Weekly Photo Challenge: A Gorge to Scale

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As we entered the Vintgar Gorge in Slovenia the temperature immediately dropped about 10 degrees, I could feel the cool air rising from the cold, rushing water before it bounced off the cool gorge walls and hit my skin. This gorge is only about 1.5 miles in length and is lined the entire way by a wooden boardwalk that crosses from side to side following the river all the way to a waterfall at the end of the gorge. The river is fed by runoff from the mountains and is intensely cold, and I’m from Minnesota so I’m used to cold water. It was hard for me to believe that this gorge existed; how was it made? Why is it so short? What has been it’s purpose?

I could have looked more into this, but when traveling I like to revel in the mystery that is Mother Nature. For this week’s Weekly Photo Challenge of Scale I chose this picture that my dad took of my sister and I walking through the gorge because I think that it really highlights the the height of the gorge walls contrasted with the slim boardwalk. The river itself was not that wide, but it was deep and moving quickly. You could easily see the bottom of the river as the water was clear and one of the deepest blues I have ever seen.

Is there anywhere you have been that made you feel small?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Depth

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The Daily Post has weekly photo challenges where bloggers can post about a specific topic. They can look at other people’s posts, give feedback, and hopefully start conversations with other bloggers. This week’s topic is Depth; The Daily Post says, “Whether visually or emotionally, this week let’s dig (or dive) deep.” I have chosen one of my favorite pictures I took while abroad in Venezuela for a semester.

One afternoon that I had off from classes I decided I was going to take my camera out in the neighborhood I was staying in and take some pictures. I was staying with a host family in the city of Mérida, Venezuela and hadn’t really had a chance to bring my good camera out. My expectations were low, I just wanted to get some good pictures that really showed the neighborhood and what life is like there; I knew my mother would be asking for every detail so I had to document appropriately.

Near this little internet cafe where two 10 year old boys were playing video games and eating ice cream, I stumbled upon this beautiful tree that had almost lost all of it’s orange flowers. The ground was scattered with petals and dead leaves, somehow it looked so majestic to me. I wanted to take a photo that really captured the essence of this tree. I started with the normal photographs, walking around the tree, taking pictures of certain branches, and whatever else looked cool. I wasn’t satisfied. I still felt like I was missing that one shot.

When in doubt, lay down and create a new perspective. I decided to lay down on the ground and started playing with my depth of field and really focusing on different petals and leaves. This particular photo is my favorite out of the bunch that I took. I’m sure I looked rather ridiculous with my large camera, laying on the ground in a small ‘park’ (it was a tree with two cement benches). Luckily, the 10 year old boys were too busy eating ice cream and killing each other in some crazy video game to notice me.

For me, this photo represents depth both visually and emotionally. You can clearly see the depth of field and the focus being on the middle petals and leaves with the foreground and background blurred.  It is hard to explain how this photograph makes me feel, on one hand I feel this emotion surrounded by the cycle of life and death. On the other hand, I feel this emotion related to beauty and how it can come in many different shapes in our life.

The petals and leaves have fallen to the ground, the leaves have died and the petals are dying. Yet, somehow, it is beautiful. I remember being struck by the beauty of the leaves on the ground, I remember feeling confused, and a little nostalgic. I wanted to preserve that moment in time forever; to sit on that bench, in that park, with that partially flower covered tree and feel the warm breeze on my skin. I wanted to preserve that moment between life and death, that beautiful moment before the cycle starts over again. So, I guess, they really aren’t two different feelings. They are the same emotion.

Depth