III. Holons And Hierarchy

This is the 3rd in a series of postings on whole systems thinking. A holon is a discrete, living system composed of sub-systems, and is itself a sub-system of larger whole systems—simultaneously a whole and a part. The word isn’t one you’re likely to use or even hear, but because it points to the nestedness […]

VI. Depth Of Field

This is the 6th posting in the series, “The Aesthetic Dimensions.” The first, posted January 6, 2019, explains the series and deals with “Abstraction.” To follow the series, go to davidlsmithcontemplativephotography.com and click “Follow” (bottom right corner of the Home page). The postings will show up in your mailbox on Sunday mornings. To find other […]

Phase Transition

For me, every element of this image provides opportunity to reflect. The color alone evokes the sensibility of winter, the time of year when, for many of us, the often overcast sky tends to dampen the desire for activity. The lines where snow meets ice meets water recall phase transitions: changes of state, chapters in […]

Continuity

It’s not unusual to see vegetation sprouting through cracks in the pavement, but these little plants were growing in mud alongside a railroad track that had been thoroughly covered with oil. They speak to me of the resilience and continuity of life. In this instance, seeds from dying plants sunk into the mud and were overlaid with […]

Legacy

  PLEASE NOTE: MY EMAIL ADDRESS HAS CHANGED TO: smithdl@fuse.net What do we leave behind? Does it matter? These are questions that comes to mind as I contemplate this image. Without any pretense or intention, a bird left behind not only a feather, but also the potential for a human being’s aesthetic enjoyment and growth—and […]

Symmetry

  According to Nobel laureate Phil Anderson, “It is only slightly overstating the case to say that physics is the study of symmetry.” The word “symmetry” comes from the Greek, synnetria, meaning “Agreement in dimensions, due proportion, arrangement.” I’ve chosen this theme for contemplation because, somewhere along the line, having gotten into the habit of […]

Vibration And Form

  Energy is vibration. It’s largely invisible, but when energy takes a form it’s always geometrical, prescribed by the fundamental laws of physics including gravity and the three Laws of Thermodynamics: 1. Conservation of Energy: Energy cannot be created or destroyed, just changed. 2. Entropy: Matter dissipates; disintegrates. Entropy either stays the same or gets […]

Potential

  Do you see the beautiful woman bathing at the foot of a waterfall? This isn’t a trick. It’s there. Do you see the elephant? There’s also the Empire State Building, a giant anaconda, the art collection at the Louvrè, my entire photographic collection and that of the Library of Congress. While it’s not a […]

The Flowering Of Our Humanity

  Color texture and geometry combine here to elicit an immediate visceral response—a Wow!— whether from a potential pollinator or a human observer. It’s the energy of attraction. But from where does it originate? From the flower itself? From the image of the flower? From the colors and the arrangement of elements? Likely all of […]