Journey

One of many paths on the journey

This week’s photo challenge (brought to you by The Daily Post at WordPress) is Journey.  To me, life is a journey.  Every morning when I wake up, a new journey begins.  Every time I step outside the door a new journey awaits because, as Heraclitus (quoted by Plato) once said:

You could not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you.

Bridge over Killbuck Creek. (Off the trail.)

Every moment is a journey, fresh and new and packed with possibility.

And the world cannot be discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but only by a spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our feet, and learn to be at home.

~ Wendell Berry

Killbuck Creek

Today  is day 201 of my year-long commitment to practice yoga daily.  Each day of practice is a journey.  One of these days I might be able to find the right words to write about it.  There are good days when I’m present in my practice, on the mat.  There are good days when I’m not present in my practice, on the mat.  It’s all good.  I read, I practice, I learn.  It’s all learning.

Greening woods along the trail.

Yesterday’s snow turned into rain turned into today’s sunshine.  The cold nights have slowed down the spring growth.  The redbuds and cherry trees continue to have blossoms, as if frozen in bloom.

Wetlands

Today’s photos are a journey back to Saturday’s bike ride on the Holmes County Trail.  It was a day much like today, sunny and warm enough to ride but not so warm that you’d work up a sweat.

I think this might be the last trip in which I take photographs of the Amish people.  I’ve had mixed feelings about it, especially after reading that the Amish do not like having their pictures taken.  (There is an article about it here, if you’re interested.)  I usually (but I confess, not always) try not to capture their faces in recognizable ways, but I think that’s walking a very fine line, perhaps even stepping over it.  Like most people, I am fascinated by the Amish way of life and it’s that fascination that has me stepping over the line.  I try not to be obtrusive, but I don’t think that makes it right in terms of showing respect for the Amish people and their wishes.  When I think of it in terms of “do unto others,” it becomes simple.  I would not like someone standing on the road outside of my house or riding by in a car taking photographs of me.

Another bridge over Killbuck Creek. (Off the trail.)

Not that I stand in front of their houses, snapping away.  I usually shoot buggies on the road from the car.  They’re moving, we’re moving, and I have excused my behavior with the thought that they probably don’t even know I’m taking photos.

The photo above (the last I will be posting of the Amish people) is an example.  Shot from the car, from behind, I was more focused on the baskets in the buggy than on the Amish woman driving the buggy.  Is it morally right?  What do you think?  (And having questioned myself on this matter, should I have posted that last photo?)

On the other side of the bridge.

I reckon that’s it from the Bogs for today.  I welcome any and all discussion on the ethics of photographing people without their knowledge, especially the Amish but certainly not limited to them.  I understand (from what I’ve read) that it is legally okay to photograph people when they are in public view, but from an ethical viewpoint, is it right?  (Can you tell I’ve been reading about right action?)

At sunrise yesterday

You are an aperture through which the universe is looking at and exploring itself.

~ Alan Wilson Watts

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40 Comments on “Journey”

  1. aFrankAngle says:

    Cool pic of the turning trail. Have you ever come to SW OH for the Little Miami Bike Trail?

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Frank. 🙂

      No, I haven’t. I would like to, having read about it (I think it was featured in one of the Rails to Trails magazines recently). We used to live in southeastern Ohio, and our oldest son went to Miami U. so we frequently visited that area, but he graduated, we moved to this corner of the state, and I haven’t had a chance to get back down that way.

  2. Lots of “journey” photos in this post. I especially love the horse and buggy image. Can you imagine having to travel any substantial distance that way? Happy Thursday, Robin!
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Kathy. 🙂

      I have certainly thought about it. I think I would enjoy traveling that way, but not having done it, I could be very wrong. I don’t like flying or evening traveling by car, and much prefer a slower means of transportation. But I also know I would probably not get very far (by foot, by bike, by horse, or even by train), if I did travel that way. Even so, I’d love to give it a try.

  3. Dana says:

    I think the problem would come if you were trying to make a profit off of a photo of somebody else– without their knowledge or consent. Public spaces are generally “open”, but then again, it’s impossible to live life completely away from public places if you don’t want your photo taken… even for Amish. 😉

    • Robin says:

      True, Dana. And very good points. If I were trying to make a profit off of the photo, I would need a release from the people I photographed if they were recognizable. If they are shadows in the distance (or in the buggy), it wouldn’t be a problem. However, my dilemma is more about what is ethically right rather than what is legal. When I had no knowledge of how the Amish felt about having their photographs taken, it didn’t bother me so much since I was not trying to profit off of my photos. Now that I know… it feels different.

  4. Joanne says:

    I read the quote from Lord Snowdon before reading the post, and now I see why it is Today’s Quote. When I visited the Blue Mountains, west of Sydney, last year, and visited The Three Sisters (an incredible natural landmark at Katoomba) an Aboriginal man was there, busking, playing the didgeredoo. I wouldn’t photograph him until I knew he was okay with it, as I’ve heard that some aboriginals believe when a photo is taken, it removes a part of their soul.

    Is it vanity (or rather, wishing NOT to show any signs of vanity) that prevents the Amish from having photos taken? I’m sure I’ve heard that they don’t own mirrors either, as it promotes vanity. I would have the same dilemma you have, regarding the photo taken from behind. I think you would need to discuss the matter with an (or several) Amish person(s), to find out exactly what their beliefs are. I agree with “do unto others”, but I am also curious about these people, so appreciate the photos you have taken. I’ll be interested to read what other readers have to say on this matter too.

    • Robin says:

      Humility, Joanne, which is probably another way of not showing signs of vanity. Talking with an Amish person is a very good idea. 🙂

  5. Wonderful photos….is it really that green as in “greening woods along the trail”?….I love that delicate new green of early spring.
    As far as taking photos….I like that idea of sitting down with someone who is Amish and learning more about why that is a preference…and then with that understanding, and using however you personally view “right action”…make a choice based on that. I think each of us would need to approach such a choice individually. (however, I did take several photos of a friend who is a monk and doesn’t want /like to have his photo taken…simply out of me petulantly wanting to have a few photos of him….at the Golden Gate Bridge and cooking lunch no less…talk about not living up to right action!!! )

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Kathy. Yep, it’s really that green. Spring Green. 😀

      Oh gosh… you reminded me of when I took a photo of a monk in a garden. I didn’t have his permission and did it on the sly because the colors were so beautiful — his bright orange robe against a backdrop of blossoms (cherry blossoms, I think).

      • Actually, most monks deepest motivation in life is to support and nurture happiness in others…so if the colors of his robe against the backdrop of the blossoms brought happiness to you, then he would be happy and thankful for that too. Supporting your happiness would most likely be more important to him than any preferences of his own….kind of remarkable.

  6. I’ve asked Amish men with their young sons present about their views on photography. This particular family has a booth — sells delicious pies — at our summer Farmers Market. Their sons are mostly 10 and under, and often run the booth under the careful eyes of their elders. They said they do not wish to have their faces photographed because it puts a focus on the individual, outward beauty, etc, but they had no problems with me photographing their booth of pies, or the children from the side or back, without their faces in focus. They declined to be photographed saying the elders preferred no photos.

    I do think it depends on the people though. These folks are working in a public space, and they may be more OK with photography. I too think photographing their buggies, not the people, are OK, but I would not photograph a home or business without permission.

    Now street photography, that’s another thing, but gets mucked up if there are Amish or Aboriginals or monks are walking down the street, I guess….

  7. Thank you for being considerate of the Amish – so many aren’t – they can hardly live apart these days. The creek pictures are (as usual) great…but it’s warming up here and mosquitoes appearing – do you battle them when you take pictures?

  8. It’s true that the Amish do not like to have their picture taken and I think it behooves us to respect that. If you made it known that you did not want your picture taken, ever, and people went ahead and did it anyway………….like you say, it’s a respectful response.

  9. ~mimo~ says:

    breathtaking photos!

  10. I have this same dilemma when taking pictures of Omanis, as many of them don’t like having their photos taken. Especially, it’s actually considered illegal to take photos of women. I try not to take photos of women unless they give permission (and I’m not even sure that’s right!) With men, I sometimes snap shots in public, but sometimes I ask. I understand what you’re saying here, for sure!!

    • Robin says:

      That’s interesting, Cathy. I guess we will have to add Omani women to the list of those who must not be photographed (along with the monks, the Aboriginals, and the Amish).

      Thanks for you input on the subject. 🙂

  11. dadirri7 says:

    gorgeous post! my teacher Donna Farhi says that some days your yoga practice is to get off the mat and make that phone call that needs making …. the take a run that is calling you … the attend to a garden or animal …so some days when you are on the mat you discover you need to be somewhere else …. when your practice begins check in with your body, mind, feelings, energy, and see what is needful and stay open to the possibility that it may be something else 🙂 namaste, christine

  12. frizztext says:

    I’m very interested on Amish culture, thanks for sharing!
    http://flickrcomments.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/amish-people/

  13. milkayphoto says:

    201 days?! Wow, has it been that long already? I went back and read your post in Sept/11. How do you feel after 6.5 months of practice? From your writings, you do seem more active since you started. Good for you! Keep it up! 🙂

    I rarely photograph people because of the same dilemmas you list. I think even in public, we should retain some privacy. I know I wouldn’t want a complete stranger to photograph me.

    • Robin says:

      Good point, Tracy. And well worth remembering.

      I feel great, for the most part. Much more limber and loose. Comfortable in my body. It’s a new feeling. 🙂

  14. Sallyann says:

    Lovely photos again, thanks for sharing your journey with us each day. 🙂

  15. I’m still loving your bridges and buggies photos.. I think most people don’t mind being photographed…

  16. Kathy says:

    Congratulations on over 200 days of saluting the sun and other poses. I like how you labeled all days as “good”, even the non-present ones. Sometimes I forget to do that. (Hey, that’s good, too, right?) P.S. The ethics of photographing random children sometimes confuses me.

  17. CMSmith says:

    I try not to take pictures of people as a rule, although sometimes I do. In the college level photography classes I took the teacher made a point about needing permission to use photographs of other people. I’m not real clear on how that works, especially when you’re out in public.

    • Robin says:

      I think (but am not positively sure) that permission is needed for commercial use. Even then, if they’re in a public place, that doesn’t seem to be entirely the case or the paparazzi wouldn’t be able to make money on shots of celebrities.


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