Tag Archives: Beauty in the familiar

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

Posted in Authenticity, Courage Also 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.

Posted in Authenticity, Insight Also 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.


Posted in Courage, Insight, Letting Go, Reframe Also tagged , |
















Sometimes when many words have been spoken, a time of silence is renewing.  Being with and not doing for is a wonderful change of habit. After an intense period of time, a shift in focus brings new awareness. Sometimes a picture is enough with few words necessary.

Wishing all of you an intentional time of reflecting on the beautiful in your life and  how you are blessed by it.


Posted in Seeing In New Ways Also tagged , , |

Something Old is New Again

©IBKimage 2012


It’s very interesting how things that we’re struggling with “all of a sudden” resolve. ¬†One day, without notice, something that has been taking away so much of our physical and mental effort, finds it proper proportion in our life, or even disappears. ¬†It was one of those weeks for me. ¬†I was grateful for a negative result on a diabetes test and all that would have implied. ¬†The gratitude turned into action as I examined the layers of denial that I had piled on during the last few months.

All of the things that I can do, (and know how to) ¬†to stay healthy, both physically and emotionally and spiritually, I decided to take a sabbatical from. ¬†Who knows if it was rebellion, passive-agressive behavior, or perhaps ¬†just a realization that in our very human transitions, we sometimes just need ¬†a long “soak” in a dry tub. Having no idea of what’s next, but trusting my creator,redeemer,sustainer to provide what I don’t even know I need. ¬†Until then, we can take small next actions, engaging again in habits that satisfy and then gradually … the old is new again.

Today’s image comes from the Queen City Salvage Yard here in Denver; a delightful garden of oldness tucked underneath a busy I 70 East viaduct. ¬†Here so close and yet so far away from the cacophony of daily activity, are yesterdays front doors, and old car bodies; tools and gadgets from another time, once on grandfather’s tool bench; and rusted hand pumps used to bring cool water to the farm and town kitchens before pvc pipe carried the running water to the faucet.

The paint is peeling on the door in our image but look at the beautiful grain and pattern underneath.  Someone will find this new old door and in just the right season Рwherever it goes, it will be just the right thing .


Posted in Aging, Blessings, Courage, Letting Go, New Beginning, Seasons Also tagged , , , , , |

Night Sky















I grew up in a small village in South Central Nebraska.  Whenever I wanted to see the stars on a clear night, I looked up.  Living in a city these many years later, I can look up and see some stars in my neighborhood, but not the unobstructed view of my childhood.  Stars light if you will.  I have a desire this year to intentionally spend some time in places with a plethora of unobstructed stars, but in the meantime I wander in my city at night and am delighted to capture the beauty of light illuminating human craft.

Perhaps what I’m really thinking about in this new year is that I’d like to focus ¬†on “blooming where I’m planted.” Observing and listening and delighting in what is, and deepening the learning in some of what I’m already engaged in, but also leaving room to be delighted and surprised about what is “out there.”

Today’s image is ¬†near Union Station, in downtown Denver.

Happy New Year to you and yours!


Posted in New Beginning, Seasons Also tagged , , |

Dancing In The Moment

© IBKimage 2012














We are most anxious it seems when we think back to what was or forward to what will be. ¬†Regrets ¬†for actions taken or not taken; ¬†fearful for actions to be taken and so on. ¬†I’ve been reflecting a bit this week about why I love photography. ¬†When I raise my camera to my eye and look through the view-finder I find that I enter a world of the present moment. ¬†All yesterdays and tomorrows disappear and the focus is to capture ever so briefly a moment in time that allows me to repent of my ¬†own efforts and be “graced” and humbled by what has been provided. ¬†Many years ago I read a book entitled: ¬†“Everyday Sacred” by Sue Bender. ¬†In short, her thesis was to be open to the holiness of living in the everyday moments. ¬†Seeing the familiar in a new light and searching for the beauty of the common is certainly one ¬†way ¬†that I love dancing.


Today’s image was discovered during a walk, ¬†near a 400 year old house in Meldorf, Germany. ¬†On my recent trip there I looked up to see the dancer in the side window of an artist’s residence and studio.

What music calls you to dance in the moment?  What might you let go off to start or continue dancing?










Posted in Blessings, Seeing In New Ways Also tagged , , , , , , |

Everyday Delights















Good Morning. ¬†Yes I know it’s not Thursday evening nor have I made contact for three weeks. ¬†I’ve been preparing for and have taken a two week hiking trip to Northern England, specifically an 84 mile hike along Hadrian’s Wall Path from east to west. My companions were 8 members of the Colorado Mountain Club . ¬†With walks in London to lodging, train stations, tubes (subway) as well as our bed and breakfast lodging off trail, it was well over a hundred miles ¬†in 10 days. ¬†Even though I’ve completed the walk and the open blisters are healing and I’ve walked gently every day since coming home, I’m still astounded that I did “this”.

Time spent walking, away from the cacophony of modern noise and incessant marketing,allows one to reflect at many levels. ¬†Walking through many pastures of ¬†“moms” with spring lambs, seeing a brand new baby calf minutes after birth with the mother still laboring to deliver the afterbirth, listening to the sweet music of birds singing, ¬†reawakens ones delight in the ¬†beauty possible in every day. ¬†The challenge is to remember to take intentional steps to experience that delight when we’re slogging through the ordinary.

Since coming home, I have become a morning person with the jet lag adjustment. ¬†It’s been delightful but of course most of you reading this already know that. ¬†My challenge to you is try the opposite of the familiar from time to time.

I’l have more to share in the coming weeks about “hiking the wall”. ¬†Todays image is an example of ¬†an everyday delight. ¬†I took a few photos with my phone camera just to see how it worked and was delighted with the results.


Posted in Seasons Also tagged , , , , |

Change It UP












Before moving to Denver , my hikes occurred on summer vacations. Yesterday  a friend and I went on a spring hike.  The trail started from a parking lot about 15 minutes from my house. Soon we were climbing higher and  proceeded up a series of switchbacks with a generally smooth path along with patches of rocky terrain. We hiked to the top, sat on rocks to eat our snack and then completed the loop of 4 miles back to the car.  I was home by lunch. OK, so what?

Well the rest of the story is that with minimal effort, I saw purple,teal,and fuchsia spring flowers that I had never seen before, hiked up the back of the well known Red Rocks Amphitheater, AND saw numerous nests of caterpillars in their silken ¬†nursery tents ¬†(see today’s image), resting ¬†– perhaps after munching on their host plant’s leaves. ¬†Take that you boring treadmill at the fitness center.

I had so much energy and a great attitude when I got home, that I planted most of my small backyard garden and added some new scented flowers by the front steps in anticipation of the rain which didn’t come until tonight. ¬†Then I got to see the new plants dancing in the rain. ¬†I would have missed this latest delight because I had planned to watch some T.V. after my big day … thankfully the cable was out and I had hours “to be”.

A personal note: Please pray for a young man name Ty who is in a major battle with his enemy, Non Hodgkins Lymphoma.








Posted in Seasons, Seeing In New Ways Also tagged , , , |

“To every thing there is a season …









©2010 IBKimage


“To everything there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven …” the writer of Ecclesiastes tells us in the First Testament.

This week brought news of  changes in season for several people of my acquaintance.  A young seemingly healthy man and his family were confronted with a serious health challenge which will extend into several seasons; another is pondering what next regarding career changes; a third is facing continued tension over several seasons regarding past financial challenges.

My wish for them and all of us who are navigating new seasons, is that we remember to be encouraged by the beautiful and familiar that is always with us. ¬†Light in the midst of winter’s darkness; hope that the melting ice brings water for the new growth in the spring; and most of all the love of creator,redeemer ,sustainer, and ¬†family and friends to hold us ¬†in their hearts ¬†as we ¬†courageously blaze new trails ¬†yet unknown .




Posted in Courage, Seasons Also tagged , , , |