Negative Space

Project Athena - Day 7 (Negative Space)

Perspective is Everything.

If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.
— Buddha

This beautiful, purple thistle flower was facing away from my lens and I found myself dejected by its lack of cooperation. I could have walked away believing I had no shot here but in this case, fortunately, I can be stubborn when I want something. I quickly realized that if i was willing to risk feeling a little prickling sensation, I could take hold of the thorny stem and twist it to make the flower face the direction I wanted. Hmmm.....Life?

The Great Western Sugar Plant, Loveland, CO

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 55mm • F/36 • 1/80s • ISO 200

Project Athena - Day 6 (Negative Space)

Good-bye Beloveds

The chance to love and be loved exists no matter where you are.
— Oprah Winfrey

Today I said good bye to my beloveds, Kelly, Desmond, Kian, and Zeb. I cried. A lot. There are no words to describe the place they hold in my heart. They are my chosen family. I wish them only love in their new adventure. May their family love grow stronger. May their love for life and nature expand. May their love for themselves abound and touch the world in magical ways.

My First Selfie. (Hard to Focus Through the Tears)

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 55-200mm lens • 80mm • F/4.5 • 1/32s • ISO 100

Project Athena - Day 5 (Negative Space)

Come Fly With Me

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.
— Harriet Tubman

Today, I got on my bicycle and rode around the neighborhood I have lived in for almost 6 years. I saw things I have never seen before even though I walk the trails on a regular basis! I literally stopped in my tracks several times just admiring the beauty of the landscapes, the maturity of the trees, and the community that has grown up around me. It feels like "Enchantment Ridge" is living up to its name.

Enchantment Ridge Airplane

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 55-200mm lens • 55mm • F/22 • 1/80s • ISO 100

Project Athena - Day 4 (Negative Space)

Sacred Geometry is Teaching Me About Negative Space

Once, all life in the universe knew the Flower of Life as the creation pattern — the geometrical design leading us into and out of physical existence.
— Drunvalo Melchizedek

There is so much that can be said about this sacred geometry and yet I am compelled to let the beauty of the pattern speak for itself.

Wooden Carved Flower of Life

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 55-200mm lens • 92mm • F/4.5 • 1/20s • ISO 100

Project Athena - Day 3 (Negative Space)

Negative Space or Background?

The chief enemy of creativity is ‘good’ sense.
— Pablo Picasso

I have been confused as of late about what constitutes "negative space" and what is just background. One of my teachers pointed out that negative space is actually part of the design or the image you are making whereas background just happens to be there and does nothing to really enhance the image.

"Hmmm...I see," she said aloud but still not quite getting it.  She then let her thoughts drift to wishing that her tripod was not malfunctioning after hiking a mile to find the perfect cactus flower.

Cactus Flower

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 55-200mm lens • 200mm • F/5.6 • 1/320s • ISO 800

Project Athena - Day 2 (Negative Space)

Learning to Use Negative Space.

You can’t wake a person who is pretending to be asleep.
— Navajo Proverb

I love my beaded Navajo medicine pouch. Maybe it is the mandala....maybe it is the colors....maybe it is the love that was put into its creation.

Arranging it on top of this rabbit fur to get the most out of my negative space was both fun and a test in patience.


Beaded Navajo Mandala

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 55-200mm lens • 116mm • F/8 • 1/3s • ISO 400

Project Athena - Day 1 (Negative Space)

Welcome to the Launch of Project Athena!

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
— Rumi

Negative Space is a beautiful theme and metaphor to launch Project Athena. It is so often in life that I do not recognize the abundance, love, happiness, and gifts that are already here until I move my focus from the noise surrounding me (the negative space) to the love that my heart is truly experiencing (the positive space.) In other words, sometimes, negative space helps define and emphasize the positive space in my life.

In a photograph or design, negative space provides "breathing room". It gives my eyes somewhere to rest and allows my mind to relax by eliminating unnecessary clutter.

All of this adds up to a more interesting life and more compelling composition.

Smile. See the world in a new way.


The remnants of a warm, smooth Bhakti Chai on a cold and rainy day in Colorado

Nikon D3200 • Nikon 18-55mm lens • 55mm • F/8 • 1/60s • ISO 100 (built in flash)