Red Onion Story and iPhone Video

Today’s Story, Photos and Queries
This week the new Apple video ad – iPhone 6S – Onions immediately caught my attention as I skipped past other ads while watching a recorded TV show. For certain, those familiar with Picture to Ponder/Treasure Your Life Now ezine and my Photography and Transformation site will understand why when you watch the one- minute video below.

In addition to highlighting some of what’s important to me, the video and all that was expressed in it immediately reminded me of my RED ONION STORY – Peeling Away the Layers of an Onion: Analogous to Peeling Away the Layers of Ourselves done several years ago. The photos and text in the latter PDF documented my observations at the time of what happened with my intention to photograph a layer daily of an onion until it was complete.
Continue reading

Roses – A Celebration of Life

A random selection from the hundreds of roses photos, I’ve taken in the past week. The growth of new leaves after several days intrigues me. [Photo bottom left]

The leaves were/are…still, as I write…on the stem of a yellow rose that’s still in bud form.


Today’s Photos and Story

Do roses have special meaning for you?  I don’t experience them that often, nor do I go out of my way to find them. If asked, I wouldn’t think to list roses first as a favorite. What about you? Continue reading

Transforming Sadness and Loneliness During Holiday Celebrations

As I was shopping in a supermarket, two days before Easter, I glanced over at the flowers section and was reminded of an experience 10 years ago. I lived in New Jersey at the time and, although Easter is not a holiday I celebrate, the artist in me looked forward to it.  The store where I shopped seemed to always import Calla Lilies for the occasion and I loved the flower. That particular year, I had forgotten to look for the plants until the day before Easter.

When I finally did, all that remained in the store was one droopy, wilted plant. The manager was very nice. She told me to take it home, put it in a sink and dowse it with water.  If it did not come alive, she would issue me a refund on Monday.

As soon as I did what she said, I immediately became excited with the one flower that fell out over the sink and I started photographing.

kitchen calla lily photo/drawing - calla lily int the sinkThe Photo is
the resultant photo/drawing of the plant. You can see the tiny water bubbles in the stainless steel sink. Continue reading

Challenged by Different Points of View?

It is again the time of year when Wetlands Irises have bloomed in Wakodahatchee and Green Cay Wetlands. I’ve yet to see any sign of them this year. As I recall the irises, though, I am moved to share one of my favorite photos from two different perspectives.  As you look at them you may very well see them quite differently from me.

The opportunity for seeing and experiencing different points of view, in an easy and fun environment, is one of the benefits of the upcoming Interactive Through and From The Lens course. Revamped and updated to take advantage of new technology, the four-week program is launching in 3 weeks. [Information below.]

The past few days I’ve experienced seeing some of my previously published photos in totally different ways… sometimes not even seeing the imagery I originally wrote about.

Conversely, what I see in the segment to the left, cropped from the larger photo below, remains consistent… a Pioneer woman sitting in a covered wagon with arms extended, holding her bundled infant. There is a warmth and gentleness, a feeling of deep and loving connection… elements that are possible to capture with your eye and camera.

What do you see and feel as you look at this image?

Today’s Photo –

Above is the full photo backlit with late afternoon sunlight. What do you see as you step into the photo with your eyes?

Self-Reflecting Queries and Relationship Tips –

SRQs – I’ve been speaking of your relationship with your camera and yourself, sometimes to another person. I invite you to start observing yourself as you take photos, or consider taking them. Can you see any patterns on what catches your eye?  Are there particular behaviors that are consistent when you use a camera? In the noticing, is there anything you can transfer to other areas of your life?

Relationship Tip – When you are not clear about an interest or hobby that someone close to you has, welcome it as an opportunity to ask questions and learn more. Be sure you are coming from an open space, not a judgmental one, when you do this.

One of the things you can also do is use your camera as a tool for focusing in on that interest of your loved one, opening up new perspectives for you and new openings for conversation.

As an example, one of my clients could not understand her husband’s passion for cars and the hours he spent underneath their hoods. His seeming to prefer his cars to her at times was posing a challenge for them.

I suggested she take her camera and look for interesting shapes, colors, textures under the hood as he worked; then “snap” whatever caught her eye. Sure enough, this resulted in new conversations and understandings between them, including some sharing in other areas of their life that heretofore had never been expressed.

Not everyone is passionate about cars. You might start noticing, and taking pictures, when one or the other is preparing food in the kitchen, doing any kind of other activity, even fingers on a computer keyboard or musical instrument.

As you are doing this, keep in mind, it is NOT about the picture(s) you are taking, it’s about the focusing, the noticing, the connections. The camera is simply a tool.

Please add to the Comments section below your thoughts and/or experiences in relation to using the camera as a tool for communication.

A Place to Experience and Practice
these relationship tools, with yourself as well as others…

I actually saw the “Covered Wagon” imagery after I’d downloaded the photo into my computer. That’s the time that very often the full experience and impact of the photo comes us, after it’s taken and downloaded into the computer. Seeing and appreciating different perspectives is part of what we look at during our four weeks together in Through and From The Lens.

Click here or on the photo to get to page with a 2-minute video.
Watch for photos introduced about halfway through.

The Interactive Through and From The Lens course starts on Wednesday night, March 23rd for those interested in the night session and Thursday, March 24th, for those who prefer afternoons. Details are on the video page linked above or click/tap on Participatory Course/

During the four weeks participants will be using the cameras… digital or phone… to discover how to broaden their SEEing and connections with self and others. In the video recorded sessions photos, experiences and interpretations will be shared with one another.

Experience Awe and Wonder in your life. Join us in the course.

Amaryllis – Changing Perspectives – Close-up and Stepping Back

As I was considering past posts and what photo or photos to share today, I started thinking of those with the subject “confrontation.” Some interesting ones showed up and I decided to go with “changing perspectives” and more traditionally perceived “beauty,” rather than fully confrontational, so…

Today’s Photos –
Amaryllis in the American Orchid Society greenhouse when the latter was in Delray Beach, FL

Amaryllis flowers in a group in Treasure Your Life Now ezine and blog post Continue reading

Seeing and Expanding – Mystery Hearts

As I was going through my files, the following images published here in 2008 surfaced. Given Valentine’s day was coming up this last weekend it seemed to be a good fit. Be sure to read through to the end. You’ll find a collage of other “hearts” also found in Nature.

Heart image in palm leaf in post on Treasure Your Life Now ezine and blog


Heart image in palm leaf - vertical view in Treasure Your Life Now ezine and blog post

The Photos
a Heart as seen in a Palm Tree Leaf Continue reading

Photos – Celebration, Beyond Sadness, New Beginnings

Recently I was in a quandary about something and wondered if I had ever written about that state in Picture to Ponder. When I did a search for “quandry” (unknowingly misspelled) on Google and the Photography and Transformation blog, I found the following issue.

Published in August of 2008, I’ve modified the post somewhat to fit today. Basically in that issue I was speaking of celebration, which certainly fits for us as we begin the new year.

It seems, at the time, that people in many locations were experiencing bad weather. Given the cold and snow currently in different areas of the country and world, I’m thinking this bright yellow sunflower, yet to fully open, might bring cheer.

sunflowers and alstroemeria close-upThe upper photo is a view focused in on Sunflowers surrounded by Alstroemeria that were in the floral arrangement below.

sunflowers and alstroemeria in front of a painting.A third photo included in that issue was a photograph of a Full Moon Amidst Clouds on a clear night. The completed image was a result of using several processes in the Photoshop Elements Course I had just completed. Click on Lesson 5-6 and scroll the bottom of the page to see the unaltered photos and other exercises in that class.

Full moon photo alteredI included it in that issue because I got the feeling of celebration from the photo, with the tilt of the center image.

And, today as I write 7 1/2 years later, I find it interesting to come across the tutorial for something I haven’t done in years.  I may go back and play and see if there are current apps that might do the same thing.

Background Leading up to the Self-Reflecting Queries
At the time this issue was published, it was the last one before switching over to a different ezine publisher. In the process there were several layers of sadness for me, including missing the subscribers who were lost in the transition and sorrow at leaving the original publisher who had served me/us well.

I also reminded myself to be celebrating the new… that which was yet to come.

[After note: The publisher, Ezezine continues to serve us today, holding the full archives of all the issues from December 2004 through the August 2008 issue I’m using today. See EARLY ARCHIVES.]

The Self-Reflecting Queries
Coming from what I experienced, I invite you to look at:

1. Are there places in your life, where you are focusing on what’s missing rather than on what’s available?

2. When you do see, acknowledge and honor what’s there, do you allow yourself to celebrate it? If so, how?

3. When you are in a quandary
(“quandry” as it was misspelled), or are feeling sad, do you simply shut down, withdraw, or are you able to seek out and ask for support?

4. Do you remain aware of what methods you can use to create shifts for yourself so that they are available to you in the future?

For me in addition to communicating with my friends and support team, I was able to turn my energy into a creative venture. While playing with the photos in Photoshop, fulfilling on other coursework, I wound up with a totally unexpected result, a way to use both images, celebrating an “aliveness” theme.

While working with the photos I had no hidden agenda or attachment to results and that, I say, is what made it work.

Where, if at all, can you find yourself in the above examples?

Relationship Tips
Referencing the Queries above:

1 – If you find yourself in a quandary, especially if you feel yourself ready to shut down, share that with the person or people important to you… “I am feeling…”  “I need you to listen…” or, perhaps, “I am withdrawing for a bit. Please understand and know that it’s not about you.  I need some space.”

2 – If you ask for input, listen and acknowledge and do not be attached to the other’s response being a certain way or to a specific outcome. Be open.

As always, have fun with these questions as you explore and play.

I’d love to hear from you. Please share your experiences in the LEAVE A REPLY below this post.

As always remember to have fun with the pictures and the queries and share on the blog what comes up for you.

New and Upcoming
1 – In anticipation of the launch of WRITING FOR SELF-DISCOVERY: Finding Answers Kindle Book, I have set up a Facebook group, sharing photos and timed writing prompts, inviting others to write also should they wish. If you are on Facebook, please join the group… Writing for Self-Discovery with photos as prompts.

2 – I have started using Periscope, the mobile app for live stream videoing. It links into one’s Twitter account. I have broadcast sunsets in Green Cay Wetlands and sunrise in Wakodahatchee Wetlands, as well as sunrise at the ocean New Year’s morning as mentioned in the last issue of Treasure Your Life Now.

You can experience “live” some the locations about which I’ve written. Watch replays of my broadcasts at any time on You do not have to have Periscope or a mobile device to watch the replays.

3 – I will be setting up a membership group wherein participants can respond live (video), tour Nature spots with me, talk about what you are seeing and how it applies to you life.  If interested in learning more, please email me at sheila.finkelstein [at] with Photography-Writing Group in the subject line.

Photos and Wishes for Bright New Year

Today’s issue of Treasure Your Life Now/Picture to Ponder brings my wishes for you to have a Happy, Healthy, Love-filled and Prosperous New Year, with the riches of love and joy and the fulfillment of whatever intentions you may be setting for 2016.Other than the updated dates (thus the crossed out 2011 on the calendar), it’s pretty much a repeat of the Picture to Ponder issue published on December 31, 2010.

I was thinking about “garlic” this morning which led me to do a search on this Photography and Transformation blog where, until last year, all of the Picture to Ponder issues from July 2008 are stored.

Anyone interested in visiting earlier issues, from December 2004 to July 2008 can go to early Picture to Ponder Archives.In addition to garlic, there is also a mixture of seemingly disparate photos and a photo/drawing within this issue. Not exactly sure why these choices, I decided to simply go with what showed up for me as I prepared.

These two garlic segments evidently have some special meaning for me. I think this is the third time I am featuring them in Picture to Ponder. Perhaps there is meaning for one of more of you. (If you missed the earlier posts you can catch them by scrolling down the page that comes up for “Garlic” in the search on the blog.) Loving the abstraction, I put the image on a year-at-a-glance calendar, purchased it from my Nature Art Gift Shop and now have it in my office positioned so I see it all the time.

I still have the original segments and discovered recently that the garlic continues to produce new imagery, fueling more creative juices. The bulb segment, you’ll see below, started sprouting green shoots.

At first I simply photographed the two pieces on black paper. Then, for fun, I decided to photograph them on top of the image on the calendar and then the tile already imprinted with the original photo.

The “why’s” of the other images included today are noted below each of the photos.

for overall feeling and contrast

garlic growing sprouts on abstract garlic image

for size perspective – components as altered by time
placed on a 4.25″ ceramic tile with first images

for color and brightness in 2016, pomegranate seeds radiating in all directions and contained by the circle

And, reflecting on past year(s) and the upcoming one:
path in Loxahatchee PreservesPhoto/Drawing of the “Path to the Future” – Boardwalk in Loxahatchee Preserves in Florida, photographed over 13 years ago, the weekend Sam and I made  the decision to move to Florida.

sky and boardwalk in Wakodahatchee WetlandsBoardwalk in Wakodahatchee Wetlands, December 2010

The latter two “path” photos seem not to fit AND because they popped out at me as I was browsing for some other photos, I decided to include them for the “practical” among our followers, who are looking at the past year and your path or paths for 2016.

In 2002, my path, as seen in the photo, seemed almost closed in, certainly full of the unknown on what the future would bring.

The subsequent 13 years have been full, including sadness and loss as well as the boundless bright spots and open paths suggested in the last of the photographs here today.

Again, I wish you HEALTH, Love, Brightness and Joy in 2016.

Self-Reflecting Queries
You most likely have your own year-end and start-the-new rituals and, if you subscribe to a lot of ezines, as I do, I’m sure you’ve received several suggestions. I am not going to add to that here.

I simply invite you to reflect on whatever you wish, past and/or future. You might enjoy our favorite little blue heron reflection to do prompt you in doing that.

Given the featuring of the pomegranate and the garlic, I also invite you to observe, for the visuals, some of the fruits and vegetables you may be preparing and are most likely eating during these next few days.

What imagery calls to you? If you were to use your imagination what might your subject(s) be telling you?

And, lastly, I invite you to use your camera to take pictures of what it is that is catching your attention in the food.

As always remember to have fun with the pictures and the queries and share in the comments below what comes up for you.

Redefining Our Lives – Love With No Regrets

I know it’s been quite a while since I’ve posted. My apologies, especially to those of you who used to count on receiving Picture to Ponder/Treasure Your Life Now regularly. I have been in the process of redefining myself and my businesses. I am now back! My focus will be on relationship coaching… with creative media among the tools used to produce, depending on individual needs.

The above Calla Lily photo/drawing, on a plaque on my kitchen wall, looked across the room at me and announced it wanted to be featured here. This seems to be quite fitting given it was photographed in a sink and is somewhat akin to:

“I want to wash off writing is a burden,
lather it up into beautiful suds,
then watch it wash down the drain.  Continue reading

Defining Moments – Rust, Corrosion and Textures

Chihuly Purple Glass schulpture in palms at Fairchild GardensToday’s post certainly seems to have a strange grouping of photos, plus a seemingly unrelated topic AND I am going to go with what’s been showing up for me, without adding meaning to it.

The photos are from a neighborhood walk during my recent visit to Philadelphia. I was captivated with the patterns and textures AND with using my new iPhone 6 camera. In addition to the photos, I want to share an upcoming program, the introduction to which I think could have appeal to all of you. So…

Have you ever thought about the defining moment(s) in your life? Do you know what it is/they are? Continue reading