Winter is not my time of year. I've grown quite weary of the long months of cold and snow while nature lies dormant. I find little to be enthused about when I get out with my camera. As you'll see here, I have to work at finding images that move me.
You can click on the thumbnails to view each one, or use the auto play.
Max Erhmann was born September 26, 1872 in Indiana, The United States and died September 9, 1945. He "was of German descent, received a degree in English from DePauw University, followed by a degree in Philosophy from Harvard University. He then returned to his hometown of Terre Haute, Indiana to practice law. Eventually this led him to work in his family's meatpacking business and in the overalls manufacturing industry. Finally at the age of 41, Ehrmann decided to forget such work and become a writer." source: www.goodreads.com
He was 55 when he wrote the Desiderata. It captures his philosophy of ultimately a way to peace on earth and peace within your soul. He simply states to be kind, always. The Desiderata is the opening poem of one of Ehrmann's books of poetry. It gained popularity only after his death.
These make great images for small framed works. My hope is that you and I are on the same page about loving and respecting all life, and that one or more of my photos hanging in your home brings with it the positive energy with which each photo was taken - truly a labor of love endeavor and a passion that gives my life meaning and fuel for my soul. [Photos come without 'photography by Betsy Seeton" printed on them.]
Below is a short photo story of 3 bugs on a flower....
It's been almost two years since I dove into the world of macro photography. And I mean dove. I started devoting hours each day to learning how to capture up close shots of tiny life.
The macro world with a camera must be similar to exploring life beneath a microscope. It’s an extraordinary world to observe, and from the time I’m focusing my lens until I leave, I feel a part of something special. I get to experience a part of life often revealed only in books or documentaries.
Photography has many highs. There’s the high of being in the field, out there camera hunting ready to capture an unexpected moment in time for eternity. Then there’s the rush of focusing just so and clicking away. Following the character from one scene to the next is mesmerizing.
Then there’s the ride home with the camera full of potential glory. It’s a rush every single time. When I get home, I greet my kitty and dog, and head straight for my computer where I begin the next rush: downloading the images.
And finally, there’s the sweet of all sweets when I get to see hundreds of moments in time captured by the marvel of a camera, and when the timing is perfect along with the lighting and focus and angle, I get the best rush of all – a photograph to cherish and share. I wouldn’t sell my passion for a million dollars — or for any amount of money.
For a ‘starving artist’, I’m happy getting to do what I do. This kind of passion is priceless.
"I believe with every fiber in my being that honoring and
The bee photos here, and on the links each photo takes you to, are good. I don't know about the best, but they were shot with a great love for bees and I think that comes through in the images.
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it."
I spend a lot of time getting to know the characters I photograph. Whether I’m photographing bees or birds or small critters, I spend hours upon hours observing and clicking my camera. My theory is that the better I know my subjects, the better chance I have of capturing their essence; something deeper than what’s on the surface. It’s that something extra that comes across in great photos, which is beyond what words can explain.
I love trying to capture what people seldom notice, much less, see. And while color and lighting play important roles, in my opinion it’s that illusive talent (sometimes luck) of capturing the ‘soul of the scene’ that makes a photo truly special. I have much to learn; oodles and oodles to learn. Fortunately, it’s the journey behind the lens that’s so extraordinarily intoxicating, that makes learning an adventure all its own. Photography is a passion with endless rewards. The best compliment I can ever receive is when someone lets me know a photo has moved them or inspired them.
I have hundreds of bee photos that I like out of thousands upon thousands that I've taken. In 2012, I self-published a hard back, coffee table book filled with my color photos and containing a written account of my healing experiences with bees. The landing page of this website takes you to more bee photos.
The book, and my macro photography was/is a labor of love. I'm sure there are better technical shots of bees out there, but it's my hope that if you spend time browsing through my bee portfolio you'll come away with a different feeling about bees. I want you to experience their world in all its splendor. If I could take you on a photo shoot with me, I promise that you would leave our outing feeling less fearful around bees, (unless you're allergic to bee stings) and even leave having gained a sense of awe about them.
The sound of bee's buzz is actually music to me! It's a healing melody when I hear a swarm of bees or am near flowers covered by bees in search of nectar.
When viewers of my photos take time to write me to let me know how my images have moved them or how they made them feel, there's little else I appreciate more. Recently, someone wrote this, "I then spent a few hours on your site and I am still looking around. Your photography is stunningly beautiful. The vivid colors jump off the pages and the combination of playfulness, technical expertise (although I am not a photographer) and the delight by all the participants – both plants and animals – at the simple joy of being alive is deeply moving to me and made me smile. The tiny details of the insects with their cute little faces (I never thought I would be saying insects are “cute,” made me feel such love and compassion for the little creatures!"
Someone else wrote, "I really love your photography. The animal eyes are fab. It comes across in your work the love you have for our winged and furry creatures ..thank you for sharing."
Sharing my photos brings the whole experience full circle. I've written about my passion for photography before. It's an amazing experience to love how you spend your time. When I study life from behind my camera lens, I get transported into a new, and incredibly fascinating world. I start to see the blades of grass and leaves differently; more from the view of my main character, whomever that happens to be on a given day.
I'm beginning to have a love/hate relationship with quotes and platitudes. I call these photos with quotes 'quotophos', or even shorter a 'pho-quo', and while I like the idea of merging words and photos, sometimes it gets a bit syrupy and gags me more than it inspires me. Nonetheless, I keep reading them, creating them, and posting them. After all, a part of me is a photographer and writer. I can only hope that my small, postcard like creations fall a little outside the box and serve my intention well to plant seeds of thoughts. Life's journey can be better enjoyed by sharing our experiences and learning from one another. (It sounds gooey to see that in print, but darn if it isn't true.) Learning is one of my most favorite things to do, but what I'm really good at is forgetting. What would it be like to remember what I learn? Sigh ....
"Until we have the courage to recognize cruelty for what it is--whether its victim is human
Chippy, Jasper and friends have been standing up for animal rights since 2010. Jasper, a golden mantled ground squirrel, has his own blog and his own Facebook page.
It all started when I was out just having fun with my adorable, little, wild critters. Chippy was the matriarch of the family and would come to her name and/or come when I whistled. I delighted in her company for nearly 8 summers. (I last saw her in June of 2012.) I taught my cute fur balls little tricks to make my photo shoots more memorable. The idea of having them hold flags from countries around the world was inspired by the idea of having a photo to accompany the animal related articles I was writing. If the story was about animal abuse in Greece, Chippy would be photographed holding the flag of Greece. Or if the story was about saving donkeys in Nepal, then one of my little friends was photographed with the flag from Nepal. It was a goofy and silly idea, but novel and possibly effective.
JASPER'S BLOG and his mission on his FACEBOOK page are:
".... to restore the animal kingdom to its optimal and rightful place on this planet that we all share."
The vast number of animals suffering on this planet due to outdated notions, ignorance and greed must, as Jane Goodall says, be overcome. It must not be tolerated. It is no myth that animals feel deeply. It’s also not anthropomorphism. It’s real. Humans must rethink their treatment of animals and revamp their entire view of what is in the best interest of animals if we ever hope to restore the animal kingdom to its optimal and rightful place on this planet that we all share.
Even when I don't know exactly how to make the changes I want, each day lately, I do something I haven't been doing before. Initiating change takes conscious effort. Tiny little things can set you in motion and it's motion that gets the ball rolling.
When the desire is greater than the effort, it becomes a tipping point. It's sort of a push come to shove kind of thing. We can want change, yet often the want is left wanting because it takes too much out of us to head toward fulfilling that want. That's when the want is outweighed by counter productive actions. A perfect example is losing weight. Until the want exceeds what it takes to change, the weight will remain or rise.
A big obstacle for many is fear and because fear can be cleverly disguised as something else and appear rational and reasonable, you might not even know you're afraid. Changing jobs or quitting a job you despise is often a frightening thought. Fear of not having money to pay for necessities is a very real concern. But when fear paralyzes you and anchors you to a life that isn't healthy, doesn't nourish you, and stunts your personal growth, you need to gain some perspective.
There are ways to downsize your life; many, many ways. The amount of money you can live on may be very different from what your fear allows you to see. An exercise I found beneficial when I was making a huge shift in my life was to not buy anything but what I could buy in a grocery store and it could only be food, medicine, and personal basic grooming items. No make up. No clothes. No books. Just try to go one month without buying anything else. Then add a month at a time until you can easily go 3 or 4 months without buying anything but the absolute bare necessities. It will get you in closer touch with your priorities and help you think clearer. It did for me.
I don't claim to have the answers. I just record observations and personal experiences. I happen to thrive on change. Perhaps that single component is what has defined my life and led me on an unconventional path. It also is what makes it easier for me to try new things and seek new places to call home.
Share with me the process you go through in making changes in your life. What are your greatest obstacles?
Thoughts about the 'new year' are already waning as the sun rises and sets, and another day becomes night for a fifth time in a row in this year we call 2013. I'm focused on change these days. I'm ready for some new stuff in my life. The past several plus years have been woefully spent in survival mode. I want to get beyond that place. I'm yearning to paint again; and I will. I want to travel and expand my knowledge of photography. I'm also ready to try marketing my photography to retail stores. Another project on the front burner is designing an eco-tour through Greece for an eco-hotel owner who has requested my assistance. Of course, working as a private investigator is woven throughout my schedule. Branching into animal defense work as a P.I. is on my want-list.
What about you? What are you doing this year? Anything different?
I learn life's lessons slowly sometimes. In the past few years I've learned to relax about one year ending and another beginning. I don't do resolutions anymore. I don't expect things to be different as the new year rolls in simply because the number of the year changes. I use the 'new year' as a demarcation line; a point of inspiration and a way to readjust the sails. It's a good time for some self excavation and to re-evaluate what's important. I also determine how in sync (or not) the life I'm living is with the life I want to be living. It's a good time for maintenance and getting back in balance. What am I nourishing? What seeds am I planting? Am I circling or spinning? Or am I actually headed toward somewhere?
I'm an artist, writer, photographer, private investigator and an activist in small ways.
"Turning indifference into making a difference."
A labor of love website devoted to animal and human rights, and better living. A place to be inspired ...
My LADYBUG book is filled with beautiful images & inspiring quotes. Click here for more info.
I visited the Tiger Temple in Thailand & later found out it is under investigation for tiger trafficking and animal abuse. Read full story. In 2015 it was raided. More than 100 tigers and protected bird species in Wat Pa Luang Ta Bua, popularly known as the Tiger Temple in Kanchanaburi province were impounded by authorities following complaints that the temple was alleged to engage in illegal wildlife trading.
"The moment one gives close attention to anything,
even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious,
awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."
~ Henry Miller
DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS helps people worldwide where the need is greatest, delivering emergency medical aid to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters or exclusion from healthcare.
Read about life in the woods with Chippy & the crew...