Hart & Soul

18 Jul 2007 688 views
 
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photoblog image Stairway to Heaven

Stairway to Heaven

This is a series of pics from when we were at the family cottage in Michigan over the Fourth of July.

I call this the Stairway to Heaven because at the top is the cottage and at the bottom is the lake.
It's heaven both coming and going!
Also, my dad and three-year-younger brother built it years ago.  Both are deceased but are always in our minds/hearts.  Another reason to think of heaven!

That's the deck in the top-left corner from a couple days ago.  The cottage is on the right.


[Today I'm in Amsterdam.]


Stairway to Heaven

This is a series of pics from when we were at the family cottage in Michigan over the Fourth of July.

I call this the Stairway to Heaven because at the top is the cottage and at the bottom is the lake.
It's heaven both coming and going!
Also, my dad and three-year-younger brother built it years ago.  Both are deceased but are always in our minds/hearts.  Another reason to think of heaven!

That's the deck in the top-left corner from a couple days ago.  The cottage is on the right.


[Today I'm in Amsterdam.]


comments (24)

I like the composition. It leads the eye.
Ginnie Hart: Thanks, Martin.
That's a perfect title for a lovely image. It's nice that the stairs lead to good things on both ends.
Ginnie Hart: That's what I thought, Red Pen. Thanks.
  • alex
  • 18 Jul 2007, 00:39
yes, definitely leads the eye, and you chose nice coloring for the composition as well.
Ginnie Hart: Thank you kindly, Alex.
nice lines, well done.
Ginnie Hart: Thanks, Dotun.
I've been checking in each day. Love this one. It's fantastic and displays well in the thumbnail too.
Ginnie Hart: Awww. Sweet of you to say so, Mary. Thanks.
  • cara
  • 18 Jul 2007, 02:18
i love how the stairs lead the eye. and, i loved reading about the meaning of this photograph.
Ginnie Hart: Thank you very much, Cara. The meaning is almost more important than the pic!

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!
Nice composition and tones Ginnie.
Ginnie Hart: Thank you kindly, Bridge.
  • Kay
  • 18 Jul 2007, 04:07
Ginnie, this is lovely. The stairs draw your eyes up and down the picture. Love the tones and the details. What a great place to be...your description is wonderful too.
Ginnie Hart: You're a sweetheart, Kay. Thank you kindly. This really IS an up-and-down staircase!
  • Gale
  • 18 Jul 2007, 06:39
Excellent composition.. love the colouring
Ginnie Hart: Thank you kindly, Gale, for stopping by and commenting.
  • BeakerSt
  • Shutterchance
  • 18 Jul 2007, 07:21
I'm going to go against the flow and say that I love the bottom half, very strong contrast in tones and textures. Not so keen on the top. There's a lovely sweep of the steps from bottom left to top right which could have been the extent of the frame, filling it completely. You then would have had the same leading lines but would have been able to use the textures and shapes of the leaves to a greater extent. As it stands I am finding my eye led a little too quickly up to the two quite large tree trunks which slightly dominate the upper third.

As always just an opinion smile

Hope you are well, Simon
Ginnie Hart: You can always go against the flow, Simon! Totally allowed. grin

I definitely see where you're coming from in your comment. I actually have pics that show even more of the steps and from a different angle. In those, however, while the deck is out of the pic, the cottage is in. It's hard to get the full look without one or the other, since they're all so close together. But next time I'll think of your comment and make a go of it to see if it can be done, cropping out everything except the steps. Good idea.

In this particular case, since it's part of the cottage series, I did want the deck in the pic to give a bearing to the previous 2 pics. But thanks for your helpful comment. I really appreciate your stopping by and commenting.
Oh it's really nicely composed Ginnie. Nice shot ! I do like the 2 trees as a door to get up there.
Ginnie Hart: My brother who designed the deck, Roland, had to work around/with those two trees, I'm quite sure. I think they add a lot of character to the place! smile Thanks.
Very nice shot..
Ginnie Hart: Thank you kindly, Shakara.
Great use of the stairs to lead the eyes through the picture Ginnie
I like the opening between the big trees, that makes me wonder if i should follow the steps up to the deck or take a shortcut smile
Ginnie Hart: Thanks, Magnus. You could take the shortcut but you'd have to navigate the boulders. It'd be easier to just take the steps. smile
  • Ruth
  • Michigan, USA
  • 18 Jul 2007, 10:30
Gosh, so many memories on these steps that you have to go up and down single file: Dad standing half way down with a rake; Susan being pushed up when her hip was healing ("faster, harder, higher" - ha!); me running up and down for aerobic exercise (didn't last long). I love the photo.
Ginnie Hart: HA! I never knew you did that for aerobic exercise, Ruth. I have a feeling there's a lot I don't know about those steps!!! smile
Lovely image Ginnie. Like the way the steps lead up through the picture to the decking,like the treatment you've given it too. Funny how I've picked steps (of a kind)for day-after-tomorrow's posting, you beat me to it!! David.
Ginnie Hart: Awww. Let's just say I unwittingly whetted our appetites, David. I'm eager to see YOUR steps!
  • Suby
  • Milton Keynes, UK
  • 18 Jul 2007, 14:23
A place this lazy guy would 1st think, "Isn't there a lift" smile

Suby
Ginnie Hart: HA! You'd forget all about a lift as soon as you got there, Suby. Besides, we'd all help push you up, if you needed it. grin
  • Ted
  • http://rothphotos.blogspot.com/
  • 18 Jul 2007, 19:29
Unlike simon, I very much like the whole photo. the two trees, deck, and forst background give the mind someplace to dream to. It's also very good that you stooped down to catch it all from a low camera angle. Nice monochorming. All in all, one of the best of recent photos.
Ginnie Hart: You are so very kind, Ted, to lend your support to how I cropped this pic. It truly underscores how we all are artists and see things the same or differently. I do always enjoy your own POV. Thank you.
  • blackdog
  • on dial up
  • 18 Jul 2007, 19:50
That's funny - it is exactly what I thought before I saw the title - I even counted the steps to see if there were 7. I like the angle, and the range of tones, and overall the image works, but I think it might have been even stronger if you had decided on one zone to have in focus. I almost feel there is too much information, or too many subjects competing. Now I feel like I am being too harsh - but try scrolling the screen down to "cut" the large trees in half. What do you think? Mike
Ginnie Hart: Never too harsh, Mike. You can always tell it like you see it! That's what I like about SC, especially if the comment is constructive. So, thanks.

My rule of thirds with the deck was probably not as precise as it could have been, for one thing, so you're definitely right about needing to crop down a bit from the top. But in this case, I DID want the deck in the pic, so I guess my title was a bit misleading? If I had chosen the cottage on the right, it may have made more sense.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 18 Jul 2007, 20:25
Sorry, I have been fooling around with your picture and thought to share the following - much of it sparked by Beakerst's comment.

In your picture there is a great picture slipping away. That is the steps curling away from bottom left to (almost) top right. That is an ideal leading line. Now given your story and blackdog's comment, count 7 steps - including the one going out of picture at the bottom (use your scroll button to see the effect) and crop the picture just above that step. You will still have a negligable small piece of the left tree - but for the rest it will be the steps curling away. Leave the pp as is.

Motivation: you tell us a story about these stairs leading to heaven in more than one way. So all focus for the viewer should be on the stairs, sensing the emotional ties that go with it. It becomes a show and tell in an abstract way.

I believe the effect will be stunning and conjure much emotional vibe. If you want to orientate viewers - I think the previous pictures have done enough of it - you can use a link to yesterday's pic for anyone still requiring orientation.

This is a suggestion only. I have thought a lot about how to approach my photography while in europe during May. And from the conclusions I have arrived at, this will be a typical way for me to approach the subject. So I am holding a mixed bag of pictures for the family and those with which I tried to express emotions. Some emotional stuff went into the 'freedom' series.

In the end I still think your picture is great and serves the goal you have set for it. What I was on about above, is that there is even a better picture in your picture.
Ginnie Hart: After all that, Louis, I thank you for the compliment. grin I have read it at least 3 times now and think I understand what you're saying. I remember that Ellie has often said that cropping a pic is almost always the hardest thing when it comes to posting our pics. I agree!

This has been a "different" series for me here on SC because it feels very snapshotish, probably because some of the pics are of my family. But I want to show pics that have a universal appeal for the idea of R&R, regardless of the fact that many will include family (like my pics for Thursday and Friday). As a rule, of course, you will not see family in my pics. smile
je les reconnais... ce sont les escaliers qui mènent au paradis
Ginnie Hart: Yes, O-P. That's true for me. smile
I see you got a lot of different comments on this one, I have nothing new to add. With your own comment I guess I would have done nothing to it. If you cropped it I'm not sure you would end up with a great pic....and now, in a way, I see more of you in the pic.

Not sure this made any sense grin
Ginnie Hart: HA! You make a lot of sense, Aksel. I guess we never know exactly why we crop things the way we do, but there IS something of us in the crop, I agree. smile
  • sinem
  • Milton Keynes, UK
  • 18 Jul 2007, 20:44
clean and crisp. nice staircase in deep. oh and i ain't going as far as offering to push suby up.
Ginnie Hart: HA! You and Suby are way too funny. Okay, Sinem, you and I will go off on our own and will leave Suby to fend for himself! grin
Very nice composition and clever use of old tones !
Ginnie Hart: Thanks, Zeb.
It in the beginning did not understand the one of the paradise, but if from above that precious lake is descried, then I understand it! It must be a film place. The small house next to the lake! wink
Ginnie Hart: Yes, Jose. It's very wonderful. Thanks.

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