Category Archives: Insight

Away for Christmas and New Year 2017-2018

©2018 IBKimage

And just like that … there it was, the Eiffel Tower, in Paris, France across from the park my son and I were walking in on a gloomy, damp January day. In three days I’d be flying back to Denver after spending 2 weeks in Germany, pre and post Christmas with friends, and then a train ride to Paris to visit a son who was visiting too.

There are times in life when traveling thousands of miles to be with others in a special season is exactly the best gift one could receive. Well, for me anyway, since my first home was in Germany many years ago and I had always had a desire to go back for Christmas as an adult. It was everything I had hoped for and then some. Sleeping at sea level on gloomy winter days with little sunshine is the most relaxing sleep that I can ever remember. The German word for my adventure is Erholung: Rest, Recreation,and Recovery.

In this year of 2018 my wish for you is to find a place of Erholung, whether near or far away to reflect on what is really important to you as you navigate the seasons of your life.


Also posted in Hospitality, Inspiration 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 Authenticity Tagged , , , , , , |

Changing Our Viewpoint


A lesson I keep learning from my photography is that if you can’t capture a desired image which the eye sees, you have to move yourself to account for  the camera’s limitation.  Similarly, by shifting  position one can make an image look like it’s taken in sunny Italy, when it’s less than a half of a mile from a busy part of Interstate 70 in Denver.  In today’s image we’re seeing a pump house along Berkley Lake near my home, where I often walk in the evening when the summer heat dissipates.


Walking around this lake has also given me an opportunity to see some stunning sunsets, without the interference of electrical wires ubiquitous  in the alleys in my older neighborhood.  There’s a point here I think that perhaps helps us when we are anticipating, in the midst of, or just having encountered a transition of some kind.  Shifting our perspective and choosing (or being forced to by circumstance) to view a situation in a new way, can fix our eyes and hearts to perhaps see new viewpoints that can … in the moment … or after a passage of time, bless in new ways.


Also posted in Courage, Letting Go, Reframe Tagged , , |

In Walking Away, We Can Miss A Lot



I spent a long weekend in Brooklyn, New York where I visited my youngest son.  We walked, we talked, drank great coffee, ate ethnic food and talked about the times we find ourselves in. All too soon it was time to go. I took the subway to Penn Station in New York, and then the New Jersey Transit to the Newark Airport and then to my gate,and a two hour weather delay …


While waiting and on the subsequent 4 hour flight to Denver, I thought about the millions of people who maneuver in urban contexts for work, and school and play and worship, and how amazing it is that people from all different places generally get along pretty well. Several people had offered assistance as I carried my rolling bag up the subway exit steps; answered and confirmed directional inquiries; shared stories of being immigrants who opened a restaurant using their Palestinian grandmother’s recipes … and so on.  Our waitress on one of our last meals together in the city, was a puppeteer and singer, songwriter, from Maine, who went to school in Colorado and knew the brother of my son’s high school friend from Lincoln, NE.


Perhaps because of the density in a large urban area, there is a forced closeness in encountering people who are not like us, and yet in our daily actions, and hopes and dreams, we are exactly alike.  When we have the luxury of living with more space, we might be tempted to walk away to our own comfort and miss the blessing of new insights. Pity.


Also posted in Blessings, Others Tagged , , , |

Time Well Wasted


©2013 Telluride













Recently, I had the privilege to hear “someone’s heart” about some major decisions regarding a hoped for direction in a relationship and a desire to engage in more frequent work or perhaps a career change. After several interactions and some movement forward, I received a note. In essence: “Things didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped and I made some sacrifices, but had I not taken this risk, I would not now know so much more about me … and then this:  “It was time well wasted.”  I was so moved by such a healthy reframe and have been “dancing” with the phrase ever since… time well wasted.  We usually say:  “It was time well spent” but this reframe opens  many possibilities.


We of course want to have a lot of memories of  time well spent but we often don’t get there because we think it was (or is) such a waste of time to spend time on something we want to do or be. It seems so frivolous or so much work.


Today’s image is a view from an abandoned cabin at the top of a trail in Telluride, Colorado. My photo friend dragged me up there to see this “unreal view” of a cabin with multiple windows and doors that each had a unique stunning view of the surrounding landscape. The only post processing work here is a slight crop to reduce the overall size of the image.  Ah…”time well wasted”.


What say you? Can you think of time well wasted that lead you to new places and insights?








Also posted in Blessings, Courage, Seeing In New Ways Tagged , , , , |

Just because you can …











For the last few months I have been engaged in a long distance remodeling project. Now that the project is almost complete I have reflected on how important it is to assemble a first rate team for such an undertaking.   Like an orchestra with a variety of players and  instruments contributing their own distinct tone to the whole, just so the role of the skilled craftsmen/woman provided their unique skills for an amazing transformation of a home with amazing “bones” but in need of some much needed renewal for a different time.

During this time I intermittently did some of the physical work of  deconstruction, which has it’s own rewards, but also it’s downside … in my case resulting in a shoulder that has needed some care from a wonderful team of physical therapists, and acupuncturists. It’s been a while, but finally I seem to be making progress.  Last week my physical therapist gave me a phrase that related to not overdoing it with the home exercises … “just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”  What she meant in this particular case was that even though I might not have as much pain, I could still be overworking my muscles, and actually be impeding progress by overdoing it … you know, if a little is good, more is better …

Well, I can’t let go of that thought.  I changed it slightly as I started sharing it this week.  “Just because you can, doesn’t mean you have to…”  and by repeating it in various contexts, it (the phrase) has changed me.  I challenge you to apply this phrase to your own life and see what happens.

Today’s image is a humorous example of our phrase for the day.  The setting is Belfast, Maine, and just because they could decorate this old theater this way, doesn’t mean they should, or have to.  🙂

Best, IBK







Also posted in Aging, Pruning, Seeing In New Ways, Uncategorized, Waiting Tagged , , , |
















We are used to seeing things in certain ways that help us recognize familiarity.  Putting letters of a familiar word, as in our image today, in a non-standard position can make us feel uncomfortable.  It can also make us stop and think about how else we might want to express something familiar in a new way to perhaps  look at the parts that make up the whole or find a new application.

Our word today is a familiar one and we all have experienced what it feels like to be truly welcomed by someone; or perhaps we invite people in to our spaces to share our life in some way with them; we used to say you’re welcome when someone thanked us for something, but now we often hear:  “no problem,” which seems to answer something else.

I’d welcome the opportunity for some feedback about how you welcome the stranger in your midst(or family and friends.)  Perhaps you struggle to interact with those who are not you or don’t interest you.  Why is that?  These are some questions I’ve been living with this week. I send them on for further pondering.







Also posted in Inspiration, Uncategorized Tagged , , , |












Very early one morning, in October, a group of photographers attending a Frans Lanting Workshop car-pooled to Four Mile Beach near Santa Cruz, California .  In the dark we gathered our equipment and layers of clothing and walked a half of a mile to the water. I had forgotten my headlight, but others guided us along the path with a variety of light devices .  We arrived at the water’s edge and heard the tide coming in before we saw it. After the initial shock of  the cold tide coming in over my water shoes ,worn for stability on the slippery rocks, I was overcome with emotion and could only weep at the beauty pressing itself into all of my senses and my soul.


We set up our tripods on the wet sand, and I peered into the fog and tried to find something to take a picture of.  Gradually I saw the shape of a surfer and then several more and then as dawn’s light appeared, the waves,  rocks, and vegetation magically appeared.  I took a few pictures, and  then proceeded to move to another view.  At that moment our leader Frans happened along and asked another participant and I if we’d like some coaching  in what we were seeing and so on.  Yes of course we did and he proceeded to tell us to watch how the incoming and outgoing waves created very different patterns and flows and many other things that I had never, ever, had thought about.  I can only describe it as a seeing beyond.


I took a few pictures and started to look for  another view.  Frans kindly but emphatically asked:  “Where are you going ? You’ve got a great spot here … work it … learn to wait for it” … and oh my, how those few words from a gifted teacher have taken me in new directions both personally and as a photographer.   My impatience and jumping from one thing to another has often stopped me from experiencing something that I was to learn.  I remember a long ago phrase that nurtured me well when I used to (and still do) get ahead of myself.  Wait, watch, pray, trust and obey.


Today’s image is from that sacred morning.  In the midst of the fog,churning waves and low light, our early bird is perched and … waiting.

It’s good to be back and in the coming weeks I’ll share some insights that I’ve been learning in a time of intense transition and … waiting.





Also posted in Inspiration, Waiting Tagged , , |

Photo Friends

Callas at Lakewood



I’ve been away for a photography workshop with Frans Lanting and associates in Santa, Cruz California. ( I first heard of Lanting when he and two other world renowned  masters of nature photography came for a two day Denver event in mid April.  I was especially drawn in by his emphasis on the importance of telling a story with one’s images and his availability to participants attending – as well as his kindness and humility.  After a break on the last day, I heard him say that they (he and partner/wife, Chris Eckstrom) had one spot left for a May workshop in Santa Cruz where they are based.  Impulsively, and yet knowing that this was the next major transition in my photographic learning, I got a business card and signed up with Chris via e-mail that evening.


Sixteen came ; from the west, central, and eastern parts of the U.S. and from Germany and Japan/SanFrancisco.  Interesting, curious people ; a variety of ages, and acumen and what we all had in common was a desire to learn and to “do photography together” for 3 1/2 intense days, and become better storytellers learning  from a master and his skilled and delightful associates . How divine!


In the coming weeks I ‘ll share more , gleaned from my own new insights and the encouragement I received during my adventure.   There were brief times when I wondered what I was doing there, and the old sirens tried to call me back  to interrupt my journey, but thankfully those times were brief and time and tide as well as new photo friends, call out to come and see.


Today’s image is a direct result of learning new ways to see.  It started out as a color photo of a planter full of calla lillies, exquisite in their creme and green hues,and ended up as a black and white exercise in the use of negative space.  Less is more.  “I’m listening Frans …”








Also posted in Blessings, Courage, Letting Go, Road Trip, Seeing In New Ways, Uncategorized

Do vs. Dew

©IBKimage 2012










Hello Dear Readers,

I’ve taken a break from blogging because, quite frankly, I’ve just been worn out.  I’m learning that just because I can, I don’t have to.  Like the beautiful drops of dew in our image today, there are so many interesting drops of delight that can keep us fascinated and ready to engage in the next good thing.   There have been many good things this year and I’ve learned a lot, and challenged myself and met some wonderful people who have encouraged and nourished me. I’ve “tried on” new activities and discarded old ones (and some of the new ones).  Old habits came back to support me and to discourage me; friendships were renewed and deepened and others let go of; friends and acquaintances received serious diagnoses, and thankfully are recovering; grieving occurred and joy returned.  A year of being human.


I’ve also discovered again that it’s easy to let the good things crowd out the better or best things.  Much of my fatigue in the last month, resulted from activity vs. focused engagement on what is mine to do.  Yes of course a lot of our lives require daily maintenance and routine, and maintaining relationships, but if I neglect the inner life for too much outer activity, I won’t be able to distinguish the “dew from the do.”


Also posted in Seasons, Uncategorized Tagged , , , |