This is a short note intended mainly to provide a link to the slides (about 5 MB, Adobe pdf) I used for a talk I gave on June 20 to the Churchville Photo Club in Pennsylvania.
My presentation used selected images and portfolios to illustrate (and give at least some credence to the sincerity of) my ongoing journey toward self-discovery as shaped by physics, tao, and photography.
I'd like to thank the club's president, Felix Gomes, and Vice President, Marty Golin, for their kind invite and hospitality; and all the attendees who endured not just the 2+ hours worth of (what must surely have been less than completely intelligible) "babble-speak" about the philosophical dimensions of fine-art photography, but did so in a non air conditioned room that barely shielded all those enclosed within from the 90+ deg(F) heat and 90% humidity outside. (By the time I finished, I felt - and looked - as though I had just escaped from an unsupervised sauna set to an inhuman "Danger: lethally hot and humid" setting!).
But while the conditions were far from ideal, the venue itself - nestled within a wonderful nature center about an hours' drive from Philadelphia - could not have been more idyllic. My 12 yo son, an avid naturalist, and I arrived about an hour early, and had an opportunity to walk the grounds and just revel in the quiet gentle ambiance of the center. We both promised to return here for some quality time whenever the opportunity for such a trip next arises: he, to just explore and look for insects and frogs; his dad to train his "other eye" on the beauty of the park (I was sans camera gear for this entire trip, and felt, as all photographers do, considerably less than whole).
Later that evening, and after my talk (that I was happily surprised to see my son sit through in its entirety; this was the first time my son had heard me speak on photography - his take: "Not bad, dad." I'll take it ;-), he and I shared a magical moment of shared bonding, punctuated by a few hugs and a hint of a tear or two on our cheeks. And this experience had nothing at all to do with my talk!
After many handshakes, discussions, and chats with people as we all made our way to our cars - I should mention that my talk ended fairly late, way after sunset - the last car except ours finally left, and my son and I turned to our own car parked in a corner. At this point, it was essentially pitch black, with but an insignificant light some distance away. As our eyes adjusted to the dark...
...we both froze in our tracks; jaws dropped. An otherwordly event was unfolding before our eyes. I briefly entertained the scary thought that I must be having a seizure! There, in front of us - to the sides; all around us - were more fire flies than my son and I have likely seen in all our combined years on this planet! Clusters and clusters of hundreds upon hundreds of fireflies; flying, spiraling, blinking, flashing, and - collectively - putting on a dazzling fourth-of-July-like display that would put to shame (as my son later described) any fourth-of-July show that we'd ever seen.
My son and I just sat in revery on the grass, not speaking, not thinking; mindlessly - dare I say Tao or Zen-like? - absorbed in one of nature's wondrous dances. After 20 minutes or so, my son turned to me to give a hug, and said, "Dad, I'll never, ever forgot this day!" (And neither will his dad :-)