Category Archives: Celtic

Enter November | Regaining Your Soul in the Change

The quiet of November. The cold of night slowly releasing to the remaining warmth of the day. Morning mist filling the valleys. Frost-covered leaves and bare branches silhouetting the oranges and purples of early sunsets. There’s a calmness to November; an ease of being, a peaceful disposition before the arrival of winter.

November has always been a welcome respite; that quiet and beautiful month of transition. It is an opportunity to return to my photographic roots among the towering Hemlocks of Hocking Hills and along prairie trails in twilight.

There’s a soft and slightly melancholy feel to the early nightfalls and horizons set to hues between orange and pink and migrating flocks overhead. I welcome the change and I’ve learned not to dread the arrival winter for it is in all the seasons and the in-between months when we are reminded that life is in a constant state of change. The soul was never designed to be a stationary object but flows with tides and the waxing and waning of the Moon.

Change is to be embraced. It’s good. It’s necessary. It’s how we grow. What remains consistent is the energy of love and grace that stays with all the winds of change. Let us all be fully and completely present in all that change brings us and during the calm beauty of November to stop and be grateful for all we’ve be blessed with in our lives.

The Super Moon of November 14 2016 rising above the woods in Sugarcreek MetroPark near Dayton Ohio by Jim Crotty
The Super Moon of November 14 2016 rising above the woods in Sugarcreek MetroPark near Dayton Ohio by Jim Crotty
Dusk in November from Sugarcreek MetroPark near Dayton Ohio by Jim Crotty
Dusk in November from Sugarcreek MetroPark near Dayton Ohio by Jim Crotty
The Super Moon of November 13 2016 rising above the woods in Sugarcreek MetroPark near Dayton Ohio by Jim Crotty
The Super Moon of November 13 2016 rising above the woods in Sugarcreek MetroPark near Dayton Ohio by Jim Crotty
Late fall evening in Conkle's Hollow State Nature Preserve Ohio by Jim Crotty
Late fall evening in Conkle’s Hollow State Nature Preserve Ohio by Jim Crotty
Early November sunset along the Bridle Trail in Hocking Hills State Park Ohio by Jim Crotty
Early November sunset along the Bridle Trail in Hocking Hills State Park Ohio by Jim Crotty
Misty morning in November near Bellbrook Ohio by Jim Crotty
Misty morning in November near Bellbrook Ohio by Jim Crotty
Misty morning in November near Bellbrook Ohio by Jim Crotty
Misty morning in November near Bellbrook Ohio by Jim Crotty
Misty morning in November near Bellbrook Ohio by Jim Crotty
Misty morning in November near Bellbrook Ohio by Jim Crotty
Misty morning in November near Bellbrook Ohio by Jim Crotty
Misty morning in November near Bellbrook Ohio by Jim Crotty
Misty morning in November near Bellbrook Ohio by Jim Crotty
Misty morning in November near Bellbrook Ohio by Jim Crotty

In the Turning of the Season | The Amazingness of September on the Ohio Landscape

In the openings, from day to dusk and summer to autumn, is where hope connects to answered prayers. The light comes through from setting sun to evening star. Night falls and in the valley below, two Great Horned Owls call to find each other. A whispered “thank you” for all that has happened in the last few weeks. The amazingness of it all can at times leave the mind spinning while the heart smiles in pure joy.

The following series of images were captured at sunset and dusk from my farm property – “Raptor Ridge” – in Beavercreek Township, Ohio on the evening of September 14 2013.

Sunset September 14 2013 Raptor Ridge by Jim Crotty 1 Sunset September 14 2013 Raptor Ridge by Jim Crotty 2 Sunset September 14 2013 Raptor Ridge by Jim Crotty 3 Sunset September 14 2013 Raptor Ridge by Jim Crotty 4 Sunset September 14 2013 Raptor Ridge by Jim Crotty 5Sunset September 14 2013 Raptor Ridge by Jim Crotty 6  Sunset September 14 2013 Raptor Ridge by Jim Crotty 7 Sunset September 14 2013 Raptor Ridge by Jim Crotty 8 Sunset September 14 2013 Raptor Ridge by Jim Crotty 9 Sunset September 14 2013 Raptor Ridge by Jim Crotty 11 Sunset September 14 2013 Raptor Ridge by Jim Crotty 10

Spirituality Always Breaks Through | Paul Simon’s Search for God

The Rabbit Room — Paul Simon’s Search for God.

The Rabbit Room has become my favorite blog for both artistic and spiritual inspiration. Yes, it’s Christian-based.

It blows me away how in just about every art form and with every artist spirituality eventually always breaks through in one form and way or the other.

Funny how that happens.

I gave up long ago trying to hide the fact that spirituality plays a major role in how and what I photograph. As evident in the comments made by Paul Simon in the video and Russ Ramsey in the blog article, the art mirrors so much of what is taking place within the artist. The earthly expression of the soul is indeed the spirit of faith. One rises upon the other. The interpretation becomes the interconnection of light, feeling and experience and is most obvious in those works – whether visual, written or musical – that move both artist and audience outside of themselves. The initial pause of transcendence may only be a mere moment but the desire for that feeling and the memory of that moment is timeless.

The spirit and soul of the artist lives and breathes in the eternal truth of his or her best work. Love poured-out through an open lens or at the tip of a paintbrush or end of pen is part of a heart that takes flight and can never be retrieved.

My photography is my art and my art is feeling set free. With creating art and capturing images my heart rises on the energy of a purposefulness far beyond just daily necessity and survival. What is sent out through artistic expression is almost always followed by the quiet realization of ‘yes, this is what I was meant to do’ and peace arrives.

I am blessed. I am thankful.

Thank you Paul Simon and Russ Ramsey.

“The art informs the world but turns back to you, continuing to inform you, bring you pleasure, and inspiring your ‘eyes to see and ears to hear.”

 

 

 

The Unrelenting Truth | Why I Return to Beauty, again and again

Inspired by Sarah Clarkson’s Beauty Never Lies | Thoroughly Alive

This is why I linger in those moments and places where I became completely lost in the light and the scene. The photographs that were the result of something happening beyond just simply going through the mechanical operation of camera and lens. Every artist has those moments and places burned and etched in their very being. Everything else falls away and the spirit rises to the surface in response to something beyond  . . . something eternal . . . something true.

 

Fall 2010 in Ohio | From a Nature Photography Point of View

I’m still trying to get a handle on autumn 2010, from the viewpoint of a nature photographer in Ohio. There’s been areas of good color, but overall it’s been just “okay.” The biggest disappointment comes from the fact that conditions have been so dry. In fact southern Ohio has not experienced any significant periods of rainfall since early summer. This is the time of year that I enjoy photographing the flowing streams and waterfalls in Hocking Hills State Park. During a recent visit earlier this month I didn’t even bother to get down into Cedar Falls or Old Man’s Cave. The area needs at least two to three days of saturating rainfall before the water starts flowing again.

I also look for cool, rainy days as providing the best light for capturing fall color. The reds, golds and purples are more saturated in wet weather. Instead this year we’ve experienced unusually warm, dry, windy weather. Just not the best for nature and landscape photography.

The upside has been some very colorful sunrises and sunsets, and when the air goes still and cool at nightfall we are blessed with an almost purple hue on the edges of the horizon. Every season here in Ohio is unique and different, from year to year, and as a close follower of the patterns and cycles of light and nature I’ve learned to appreciate the distinct “personality” of each. Where’s there a downside there is always a positive, and it’s the job of the nature artist to recognize and accentuate the gifts of each day and the wonderful opportunity to actively engage light and subject.

Find Your Fall | Much More Than Just Color In The Trees

Seasonal Symbolism – Avia Venefica. Avia’s article on the meaning of the seasons brought to mind what moves me to photograph nature and landscape subjects with a bit more enthusiasm and excitement during the transitional seasons of fall and spring. In the change of the seasons experienced externally comes also an inward shift for the artist. Avia describes with a high degree of intuitiveness on how seasons exist both internally and externally.

The light comes calling and the creative spirit responds. For me, as a photographer and an artist, autumn has always been much more than just color in the trees. As the sun slips southward balance is regained – at least momentarily – between day and night. Lengthening shadows return to the landscape and air and sky clear for brilliant sunrises and sunsets.

I’m fortunate to live in a place where there are four very distinct seasons. The cycle of life and light through each has established much of the internal rhythm that either pulls me outward or inward with the desire to capture and create with my camera.

I see so many photographers and other artists respond to this cycle of seasons and it always seems that it’s this time of year – autumn in October – that generates the most interest and excitement. To the casual observer the reason must be simple and obvious – the beautiful display of color on the hillsides and in the woodlands. But for the serious nature photographer it is much more. It’s the quality of the light and the texture of old wood at sunrise. The crisp outline of veins in freshly fallen leaves and the ethereal mist that moves through the hollow on cool morning air. The clarity and color of a falling sun slipping between clouds and a westward hilltop and the deep shadows cast by the rising harvest moon. The final dance of light on the landscape before the arrival of winter’s solitude.

More often than not autumn’s true beauty is found in the details – the often overlooked – presented before the photographer only when something more than just his or her eyes is finally opened.

The overwhelming need of the artist photographer to outwardly place him or herself in that seasonal dance, from the place felt within, is inherent to the mystery of the creative process.

In my photography of the autumn landscape I strive to go beyond the “pretty postcard” shot of a hillside covered in red, gold and purple. Sure, I continue to capture those types of images, but almost always it’s what I wasn’t looking for on a fall outing through nature and landscape that becomes the photograph that forges the strongest connected between spirit, artist and viewer. What I discover on the autumn landscape, and how I decide to photograph it, has just as much to do with my internal seasons of fall, winter, spring and summer. Love lost, peace gained, darkness made light and memory that lingers.

Fall Texture 1 by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty
Fall Texture 1 by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty

Ohio November Sky by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty
Ohio November Sky by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty

October Stream by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty
October Stream by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty

Cedar Falls Waterfall by Jim Crotty
Cedar Falls Waterfall by Jim Crotty

Fall Texture 2 by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty
Fall Texture 2 by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty

3V1200SunsetSkybyJimCrottyFW by Jim Crotty
3V1200SunsetSkybyJimCrottyFW by Jim Crotty

November Moon by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty
November Moon by Jim Crotty by Jim Crotty

jcro_3V598UpperFallsatOldMansCavebyJimCrottyFW by Jim Crotty
jcro_3V598UpperFallsatOldMansCavebyJimCrottyFW by Jim Crotty

3H045NovemberNightfallbyJimCrottyhighres by Jim Crotty
3H045NovemberNightfallbyJimCrottyhighres by Jim Crotty

1H89highres by Jim Crotty
1H89highres by Jim Crotty

October Sunrise in Hocking Hills by Jim Crotty 5 by Jim Crotty
October Sunrise in Hocking Hills by Jim Crotty 5 by Jim Crotty