Thursday, December 22, 2022

Favorite Pic of the Day for December 24th

Image by ShutterClickPhx
-See More Below-

Winter's Whisper

The snow is softly falling. 
The air is still within the silence of my room 
I hear your voice softly calling
Winter's Night

I've written before about my love for Christmas Eve.  Even more than the 25th, the day before has a distinct magical feeling unique only to the day before.  I have a tradition on Christmas Even of going for a long walk just after midnight.  I've gone with family members and friends, I've gone often with a dog, and many times on my own.

I know there's a lot going on in the world, and currently, a lot of crazy weather.  My memories of those walks though, are of a quiet whisper of winter, one I usually only feel in December around the holidays.  There's a whisper in January as well, but it's usually a bit more brusque.  I wanted today's posts to channel that winter whisper I listen for every Christmas Eve.  A  calm before the storm of Christmas morning.  When I thought of an image that best visually represented that feeling, I kept coming back to the incredible winter shot of Joshua David. (below) I've featured the image, and  Joshua's work on the site before, and his images felt perfect to illustrate winter's whisper that I wanted to spotlight today.

Nolan Dean: Hiss

It was over a decade ago that I discovered the visual brilliance of artist Nolan Dean and featured his imagery many times over the years.  When I saw recently saw these shots on Nolan's Instagram, I  had to ask him about sharing them on the site. As a kid growing up playing hockey, they brought back so many memories.  Although I've never skated naked, I did spend countless hours on frozen lakes during the winter.  

My favorite time to go was just after supper.  It was dark except for the one light cascading the frozen water.  If you got there at the right time it was also pretty quiet.  Kids came in the day, adults came later.  Often, early in the evening, you had the lake to yourself.  It was beautifully quiet, the only sound the hissing as your blades hit the ice.  These images brought back those memories, those quiet evenings, and that comforting hissing sound.

Luke G: Hush

Wrapped in morning silence of December's trees 
Lonesome am I as I hear the ravens cry 
Grieving art the morning songs 
Above the forest's tranquility
Winter's Silence

Winter is both the nosiest and quietest season.  Some days, the sound of snow plows and snow blowers echo throughout the neighborhood.  Anyone's whose walked on or through frozen snow knows the crunching sound is annoying and loud.  There's also no wind, like a winter's wind, howling louder the lower the temperature falls.

On many winter days however, there is a deafening silence, especially when you're alone in the woods.  most humans are snuggled in at home.  Most animals, burrowed deep in their burrows.. Even the birds who haven't flown south can't must much energy to sing.  

Deep in the winter woods, the only sounds you hear are the occasional crackle of tree branches.  Sometimes, it's an animal venturing out, most times, it's just the branches breaking due to the ice and snow that covers them.  There is nothing really more peaceful than the hush of a winter walk in woods

Thanks to Luke G. who took another winter walk, and shared another winter shoot with FH.  I'm a huge fan of Luke's work, especially his shoots in the snow.  I continue to be amazed at quality and composition in the incredible self-shots Luke manages to capture when alone outside, naked in the cold.

ShutterClickPhx: Full Facial

 I’ve had a very fortunate life, and nothing brings me more joy than to help those not as fortunate.'

One of the benefits of calm and quietude is the ability to really think and reflect.  The world around us is really noisy, and louder with each passing year.  It is more important than ever, to take time to relax, reflect and really take in what feel, hear, experience and see. 

I strive to make FH a site that people struggle to quickly scroll through.  I want every post to be special, every image to grab visual focus and attention.  I know that's not really possible, but it's one of the reasons I don't just present imagery, but tell the stories behind them.

Last year, one of my favorite stories to tell, and one of the stories that stuck with me, long after I posted, was my December spotlight on Jeff from ShutterClickPhx Jeff is an artist I'd describe as a cautious contributor to the site.  Not reluctant,  just not totally comfortable with the promotional and commercial components associated with art.  Jeff loves that others enjoy his work, he's just not incredibly interested in self-promotion. 

Jeff's is more than fine with the models he works with sharing his images, and has always been enthusiastic with helping out with my posts.  I think Jeff shares the 'If you built it, they will come' philosophy, in that if that work is substantial, it will be seen.  Given this, I'm even more grateful he's been supportive with my posts, and with sharing his philosophy and stories.

Last December, I asked Jeff about doing a piece featuring some of his favorite images.  Jeff sent on so many great choices, I divided the piece into two parts. (HERE: & HERE:)  Because of how much I loved both the images, and the words Jeff shared, this year, I wanted to hark back to the piece and link to the story for anyone that missed it.

I contacted Jeff about possibly sharing a few additional favorite shots to add to the post when I linked back to the story.  As he did last year, Jeff sent back over 50 shots for me to choose from.  The focus of the favorites, evident from the images, was full facial portraits.  I think it's actually a bit easier to skim by bodies than faces.  Our bodies may differ in size and shape, but the configuration is basically the same.

Faces and heads though, have so many facet differentiations.  In addition to the overall facial structure, lips, ears and noses are different sizes and shapes, not to mention hair color, length and style.  Then of course there's the eyes.  With each of these images, it was the eyes that drew me in.  

I'm always first drawn to eyes and faces, bodies come in a distant second.  I've seen so many impressive bodies, hot butts and pleasing penis in photographs, but they all run together without a great face to go with them.  Those eyes, that face, share more about the man than any other part of the body. Equally, these portraits also share much more about the artist.