Benches Seats Chairs

Project Athena - Day 245 (Benches, Seats, Chairs)

Afternoon Jog

Hard to believe there was several inches of snow on the ground earlier this week and today was 70 degrees. It felt great to get outdoors along with every other cabin fevered Coloradan and enjoy some sunshine and wind. I went to this location, Jack Christiansen Track on the CSU campus, to shoot the stadium benches but couldn't resist this runner's bench. Enjoy.

Bench at Jack Christiansen Track, Fort Collins

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 55mm • F/29 • 1/20s • ISO 400

Project Athena - Day 244 (Benches, Seats, Chairs)

Charred Remains

I shot this picture several years ago while out on a land healing ceremony. This particular parcel of land had been ravaged by a forest fire that burned the house and all other structures to the ground. This chair and table remained in the exact place they stood as the blazing fire devoured everything in its path.

Charred Chair and Table Remain Standing After Forest Fire

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 55-200mm lens • 65mm • F/6.3 • 1/160s • ISO 400

Project Athena - Day 243 (Benches, Seats, Chairs)

World Traveler Returns from Russia

Alas, this world traveler has returned from Moscow with good news that a new peace treaty between the Ukraine and Russia may be possible once Russia gets everything they want including more land, oil, and subjects. Mr. Cabbage Patch refused to comment on whether or not he believes Putin is suffering from Asperger’s syndrome but noted that the Russian Dictator...oops....President, couldn't remember how to sing "Imagine" in English and seemed to drift off someplace far, far away, like Chernobyl, whenever the negotiations were not going his way.

Mr. Cabbage Patch was pleased with what he called his "much needed successful comeback" as a negotiator, subtly referring to his unpopularity in the mid 1980's in toy stores around the U.S. When asked if he felt a Nobel Peace Prize might be in his future, he simply looked upward to the stars and stuck out his front tooth.

World Traveler Cabbage Patch Doll Chills on a Bench After Lengthy Trip

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 24mm • F/4 • 1/30s • ISO 400

Project Athena - Day 242 (Benches, Seats, Chairs)

Seat Cushions

Are we having fun yet? Feels like today is a good day to pull up a chair and talk about Project Athena. Ok, it will be me talking amongst myselves and you listening in.

Sometimes I feel like I am walking a razor's edge as a creative being. I am attempting to create for the audience appeal and to not really care about the audience and create from that passionate place of pure veritable expression. This project keeps me bouncing back and forth, noticing when I fall into the trap of wanting approval and when I rebel against the conventions.

As a graphic designer, I have been trained to please the client, even when it goes against my sense of beauty or balance or allure. It is hard for me to break the habit of pleasing others. At times, I may have some influence over a client's choices but ultimately, their vision is being brought to life through my technical skills. I recognize that I could make a living as a photographer in the exact manner I that I do as a designer, if I choose...For hire....satisfying a client's wishes....technically work. It's not that this is a bad path. It is a good path for many. And it may even be part of my path at some point.


This project continues to help me get more and more focused, no pun intended. I am clear that I want to create from a different place this time. I simply have to trust that being true to my own creative process and expressing my true essence is already appealing and marketable. So with this faith, I am open to pursuing the field of fine art photography. Even as I write these words, I can feel the fear in my gut. But I just can't pretend to be waffling when in my heart of hearts I know what I want. It's good to say it out loud. And to commit to facing any fears or obstacles that might keep me from going for what I truly want.



Snowy Seat Cushions

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 36mm • F/29 • 1/60s • ISO 400

Project Athena - Day 241 (Benches, Seats, Chairs)

Center Stage

Center Stage, in Evergreen, CO has become one of my favorite performing arts venues because it has been truly the second home for my Mother-in-law and Father-in-law over the last 20 years. Since I have been a part of the Sohrweid family, I have attended many of the quality concerts, plays and celebrations that have taken place in this little community theater and been thoroughly entertained.

I shot this photo in May of last year knowing I had the seats theme on my list. It's one of the few times that small auditorium was empty as the full house that attended the show that night was in the intimate front lobby celebrating the retirement of Elaine Sohrwied,  director of the Evergreen's Children Chorale for 19 years. It was a wonderful celebration and much deserved tribute to her unwavering dedication, musical talent and amazing creative spirit. She has touched the lives of literally thousands of children over the years and her positive influence inspires me to dream big.

Center Stage, Evergreen, CO

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 18mm • F/3.5 • 1/5s • ISO 800

Project Athena - Day 239 (Benches, Seats, Chairs)

Snow Covered Amphitheater

Looking at the empty benches of this beautiful outdoor amphitheater in Rocky Mountain National Park reminded me of the message delivered by Oprah Winfrey during the her last show on network television and how deeply her words moved me. Here is just a portion of what she said.

You let me into your homes to talk to you every day. This is what you allowed me to do, and I thank you for that. But what I want you to know as this show ends: Each one of you has your own platform. Do not let the trappings here fool you. Mine is a stage in a studio, yours is wherever you are with your own reach, however small or however large that reach is. Maybe it’s 20 people, maybe it’s 30 people, 40 people, your family, your friends, your neighbors, your classmates, your classroom, your co-workers. Wherever you are, that is your platform, your stage, your circle of influence. That is your talk show, and that is where your power lies. In every way, in every day, you are showing people exactly who you are. You’re letting your life speak for you. And when you do that, you will receive in direct proportion to how you give in whatever platform you have.
— Oprah Winfrey

Moraine Park Amphitheater

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 18mm • F/5.6 • 1/1000s • ISO 400