Friday, September 2, 2011

Where The Light Is

Back in the fog after a few lovely hot days at Tassajara. As always, just arriving there felt good, and then there were friends, stars, the bathhouse, sitting in the zendo, being in the creek, climbing mountains,  seeing lizards, sleeping deeply, reading in the sun, taking photographs and staring off into space - oh, and playing with rocks. If you want a little more detail on what it is like to be there at the moment, try reading Brad's account (and if you do that, read the previous post as well, along with the comments, for another angle on the question of 'Am I a monk?').
In the meantime, a quick selection from the thousand-odd photos I managed to snap in three days:

A swimming hole upcreek I had not really paid attention to before  

Getting abstract at the bathhouse

Itasonten at the Gatehouse altar

Jizo close-up

Never really got a picture of the kaisando that I liked

Lantern and shadow

The path to the Narrows

Quiet moment before morning work meeting

Ren's prayer flags

At the new retreat center, taken through the window, complete with reflection

Taken out of the window of the town trip truck on the way in

Ren's prayer flags at the top of the Tony Trail

Scarlet Bugler on the Tony Trail

Looking over Tassajara from the Tony Trail

Work Meeting

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Great photos Shundo. You only took a 1,000? I guess you did get to sleep in (I hope..)

Would you mind sharing what camera you have? I know its the photographer, not the camera that makes great photos but you seem to have one that is small enough to be discrete at formal ceremonies yet has a fair amount of manual control - a good combination

Shundo said...

Hi Anonymous,
I have been using a Canon G9 for the past three and a half years, and I am hoping to replace it soon - maybe with a Fuji X100 if I sell a couple more prints from my show...

I took 300 pictures before break on the first day, but that was mainly from wandering around the retreat center which I was seeing for the first time.

By the way, I encourage all the people who have been leaving anonymous comments to please feel free to leave a name with your comment; it doesn't have to be your own, but it would help me keep track of who is writing.

Anonymous said...

Thanks - I've heard good things about the G9 and your photos bear them out.

Shonen

Shannon said...

Shundo, I wish I could give you more of two things: time at Tassajara and time with your camera (or maybe just time in general...). Your close up photos, specifically your composition of them, makes it apparent that you either have a natural talent for this or, at the very least, a great interest in it. I wish you had more time to spend with that. The fact that this was so evident in the photos from your brief stay at Tassajara makes me think that the content may be contributing to your expertise. So, quick, come up with some Japanese term for "photographer-of-monastery-at-end-of-15-mile-dirt-road" and apply for the position before anyone else figures it out!

Shundo said...

Hi Shannon,

You're very kind. Of course every time I visit I wish I were living there, and think about when I can do that again. Of course I also feel that I have photographed just about everything at Tassajara from every possible angle, so I have to be inventive, and for me this time that meant paying attention to where the light was rather than what I thought I should take pictures of.

Ruth said...

Such great photos. The prayer flags are particularly lovely.

Shundo said...

Hi Ruth,

Your sister was on top form of course, and looking forward to being over in your neck of the woods very soon.

Ruth said...

Thanks Shundo, am looking forward to seing her so much. And all the tales of Tassajara, of course.

Mike said...

Very lovely. Thanks. I hope to spend some time someday at Tassajara.

Mike

Mike said...

And who is Itasonten? I am not familiar with that figure.
-Mike

Oh hey - and how about that attack by Cobo on the Angliru? Did not see it live, but watched it on a replay. Gotta feel somewhat bad for Wiggo...

Shundo said...

Hi Mike,

Itasonten is a temple guardian deity, which is why he looks so fierce.
Cobo was very impressive - the live coverage was quite epic as the camera bike fell over behind Wiggins just as he was cracking, and we didn't see any more of him until he crossed the line. Shame there isn't another TT for him to get that time back...

susieall said...

Beautiful photos, Shundo-san! Thanks for sharing. You really captured the air and light at Tassajara over those few enchanted days.

I enjoyed our ride back together. Look forward to talking again soon ~

Susie

Shundo said...

Likewise Susie, and thank you so much for the ride home.

Chris Burnham said...

There's Ki and Mateo! I miss those guys...

Shundo said...

Did you leave already Chris? Back down south? Yes, those two make a great foreground to the circle.

Chris Burnham said...

Yup, back in the southLAnd and missing it already... it's tough arranging my own meals!

Shundo said...

But you don't have to serve anyone else at least, or clear up after a whole bunch of people