Category Archives: Authenticity

Aha At The End Of The Day


Having just returned from my first trip to Montreal,Canada, I was eager to load digital images into my computer for review and processing. While waiting for the import, I discovered a photo I had taken at Berkeley Lake in Denver. Earlier in the evening I was trying to answer a question that one is always asked about one’s photography: “what kind of photography do you do?” It’s a simple enough question but I’ve really been struggling to answer it… portrait,landscape,nature,documentary,travel,street,wedding,commercial,architecture and so on?

In the midst of this muddling and frustration, an answer came. It followed a pattern: when one is busy doing something else, the aha often sneaks in the side door. I am a photographer who loves to document the extraordinary beauty in the ordinary and to write stories about what it’s like to be human in everyday ways and challenges and to encourage courage in life transitions. It’s a reminder to step into “who you are” and not get stuck by comparing yourself to others.

So today’s image is not from Montreal, but rather from a place I know well, close to home, at the end of the day and in this case a portrait and landscape all in one. ūüôā

Also posted in Courage Tagged , , , |

Pull Up a Chair

©IBKimage 2017



In the busy outside interactions of summer in the city, it’s often difficult to find a place of retreat, where one can stand back and observe what moments ago one was in the midst of. On a recent evening photo shoot, in front of Union Station,Denver’s newly repurposed and renovated train station plaza, just such a place made itself known. A breakfast restaurant with outdoor seating, was closed, but oh the delightful configurations of myriad plastic chairs at rest before the next performance.

In the midst of the surrounding hustle and bustle, I observed our two chairs leaning in for a chat and thought about many past joyous moments of sitting with someone in deep conversation, totally oblivious to what was happening all around. We’ve lost something when we so often engage in transaction with our devices while at the same time trying to experience deeper interaction with the human soul across from us. Many times not just wanting to experience deeper, but hungering for it.

Also posted in Insight Tagged , , , , , , |

It’s Not ‘PERRRRfect’






No matter where we go today we encounter the world of the perpetual “perfect” as spoken in cliche in¬†many interactions. ¬†I don’t think ‘perfect’ gives us enough vocabulary to describe a¬†current situation and/or an often challenging transition that one¬†might be in the midst of. ¬†So today I encourage you to embrace¬†the freedom of the imperfect¬†…whatever that means¬†for you.

¬†Today’s¬†image breaks a lot of the ‘rules’ of photography but in the course¬†of several gloomy days¬†in a wet 2010 spring, it¬†was an imperfect¬†image that captured a beautiful moment¬†of grace ¬†as I walked my¬†neighborhood¬†that day.


Also posted in Imperfect, Reframe Tagged , , , |

Pepper On A Window Sill










Many times when we are in transition we choose or have to learn skills not previously known that will help us travel a new path.¬†This week I’ve been reading a book by Chuck DeGroat entitled: Wholeheartedness:¬†Busyness, Exhaustion and Healing the Divided Self. ¬†¬†I was particularly drawn to a ¬†a section in chapter 7 about “returning to our core, recovering our true self”.


¬† …”But this is the journey – from that lonely, exposed place where we find ourselves after clawing our way to ¬†the top, to the lush valley below with streams of living¬†water. The journey is from a place of exhaustion to a ¬†place of rest, from a place of fragmentation to a place of wholeness and wholeheartedness. … in contrast to the upward mobility of our world, this is the way of downward mobility.I (Chuck) call this a descent into wholeness…. We become more whole as we unburden ourselves as we let go of what we thought we needed in order to experience what we already have.”


This last line of the quotation above, made its home in my thoughts today.  I/We so often work so hard to get to or through something  with our own effort and timelines when if we would pause to engage with what we already have, we might  discover some burden we could leave behind as we journey forth.

Today’s image was made¬†on a day where I hit the pause button and noticed the light on a pepper in the¬†¬†windowsill . It¬†attracted my attention and provided, and still provides, delight.


Also posted in Courage Tagged , , |

©IBKimage 2012


When my oldest son was little I gave him a book that was in my toy consultant ¬†sample packet. ¬†The title: ¬†“Little While Friends.” ¬†He received it just before we went on a family road trip one summer where we explored three towns named Keystone in three states … among other things. ¬†Stopping to climb rocks or while visiting a snake attraction, he would often find little while friends to interact with. ¬†They didn’t have the same stature as friends from home or the familiarity and commitment of family, but it taught him early on that there are interesting people and sights all around that satisfy. Perhaps, like a beautiful mixed bouquet of flowers in a vase from the floral shop; they are precious because they are a fragile, time-limited treasures.

Now these little while friends don’t always have to be people … the beauty of nature in it distinct seasons, the gift of artists helping us enter into a place we hadn’t considered before; musicians stirring our souls; delight with new learning and new technologies that improve our daily living and help to restore in some manner what has been lost … but generally, it’s people we continually seem to say goodbye to; at airports and graduations, weddings and job changes, first day of school and retirement, and then a final ending whose tension we all live with confronted with so many “little while” choices, actions and engagements.

Our layered wall hanging in today’s image, by a fiber artist in Omaha, NE provided a little while delight on a restaurant wall, as a long time friend and I cherished precious time together over a meal,but more importantly it also reminds me that no matter how dark it might be, the light is thankfully always present. The story of death and resurrection, mourned and celebrated is thankfully” little while” and eternal.




Also posted in Aging, Courage, Seasons, Seeing In New Ways Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Things Are Not Always What They Seem











Today’s image is ¬†a flower box in front of a brightly painted window of a Victorian style storefront in Crested Butte, Colorado. ¬†The collection of vibrant colors delight residents and visitors alike as they enjoy the summer days in ¬†mountain towns. ¬†But wait … this picture was taken during the waning days of ¬†autumn’s ¬†leaf season when all the deciduous greens turn a golden yellow in our Colorado high country. ¬†So these beautiful ¬†flowers are artificial. ¬†Someone forgot to remove them when the summer tourists left.

It takes a lot of work to keep those beautiful baskets of flowers pruned and watered as they greet us at our vacation destinations . I’ve seen the landscape contractors out early in the morning with their long water wands attached to a tank on their pickup truck as they move from one hanging planter to the next. As beautiful as they are, flowers cannot survive hanging on a pole at high altitude or in city smog without managed care.

The artificial flowers last longer and require no water, but they have no power to draw us to the authentic show that nature provides in it changing seasons.

What is most authentic for you in this season of your life and what will you prune that’s artificial?


Also posted in Seasons Tagged , , |

Letting Go

Happy New Year!

I’m getting ready to attend a photography conference of the Professional Photographers Assn. (PPA) later this month in New Orleans . I’m a bit intimidated. ¬† ¬†One of the opportunities at the event is to present 12 photos for critique by professional judges.

Today I opened my  5 star (best) photo folder of the last three years and started to flag some candidates for the event. To my amazement I found many photos that were blurry, too busy, out of focus, and just plain poor composition.  I deleted most of them and now have a much stronger collection.  Somewhere along the way in the last three years of taking photos, classes, and online tutorials and letting go of other things to focus on photography, I got better.  See images below. (Thank you all my teachers and photo friends)

One of the challenges in the frenetic paces that we often choose so matter of “factly” is that we’re now faced with endless opportunity to be “on” and ¬†connected to all kinds of great things – but they may not be the best things for who we desire to authentically be.

As you look back on the year just passed what is it that you might choose to let go of this year that will allow you to move in some area from good to better or best. ¬†Hint, you might have to delete a lot of good and better … and it might involve relationships as well as things.


PS I had to let go of remembering how to put the good and best image first in this weeks blog. ¬†ūüôā


©IBKimage 2011

Also posted in Letting Go, New Beginning, Seeing In New Ways Tagged , , , |