is, if not remarkable, at least it is unusual.

But your photography is beyond unusual, and into remarkable. Gifted photographers, and lord knows you are one, see the world in ways that astound me. I'm honestly in awe. It isn't the camera, the camera is just a tool to isolate and capture what the photographer sees.

You see things, beauty in things, that I would miss if it wasn't for you, and talented photographers like you. I'm so frequently well within the confines of my own head, I miss things, and even when I try to notice the visual world around me, I don't see it in the same way you do.

That's a gift, and I think a tremendous one. Honestly, I hope you understand that about yourself. You aren't just happily clicking away and putting up pictures, you are helping people see the world in a more beautiful way. It's beyond awesome, in the truest sense of the word.

Well, sorry to gush on here. I'm just always struck by that, Hilary, and by the other truly great photographers you link to. If it wasn't for you, and them, with this particular gift, I'd never see the world in quite this way.

Thank you, seriously.

Russell said...

Some really nice images.

I especially like the snow covered path illuminated at night -- along with the Helen Keller quote. The sky in the background really captures my attention - but the whole photograph is quite special.

The lamp post's glow contrasted with the snow really stands out. Really, really like that photograph. At first you think it is black and white, then you realize it is not.

I like the rain images, too, especially the second to the last one in this post -- but I will stop here as this is getting way too long!

Take care.

Mage said...

Thanks so much for stopping by my photo blog and leaving a note. It's become an exercise for me to post there regularly after ignoring much of last year. Now that I have graduated to 12 MP, my world has broadened. I have lots of art education but no photoshop education, so life is interesting.

Kat said...

Those outdoor nights shots are absolutely stunning! That tree!!!! WOW! What a moment.

I too have so many missed photos. Even if I walked around with my camera around my neck I'm sure I would still miss so many. I guess we have to be happy with mental pictures. ;)

LadyFi said...

Another golden post full of memorable photos and quotes!

Daryl said...

the tree with Benny in the foreground is my fav

When I get my new camera I am going to get someone to drive me around so I can get blurry but beautiful light shots

Oh and last nite as Rose stretched out on the back of the couch just at the perfect focal length from me I realized I needed my camera which I was sure was in my bag... I knew if I got up, so would Rose .. lost shot .. what made it even sadder? The camera was on the desk right next to me ... and I didnt realize it .. GAH

Maggie May said...

That squirrel! And that bird on the feeder.Brilliant.

Nuts in May

Anonymous said...

You have much to offer someone who is trying to become a better photographer. I understand that 1 picture is worth 1,000 words, but I always feel I need to explain what I saw in the picture. Your appropriate quotes do that. Nice thing for me to understand and learn. Blessings

Dawning Inspiration said...

oooh - that geese photo is cool! and I love the path one too... would be neat to be there!

Anonymous said...

I suspect you see many more golden opportunities than most of us, Hilary, because your eyes are always open to the beauty around you.

I love the golden light of winter afternoons. My eyes have been drinking it in daily.

Kelly H-Y said...

So, so true. You have an amazing eye for great shots!

Joanna Jenkins said...

You have such a great eye! Every one of these are fabulous!

Thanks for taking the time to share them with us.

Have a great day.

steviewren said...

The snowy night pictures are my favorite. They would be great in frames.

Sara said...

Wow. I love the ones you didn't miss. While my photography isn't even close to yours, I know the feeling of seeing that perfect shot and not being able to get the camera up fast enough or stable enough.

I just got a new camera for Christmas and I'm still struggling. I tend to want to just take what I call intuitive photos, meaning "point and shoot!"

This camera requires a bit more thought and I'm having to adjust. I may even have to read my manual:~) But the promise is there.

Thanks for sharing both the photos and the quotes...they were all well chosen:~)

Leah J. Utas said...

Magnificent use of rain.
Love the burr shot, too.

The Revolutionary said...

I love those photographs, but especially the one with the squirrel and the birds. Every time I try to get a close-up picture of a squirrel, they end up throwing acorns at me.

Karen said...

Hilary, those are wonderful! I love the night lit by the lights on the trees and snow. Also the burrs were amazing. Love'em.

SandyCarlson said...

All of these are just plain amazing. Looks like your not-black squirrel is saying his prayers.

Unspoken said...

sometimes you miss, but sometimes you catch it :)! Loved them as always.
Hope you will drop in.

Jen said...

I love these especially the burrs and the park at night, and the one through the car window, actually they are all really great.

Cheryl Kohan said...

Really beautiful photographs. And the quotes are perfect. I've always like what Eudora Welty once said..."A good snapshot stops a moment from running away." It's true.

Michael said...

LOVE the tree photo. In an oddly "thorny" way. Go figure!

MaggieGem said...

Love the snowman and rainy street! Your a natural!

Hilary said...

• Steve, thank you. I think you're absolutely right about that. A clever and true observation. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Brian, thanks. I'm glad you enjoyed the photo and quote. That pleases me. :)

• Jinsky, thank you so much for your kind words. I took so many shots of rain and then had to decide which one I liked best. While doing so, I thought it strange to be selecting one series of raindrops over others. Evidently though, I'm not the only one who liked them. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. :)

• Bach, thank you. Big bucks sounds pretty good to me. Thanks for the kind words. :)

• Tabor, thanks kindly. Believe it or not, I've not really printed any of my photos yet. At least not for framing and hanging. Yes, Steve has a wise perspective. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Hilary, my namesake, you're so welcome. It was my pleasure to include your wonderful post. And I so appreciate your kind words about mine. At 5:55, eh? I had you beat by one hour and eleven minutes (1:11) when I awoke at 4:44. I just didn't get up. ;) You're right - that does amuse me. :)

• Thanks kindly, SueAnn. I'm glad you liked it. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Jane, thank you. Yes you absolutely should be carrying your camera around with you. Tree fetish, eh? You might want to branch out some. ;)

• Thank you, Baggie. That's kind of you to say and very much appreciated. :)

• Dianne, I imagine you would indeed have an extensive mental slideshow. Thanks so much for your always-warm comments. :)

• Thanks very much, MPM. :)

• Ellen, I'm glad you do. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks kindly, Larry. Yes, it's been pretty cold up here alright. Thanks so much for your very kind words. Always happy to see you drop by. :)

• Frank, thank you. You just made my whole year.. so far! ;) As you know, that's one of my favourite trees in this park. It has so many personalities, doesn't it? And Benny is so often a blur - even to the naked eye. I see what you mean about the man-eating plant Too funny. :)

• Susan, that's a fine resolution. I can pretty much guarantee that you won't regret it either. You're right about the snowy path - it's a very serene walk - particularly at night. Thank so much for stopping by. :)

• Rain, thank you. I knew you'd love the tree! Those ominous branches look so warm and welcoming in summer. Its really a wonderful tree. It's wise of you to keep yourself open to opportunity. That way we don't miss anything either because you'll blog about it. ;) Thanks for the visit. :)

• Shimp, thank you very much. The tree sure has that look to it at night but during the day, it's a beauty with much warmth. Much like your kind comments. You're beautiful words certainly do have a huge impact on me. Yours and other folk's incredibly encouraging words mean more to me than I can express. You're right in questioning whether or not I recognize in myself what you so generously define as a gift. I do recognize that it's a process and that I'm learning that there are new ways to view all sorts of things. If that's a gift, I thank you for expressing that. If my photos help YOU to see the world around you differently, I'm extremely grateful to know that. That pleases me more than you know. Thanks so much for that, Shimp. :)

• Russell, thank you. I wondered if people might think that shot was black and white because it's almost but not quite devoid of colour. Thanks so much for always leaving such kind comments. Very much appreciated, my friend. :)

• Maggie, thanks for returning the visit. I hope you keep on enjoying your blog. :)

Hilary said...

• Thank you, Kat. Mental pictures are fine too. Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you liked the tree. :)

• LadyFi, thanks kindly. Much appreciated. :)

• Daryl, that sounds like a plan.. getting chauffeured around whilst snapping photos. I know what that missed Rose opportunity is like. Every now and then my camera is truly in the wrong place and I know I'll either be too disruptive or slow to catch a shot of something. But on the bright side, you'll always have Rose's perfect pose in your head. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Thanks kindly, Maggie. Very much appreciated. :)

• QMM, thank you so much for such kind words. I'm glad you're enjoying my photos like this. It pleases me very much. Thanks for that. :)

• SD, thanks. It is indeed neat to be here. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you, KC. You're very kind. That golden light is like a balm on these cold winter days, isn't it? Thanks for stopping by, my friend. :)

• Kelly, thank you so much for the kind words. :)

• Joanna, thanks very much. I'm glad you enjoyed them. :)

• Thank you, Stevie. I'll have to get busy printing some of my photos. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Sara, thank you. It's frustrating when you miss a potential shot, isn't it. I know what you mean about new cameras coming with a fairly steep learning curve. Such as it was and still is for me when Frank gave me the DSLR. I'm still debating the manual too. ;) Thanks for your very kind words. They're much appreciated. :)

• Leah thank you so much. I'm pleased that you like them. :)

• The Revolutionary, welcome and thanks for your kind words. See there's your problem. If squirrels are throwing acorns at you, you need to be shooting videos (of them.. not at them). ;) Thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll be back again soon. :)

• Karen, thank you. I'm so glad you enjoyed my photos. That makes me smile. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Sandy, it does indeed appear like that. Thanks for your always kind words, my friend. :)

• She Writes, welcome and thanks for stopping by with your kind comment. I will indeed drop by sometime soonish. :)

• Jen, thanks very kindly. I'm glad you enjoyed them. Much appreciated. :)

• CherylK, thank you very much. That's a perfect photography quote. It may just appear here on my blog one day. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Cabo, thanks. Somehow that just doesn't surprise me. I'm glad you liked it. :)

• MaggieGem, thanks very much. I'm glad you think so. :)

Anonymous said...

Absolutely fabulous shots - I never seem to get the right one. Patience!

ds said...

I so love your "opportunities." That snowman is very wise, indeed, but I can't choose a favorite: you turn a back window into fairyland, and geese into gold. Thank you. May you have many many more found opportunities this year!

Nancy said...

You are a brillant photographer. I love the soulful quotes to go along with photos. That squirrel framed by the leafless tree branches is amazing.

Zuzana said...

I can relate to your words. I love all your photographs always because you manage to capture those opportunities.
Today my favorite is the lonely tree. It is so significant of winter and late autumn.

BLOGitse said...

for supporting me in my struggle for achieving justice for my rights to my pictures. RESPECT!

cheshire wife said...

You have had some wonderful golden opportunities. Being observant is obviously one of your talents.

All the best for 2010.

Cricket said...

Hi Hilary - Been trying to get around more. I don't know how you and Suldog and others do it. I haven't had time since New Year's to write a word, nevermind read and comment. So many blogs, so little time.

Glad I stopped by, though. That shot of the geese is amazing. I own that exact snowman decoration. I never would have thought to take a picture of it. Somehow, I like it more now. Funny, that.

My wife is the photographer here. I sometimes tell her, after an event, that when the pictures come back she can find out if she had a good time.

Reb said...

Beautifully done Hilary. Love the snowman and the rainy reflections.

Meeko Fabulous said...

Hilary! You have such an eye for photography! I love this monochromatically themed post! :)

Unknown said...

Beautiful post. There is nothing better than stop from spinning and enjoy the present moment.

Anonymous :) said...

Never truer words and absolutely beautiful photos.

Unknown said...

Oh my! Your photos are breathtaking! I just stopped by from Joanna's to say hello and was totally blown away by your photography. Thanks for sharing.

SandyCarlson said...

I have to tell you, Hilary, those Canada geese make my day. they are beautiful and noble. Beautiful.

Clowncar said...

ooh, Henry Miller!

those geese rock. as do you.

and what bachelor said: you are good enough to attempt a book.

Pat - Arkansas said...

What a wonderful series of "golden opportunities." The quotes are marvelous accompaniments to the photographs, of which I greatly admire every single one, and I love, love, love, the tree! Thanks for sharing.

Lori said...

Oh Hilary I love these pictures! I'm glad that you captured them and shared them with us. Thanks! XX Lori

Midlife Roadtripper said...

I like the back seat window idea. Beautiful. As always, beautiful array of photos.

Deb said...

Good Chilly Morning ! It is difficult to choose just one favorite but I do like the wet, blurry ones through the car windows. I like that effect. And I just had a discussion with another blogger about how maybe it is okay if we don't capture every perfect shot with our cameras and we just sit back and enjoy with our mind's eye.

Hilary said...

• Eternally Distracted, thank you. Yes, patience is one part of the equation - luck is another. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thank you very kindly, DS. Your kind words mean a lot to me. I'm glad you like the images. :)

• Nancy, thank you very much. I have fun finding the quotes which work. It's always more time consuming than I anticipate so I'm pleased that you like them. Thank always for your supportive visits. :)

• Thanks so much, Protege, my friend. You always find the right words to make me smile. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Blogtise, I'm glad you got that issue resolved. :)

• Cheshire Wife, thanks very kindly for such sweet words. Very much appreciated. Happy 2010 to you and yours too. :)

• Cricket, I sure do understand the time restraints. When you do post, your words are so beautifully crafted and extensive. And there's so many blogs to read out there. I occasionally simply don't keep up. It's funny that you have that same snowman and I'm flattered that you like it more after seeing him photographed. He kept catching my eye at our friends' house on New Year's Eve and was begging to be photographed in the low-lit room. Your last line made me laugh. I hope you'll share some of your wife's photography sometime. Thanks so much for your kind words. They're very much appreciated. :)

• Thank you, Reb. Those were my personal favourites too. :)

• Meeko, thank you. I like the idea of maybe doing a few more monochromatic themes. I might just recycle a few older photos that way. Thanks for the idea! ;)

• Welcome, Christine. Your words are so true. Thanks for the visit. :)

• Welcome, Madison and thanks very much for the kind words. :)

• Welcome, Eva and thank you so much. It pleases me to know that you like my photos. And I'm so grateful to Joanna for sending you and others my way. Thanks for stopping by. I hope you'll be back again soon. :)

• Sandy, thank you kindly. You have no idea how many times your kind words make my day. :)

• Clowncar, thank you for the kind compliment. Very much appreciated. :)

• Pat! It's good to see you. I've missed your (well, you're kitty's) face around here. Thanks so much for your kind words. I'm glad you're back on the blogging scene. :)

• Lori, thank you. I'm glad to know you're smiling again. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs to you. :)

• MJ, thanks so much. I'm glad you like them. The rain can be fun to photograph. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Deb, it is chilly! Yes, you're so right - the mind's eye keeps those images with us at all times. More like a private viewing of a favourite movie. Thanks for the visit. :)

Anonymous said...

I was going to say...

but three or four people already said that.

Then I thought I would compliment you on...

but four or five people said that too.



Shrinky said...

Golden captured moments indeed - it's impossible to say which one I admire the most, they are all simply wonderful.

photowannabe said...

Your post is pure gold. Hilary, you make the simple things of life so beautiful. I always love seeing what you post each time.

Grayquill said...

My favorite: the barren tree lite up by the street light. It has a lonely, sad feeling.
Spring will come, it will come, it will come, it will....
Thanks as always.
I thought of posting some of my pics on my blog just ot terrorize you but then why would I want to cause one who is becoming a friend such pain - I guess a part of me is just plain evil.

G said...

What stunning photographs... I'm so glad you share them with us. I know the business of the missed photo opportunity. But you seem to get so many excellent ones anyway.

Country Girl said...

Oh, Hilary. I didn't see this post until just now, and your photos and captions just blew me away. The one of the park at night is just so wonderful! Have a beautiful Sunday, my friend.

Hilary said...

• Hello, Abe and thank you for all the things you almost said. :)

• Thanks kindly, Shrinky. Much appreciated. :)

• Thanks so much, Sue. I'm glad you enjoy my posts. :)

• Thanks very much, Grayquill. That tree is pretty stunning in all seasons, No doubt it will be revisited in other seasons, and you'll see for yourself. I quite like the idea of you terrorizing-by-photography and I'd love to see some appear on you blog. Thanks for stopping by. :)

• Thanks very kindly, BPG. It pleases me that you think so. It seems to me that you miss very few yourself. :)

• Thank you so much, Kate. I'm always happy to read your kind words. Thanks for stopping by and have a great day your own self. :)

Unknown said...

You catch so many magical moments. I love the ones you do capture. Brilliant.

lime said...

i like those burrs. there is something about the dried out growth in the winter light that catches my eye.

Hilary said...

• LWK, thank you so much. Your very kind words are much appreciated. :)

• Lime, I know what you mean. They're rough and grungy and keep their form through the roughest of weather. And they look great when snow-covered and very silly on a dog's back. ;) Thanks for the visit.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Oh wow. Fantabulous.

Hilary said...

Thanks very much, IBHH. :)