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For aince it’s toomed my hert and brain, the thistle needs maun fa’ again.
For aince it’s toomed my hert and brain, the thistle needs maun fa’ again.

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Self Portrait In A Crowd (Advanced Editing VII)
Collection: Lost in the Forest of Who I Am
Camera: Canon EOS-40D
Lens: Canon FL 55mm f/1.2
Location: Kittatinny Valley State Park, NJ
Date: Feb 16, 2013
Aperture: 1.2
ISO: 200
Shutter: 8000
Date Uploaded: Feb 19, 2013

my assistant took the shot. severe crop. calculations to b/w, overlay on red and green channels.

for the PDF version of the photo essay, with words, click here:

Lost in the Forest of Who I Am

Place: 23 out of 26
Avg (all users): 4.4286
Avg (commenters): 7.8333
Avg (participants): 5.8889
Avg (non-participants): 4.2533
Views since voting: 881
Views during voting: 429
Votes: 168
Comments: 31
Favorites: 1 (view)

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01/08/2015 06:59:40 PM
You certainly are a lost wandering charmer ;) I like the tension between your realising the feelings and emotions of what was, the reconstructed, and the eternal sense of bewilderment of what is the now, coming to a compromise realisation that you have been here all the time. Home as an elusive end that drives the now, helped and hindered by the romantically reminisced past. I'm glad you used the same scenes and reconstructed the story, something I feel I do a bit as well.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/07/2015 02:48:08 PM
Thanks, posthumous

...lost in the forest of who we all once were…

A direction without a path,
the end indistinguishable from the beginning.

We saw a bird on a branch,
a bird on the shadow of a branch,
a painting covered with branches and shadows.

But the lonely, unlost thing, so well defined, missing

Lost in the forest of who we all once were…

but the sparkling flowers, the dancing leaves, the lonely dawn walk, the silent shadows, the fuzzy skys….

We know, We finally are here.

Thanks, posthumous
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/04/2015 10:34:02 AM
PH, a bit long but nice
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/03/2015 02:53:10 PM
It swooped around me. Just when I felt I was looking in the right direction, you disappeared, and then came up behind me, passed me by with a sort of chuckle. Or maybe I disappeared, and found myself approaching you, or where you'd been moments before, afresh.

I never quite felt oriented. But there were lines of force crackling all around, though not very loud. Just loud enough.

Henry's right, about the pact between the pictures and the words. I felt like you were teasing, in places, but you often have that will o' the wisp quality.

I did not follow everything. But I don't think I was meant to follow. I don't think that's what you wanted. It was more like a hall of mirrors (slightly ugly characterisation, sorry), with a different Don in every mirror.

Your reaction to your own pictures is very like your reaction to PH Award pictures, brevity and pith. A sort of distillation.

There were some beautiful allusions though; stand alone sparklers. The energy of the mystery ... Lost but comfortable, et al. Parts even greater than their sum, perhaps.

And, "This is what it looks like from my brain, someone is running toward me like he is trying to become me."

But the most beautiful of all was, "the calamity hardly seen, a volcano that fits in your hands has ruptured, has surrendered what's inside of it,"

An essay wrapped in the spirit of its subject. A philosophical onomatopoeia.
Thank you.

ETA I forgot to say, the pictures are more lovely for the words. No surprise there, but I mention it for the wretched souls who insist that a picture needs no words, nor even title.

Message edited by author 2015-01-04 02:02:19.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/01/2015 11:48:47 PM
Don, I have gone through you essay twice and really enjoyed it. The last line "...though all the time I’m here" brought everything home.

I can't really critique the content of your essay because poetry, with actual words, is something I know little about. Music lyrics are about the extent of my knowledge. What I did see was some strong relationships between your images and the associated verse. I was rather critical of your first attempt at this essay. It's a remarkable transformation and I'm glad you were inclined to rework it. Well done and congratulations!

Message edited by author 2015-01-02 09:41:17.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
12/31/2014 10:55:14 PM
Don, your photographs are wonderful on their own but now that you have added your poetry I am left gobsmacked. I have been through this lovely illustrated poetry essay a few times and I will have to revisit it after spending some time thinking about it.

Also, I like the way you have set your essay up. If it's not too much trouble before the February essay would you mind posting how you did that? Thank you.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/11/2014 03:19:26 PM
I'm seeing in the images that you're a complicated person...
I'm seeing in the images that you're a complicated person...
I'm seeing in the images that you're a complicated person...

And you just like greenery..

Jokes aside.

It was hard work going through the set. Not so much because of the number of images, but because of your elusiveness. But do not despair, you did come shining through in the end. Thanks.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/06/2014 07:54:36 PM
Something akin to a modern Don Quixote, like Ignatius J Reilly, to further Paul's line of thinking (and take from Wikipedia's description of A Confederacy of Dunces). You allow us to wander your forest freely looking firstly for your meanings and then become immersed in looking for that of our own. We all should get drunk and look at your thistle for "Higgledy-piggledy in’t we reel, And little it cares hoo we may feel."
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/03/2014 08:17:41 PM
Mariuca, thanks for the information. I don't navigate around this way very often as you can tell. Don, ignore my advice... I still think another format would display your work better though.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/03/2014 08:09:23 PM
Originally posted by insteps:

Because many of these are challenge entries it's difficult to navigate. When I click "next image" I get another persons photograph.

Henry, don't look at the top left corner of the screen but at the second rectangle. Under Don's portfolio there is the entire forest and it's the easiest thing to go forward or backward.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/03/2014 07:41:27 PM
Many interesting photographs that require a longer look. I do like your images in groups so the photo essay is a natural fit.

Because many of these are challenge entries it's difficult to navigate. When I click "next image" I get another persons photograph. So the process of moving from picture to picture get in the way of your story. The only solution I can come up with is to load a second copy of each image to your portfolio so they are not tied to a challenge. Although this might help, it still wouldn't do your work justice. I really want to see your photographs along side poetry on a webpage where you have more control over format and presentation.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/03/2014 03:10:16 PM
I don't know what to say. It seems like you're viewing yourself with a certain amount of Guinness-enhanced bravura, and I wonder if you shouldn't have been born as a sozzled Irishman instead of a gentleman Yankee. I think it's splendid to be so self-aware, and yet so apparently insecure at the same time. It teases out very attractive threads of consciousness that stay well knotted for most of the rest of us. Some of these pictures are quite brilliant, and some are clunkers when viewed in the unflattering light of the morning after. But for a modern iteration of Mr Leopold Bloom, that hardly matters ... he's described as a man of appetites, and this collection speaks of appetites, I reckon. But I give you only 50% as Leopold Bloom, and the other 50% is Ignatius J Reilly. These photographs as individual mug shots don't automatically implicate Bloom nor Reilly, but taken together as an essay they make the two fabulous identities jostle for pole position in your visual autobiography. I've stolen a picture (by Joyce himself) of Leopold Bloom for you. Ignatius we will leave aside, at the mercy of the caprices of his pesky valve.
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  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/03/2014 12:24:32 PM
Don, it's easy to get lost in your forest where you get tangled also.
You might want to give us a clue, perhaps versified, perhaps in rearranging this deck of cards in quatrains or by the number of heart beats or trochees?
I do not like to point to my favorites; actually when I walked for the third time into this forest I found them in earlier comments.

I think that this first photograph as a starting point is just glorious. I did not see it before since I found that I never looked or voted in that challenge. Same for other shots (shots in the dark or taken directly into the light)
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Oh, here I go again walking the tightrope!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/03/2014 09:57:49 AM
....lost in the forest of who I am....

Sigh.... I'm lost in navigating....

Message edited by author 2014-11-03 10:09:59.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
11/02/2014 11:10:14 AM
Don, there are lot of images in your photo essay and I noticed that I haven't looked at some of them earlier. Of the ones I had seen earlier, looking at them in the context of a challenge topic, I confess there was quite a big difference between the scores. Partially that is due to the evolution of the voters taste :) One thing I notice however, that as a collection of images they work much better than as stand alone pieces. Thanks for sharing and doing what you do.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/05/2013 04:25:11 AM
Greetings from the CC (that's Critique Club to the uninitiated)

Sooooo I had to Google the title and found MacDiarmid's "Drunk Man"....I must confess, couldn't understand a word, so let's take the picture on it's own merits :)

I find as I look longer that I enjoy the crop/comp, I think the b&w conversion is well done. My favorite part, I think, is the in focus plants in the foreground. It looks like the character in the b/g is looking right at them.

I probably don't have to tell you but my guess is the placing from the voters came from the fact that they don't consider plants a "crowd". I would have to admit that I feel much the same but I think the technical merits of the shot overshadow that.

Congrats on a contrarian gem. :)
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/04/2013 07:51:03 PM
Wow. So many layers
  Photographer found comment helpful.
03/01/2013 02:05:56 AM
Well then ...... Thanks.

  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/28/2013 12:10:48 PM
This felt like graduation day.
A seven from me.
The spacing of light and dark is ideal.
And for the most part it is just a two-toned image which really adds to the draw.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2013 08:05:57 PM
"Fain hain the licht o' my desire" EH?????????? I want to be licht. ....or fain hain...not sure which one. Sounds so.......raw..... LOL. Tell your wife I'm not hitting on you I just like to rag on the photog next to me when I make the bottom three. I am entirely content and sure of my own lichtedness. (with Jeb ' o li ciousness........) hit post while I'm still drinking..........................
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2013 03:52:31 PM
Great collection of comments.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2013 12:52:02 AM
You are fortunate to have an assistant who will help you take shots like this. :)

I liked it. Love the thistle.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/27/2013 12:36:46 AM
most beguiling.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
02/26/2013 11:48:17 PM
A curious soul.

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  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/26/2013 07:28:57 PM
Poet in the thistle. Lovely
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/26/2013 07:23:05 AM
Very nice Dof
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/24/2013 07:49:21 PM
Robbie Burns would love the title: but it doesn't look like Scottish Thistle to me...
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/24/2013 05:37:41 PM
Found again, I wish they would leave me alone in my solitude..
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2013 09:45:28 PM
I am enthralled with this photo. Just fantastic. I think as far as crowds go, a crowd of thistles is not quite what is meant by the challenge. However, if you are a drunk Scottsman, perhaps that just doesn't matter. Just doesn't matter.
This is so cool and what a crazy title.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/22/2013 12:53:14 PM
beautiful prose and love the picture.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
02/20/2013 04:48:52 PM
So... I'm missing the Self Portrait part of this, although I see the person.

So... maybe I'm missing the "crowd" part of this...

I think I'm daft.

(commenting only)
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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