Eternal Childhood: Looking Forward, Looking Back

Another iPhone creation for the Eternal Childhood series. Looking into the past for its own promises, fulfilled–or maybe not quite fulfilled–can be an endless process, an endless regress that may not reveal any new wisdom–and we might miss the promise right in front of us, smaller at the moment, but glowing brightly, ready to lead on.

Looking forward, looking back

Yesterday’s Unplanned Trip to the Cemetery

What made me stop the car was seeing this juxtaposition:

A fire hydrant.
And just behind–flowers to honor and remember the dead.

Are they not both there to “save” something?


I’ve loved cemeteries for the last several years, finding them not spooky and macabre but peaceful and full of gentle but hopeful reminders of our finite life as human beings. Cemeteries remind me not (just) of death but of a life that is beyond our ultimate control everyday–nonetheless, it is one that is beautiful and still full of meaning and love, no matter how imperfect.

Yesterday was a very windy day and the flag at this headstone had gotten caught in itself. Nevertheless, it still flew like a sail, very beautifully.


The wind had knocked this wreath face down, but not the story behind it nor the intended interruption of death by the presence of remembrance in life.


Even our stone monuments to the dead crack, break, and fall when given enough time. But strangely, to me the brokenness gives a different type–a more interesting–beauty than the smoothness of the original headstones. Or it can. And no amount of breaking of tombstones will shatter a family’s memory of the past–and the largest, shiniest, newest headstone cannot ensure it.


The flowers here have blown to one side, contrasting with the (unshown) side where they are perfectly straight in their vase. I tend to think of life like this–we plan everything perfectly and then something comes along and knocks our plans to one side.

Sometimes we find we like it better that way.


Eternal Childhood: Phases


A recent iPhone creation, using one of the photos I took last Sunday at Jones Bridge Park in Norcross, Georgia. It’s a part of a new series, Eternal Childhood, which explores the magic of childhood–a magic than can exist in every moment, even for adults.

“Resolve to be always beginning—to be a beginner!” –Rainer Maria Rilke

Kids. Water. Joy.

Jones Bridge Park on a Sunday (yesterday) afternoon–full of kids exploring cold water and playing with abandon.

Jones Bridge Park 1-- April-12-2015

Jones Bridge Park 2-April-12-2015

Jones Bridge Park 3-April-12-2015

Jones Bridge Park 4-April-12-2015

Jones Bridge Park 5-April-12-2015

Jones Bridge Park 6-April-12-2015

Jones Bridge Park 7-April-12-2015

What Flow Sometimes Feels Like



When you’re in flow, the spirit expands and the world becomes magically filled with possibilities.

Playing or singing music is perhaps one of the most universal ways to enter flow. I don’t sing anymore, but whenever I’m taking photos, I almost always feel in flow. Ditto for the postproduction process. Perhaps that’s why I’m so addicted to mobile photography–the means for flow is always right there with me. “Expansion” was taken and processed in an iPhone 5s.

A Little Fun with my iPhone on a Wet, Foggy Day


There was a beautiful fog when I stepped outside work today. I love fog (see here and here). I will stop on the side of the road if needed in order to get a shot. Fortunately, I didn’t have to do that today.* The field behind the Y–right across the street–was beckoning with oh-so-many possibilities.

I shot in black and white with MPro, but when I came home I couldn’t resist playing around. I’m searching for a formula for a certain type of sepia and I haven’t found it yet. I’ll be patient. I’ve only recently started mixing different filters from different apps to find the perfect one. Today I played with the photos in Snapseed and Stackables apps. I didn’t get it today, but I definitely had fun trying. The collage was made with Moldiv.

*Does stopping by the library to get a picture of the water tower count?

Phoneography Challenge: Nature. Tropical Storm Karen and the Cornfields

I hadn’t planned to participate in the Phoneography challenge this week, but as I was driving home today the remnants of Tropical Storm Karen drifting over harvested cornfields was too tempting not to try and capture.

Fields:Tropical Storm Karen 7 October 2013 photo 2

Field/Remains Tropical Storm Karen October 7 2013 photo 1

The Latest Creative Thresholds

Photography, flash fiction, experimental writing, critique, and iPad drawings: the latest Creative Thresholds.

Go behind the scenes of photographer J. Christopher Matyjasik’s latest project: dixie’s s-bahn.

photo 7 christopher matyjasik

See the continuation of Daniel Boscaljon’s and my collaboration in confession: the nature of my crime.

not the last time no by Melissa D. Johnston

Read our new columnist Christopher Hutchinson’s look at Rashid Johnson’s work in Postcolonial Thoughts: Afrofuturist Rashid Johnson’s Message To Our Folks.

Napalm by Rashid Johnson

Hang with Rachel Troutman as she sketches her iPad drawings in Sofa Drawings.

Rachel Troutman Revlon Still Life

Check out Maria Protopapadaki-Smith’s mysterious flash piece Dreamhealer.

Field Four (for video) by Melissa D. Johnston

Creative Thresholds looks forward to your visit!

iPhoneography Monday: Black and White (in a Fog)

phoneography challenge wordpress croppedA couple of weeks ago I played hooky from all my early morning responsibilities by taking my iPhone out for a leisurely (and beautiful) walk in the fog. I posted a couple of the photos from that day in What I Did Instead….. What I’d forgotten is how many photos I’d taken with Camera + that I’d not moved to my camera roll. I discovered them last Wednesday when I’d stopped to take a photo of a rainbow on my way home from work and opened the app.

I probably would’ve left the photos a bit longer had I not learned about iPhoneography Monday at the end of last week and thought they’d be perfect for the black and white challenge this week. I took a few, processed them in Dramatic Black & White, and added frames (frame: Shadow II) in Photo Toaster.

These were shot in color and processed into black and white. When I first picked up a camera, a photographer friend, whose monochrome photography I adore, told me that all he ever did was shoot in color. He learned how to see a color scene in terms of the possibilities of black and white. (As a young photographer, he actually started by shooting in black and white–film–but came to enjoy the challenge of shooting in color for black and white.) For the most part, that’s what I do with all my cameras.  But I’m beginning to dabble in shooting with various monochrome camera apps , especially MPro. I plan to post some of those explorations as well. Do you have a favorite app you use for black and white mobile photography?

Foggy Day C+ set September 2013 photo 1Foggy Day C+ set Sept 2013 photo5Foggy Day C+ set Sept 2013 photo 3Foggy Day C+ set Sept 2013 photo 2Foggy Day C+ set Sept 2013 photo 4