"Astral Inverness" by Bodhi Smith

​"​as​tral ​i​nverness"​ ​is a re-release of an impression created back in ​february of ​2016…to this day, it remains as one of my own personal favorite photos which i've ever taken…

​"all five spiritual elements mystically meet up with each other here: the earth of the land, sandbar, and shipwreck...the water of the ocean and the river...​the fire of the stars and milky way...the air of the glowing reddish sky...the infinite space of the dark night sky overhead...a confluence creating another beautiful confluence, making one of the physical and astral planes" ― bodhi, ​astral inverness​

"we, the people, 
gifted with dreams from above, 
everyday, we weave them into 
existence. dreams of 
love more concrete than 
any illusion out there. 
we, the people, 
the dream weavers, 
can learn how to 
weave beautiful lives of 
dreams. the warp and weft of 
life, canvass of love's painting"
"illusions may fade, but the sublime remains" ― vincent van gogh  
"​you are such that besides this physical body, you have another astral body. do not therefore be afraid of getting out of the mortal frame​" ― jalaluddin rumi, the essential rumi

"fly me high through the starry skies maybe to an astral plane. cross the highways of fantasy, help me to forget today's pain. ooh, dream weaver, i believe you can get me through the night" ― gary wright, dream weaver

"this place is part of me, as i'm part of it. i belong here. i belong under the stars. forever looking up into the heavens, a simple dream weaver connecting the celestial to the terrestrial, with my feet on the ground and my head in the stars" ― bodhi, dream weaver

this song, ​released the same year i took this impression in 2016,​ ​is a tune with a parallel meaning to my photo here​...​with its lyrics, ​it​'​s the perfect accompaniment to connect music with the meaning of my impression and blog today: "astral plane​" by​ valerie june​ ​.​.. (just click on any of the words in the powder blue links to listen to the tune and watch the video) ...

"is there a light you have inside, you can't touch? a looking glass can only show you so much. follow the signs, slowly but steady. don't rush. the day will come when you are ready. just trust. dancing on the astral plane. holy water cleansing rain. floating through the stratosphere. blind, but yet you see so clear. is there a way for you to shine without fear? from other worlds, but you can't say what keeps you here. dancing on the astral plane. holy water cleansing rain. floating through the stratosphere. blind, but yet you see so clear. dancing on the astral plane. holy water cleansing rain. floating through the stratosphere. blind, but yet you see so clear. blind, but yet you see. blind, but yet you see. blind, but yet you see. blind, but yet you see so clear...but is there a way for you to give it your all? dreaming a dream. of sweeter things great or small. dancing on the astral plane. holy water cleansing rain. floating through the stratosphere. blind, but yet you see so clear. dancing on the astral plane. holy water cleansing rain. floating through the stratosphere. blind, but yet you see so clear...dancing on the astral plane. holy water cleansing rain. floating through the stratosphere. blind, but yet you see so clear. blind, but yet you see. blind, but yet you see. blind, but yet you see. blind, but yet you see so clear. there is a light you have inside, you can touch" ― valerie june, astral plane​
"i'm a dream weaver of my passions. putting the things i love most into one dream. looking past the impossibilities and limits of reality, looking into my visions and fantasies. wrapping magical realism into a photograph " ― bodhi, dream weaver 
"my dreams embody my hopes and my aspirations mixed in with my experiences and memories. these dreams are really a bridge teleporting my past into my future, fusing me with my present, weaving me into the love of here and now" ― bodhi, dream weaver
"stroll under 
the stars at 
night on 
the beach, walking with 
your feet grounded in 
the soft sand, feeling 
the smooth grains between 
your toes...then reach to 
the sky with 
outstretched arms, and 
embrace a dream, as 
the waves wrap around 
your legs​,​ and 
silently erase 
the footprints behind 
this impression is perfectly named as "astral inverness" imho...here are the reasons why...
"astral" is a term defined by merriam-webster to mean 
1. something connected with or resembling the stars
2. a non-physical realm of existence in which unexplained phenomena happen
in the scottish language,"inver" means a meeting of things, especially water...and the town of "inverness", scotland is where the river ness flows from the famous lock ness and meets the river beauly and beauly firth and mixes out into moray firth and the north sea...
​(on a side note...s​hakespeare's ​m​acbeth ​uses the ​c​astle​ in inverness​ ​a​s the site of ​m​acbeth's murder of ​k​ing ​d​uncan, allowing ​m​acbeth to usurp the crown. ​i​t is also ​in inverness, scotland ​where ​m​acbeth's descent into madness plays out, with many key scenes happening within the confines of the castle​...connecting even further into the astral side of the human psyche)​
but it is not just water that is meeting other water in my impression here, but all of the ​5 spiritual elements​ are meeting up and mixing here​: earth, water, fire, air, space...everything in nature is made up of these five basic elements. and each of these elements can be seen interacting in this photo...
here in california, i​nverness​ is a small town situated on tomales bay. it's​ a crossing of where the land meets the water, but not just one type of water, it’s a mixing of fresh and salt water,​ with the ocean meeting lagunitas creek. it's ​in a area influenced by the changing tides of the ​pacific​ ​constantly rising and fallin​g. and it's​ capped off ​by the touches of mankind as an old stranded shipwreck​, the USS point reyes,​ ​has ​permanently grounded on a sandbar​ in the baywaters​​ (since the early 1970's)​…​and this diverse scene ​​all lays under the canopy of the stars and the ​m​ilky ​w​ay overhea​d, and ​truly ​becomes ​the meeting place of ​all five of the spiritual elements: 
1. earth--the land and the sandbar with the wooden ship
2. water--the fresh water of lagunitas creek and the salt water of the pacific ocean mixing in tomales bay
3. air--the cool night air of northern california mixing with the salt in the air
3. fire--the billions of burning stars along with the light pollution from san francisco setting the sky afire
5. space--all the deepness of space in the night sky, reflected in the dark night waters of the bay
"i'm love. i dream of love. i write of love. i listen to love. i see love. i feel love. i photograph love. i weave love into everything. i love, love. i live love. i'm in love all day and all night, especially when i dream. love is everywhere" ― bodhi, dream weaver
this tune is ​another ​perfect accompaniment for my impression and blog today, for multiple reasons... "dream weaver" by gary wright ... (just click on any of words in the powder blue links to listen to the song)...
"i've just closed my eyes again, climbed aboard the dream weaver train. driver take away my worries of today, and leave tomorrow behind. ooh, dream weaver, i believe you can get me through the night. ooh, dream weaver, i believe we can reach the morning light...fly me high through the starry skies maybe to an astral plane. cross the highways of fantasy, help me to forget today's pain. ooh, dream weaver, i believe you can get me through the night. ooh, dream weaver, i believe we can reach the morning light...though the dawn may be coming soon, there still may be some time. fly me away to the bright side of the moon, meet me on the other side. ooh, dream weaver, i believe you can get me through the night. ooh, dream weaver, i believe we can reach the morning light...dream weaver, dream weaver" ― gary wright, dream weaver
"after going through turbulence, to be firmly planted as you come back to earth, back to reality, is pragmatic, stable, and safe...being grounded can be a good thing as you try to solve difficult problems, but if you stay there too long, where is the fun in that? ...sometimes staying grounded just means you have washed up on shore and are stuck, missing the floating joy of sailing freely over open waters, letting the wind and stars take you away into your dreams...risking to leave the safety of land again might seem scary, but you must find your balance and let the waters refresh you again..." ― bodhi, grounded
"i dream my photograph, and i photograph​ ​my dream..." ― bodhi, my dream
​b​ack in ​d​ecember​ of 2015​, ​i​ had a few days to kill​.​ so ​i ​hopped into my ​2015 x​terra with my dog​, the dude,​ and headed north hoping to catch the shipwreck at the highest tide ​i'​ve ever seen around it...and it worked, ​i​ got my wish​, a very high tide close to seven feet! a​nd ​i​ also had something else ​visualized in my ​mind to create something different​ from this location​...
​s​o, this is a composite of two very separate images, each taken at different dates and different locations, ​having the foresight to know​ that ​two special images​ were going to be used together as one. ​o​ne long exposure for the shipwreck​ at night​, and one for the stars​ and the northern part of the milky way (the section without the glowing colorful core)​. 
​t​he shipwreck ​exposure (f1/4@24mm for 111seconds, iso-100)​ was captured in ​d​ecember ​2015 ​during an extremely high tide event to allow the water to cover up as much of the sand bar as possible and flow around the ship into the long exposure​ and permit for this exquisite reflection of the shipwreck in the water​, which was my main focus of the entire composition--i feel if you get the reflection perfectly, then the rest of the image will just fall beautifully in place.​..the exposure of the stars (f/1.4@24mm for 11 seconds, iso-1250) followed three months later​ in february of 2016...
​i'​ve shot this spot many times at night trying to get stars, but never was especially satisfied with any of the results. ​h​owever, ​i​ did notice the colors in the sky and the water that always consistently came out with the same ​reddish/orange ​color tones created from the light pollution coming from ​s​an ​f​rancisco to the south​east​.​..
so, ​knowing ​i​ was going to make a blend, the stars were captured ​later ​in the high ​elevations of the mojave ​desert looking back into a similar color of light pollution​ coming from the las vegas basin​.​..​
t​his impression is the product of that special visualization i had in my mind's eye, combined with the patience to make it happen and come together perfectly...
(by the way...this photographic composition was taken only a couple months before the entire stern of the ss point reyes shipwreck was unfortunately burned and destroyed by another photographer who carelessly and accidently set it on fire while trying to take steel wool sparkling images from aboard the ship, regrettable forever ruining the chances of future pictures taken of the famous shipwreck in its entirety ever again...some say i was lucky to have taken so many images before it burned, but i say i am just as unlucky as anyone else with having another thoughtless person carelessly steal the opportunity for any of us to take images of the entire ship ever again in the future...)
i truly hope you enjoy the image, as much as i did the night i took the picture with the departed dude a few years ago, a time that is still a great memory of mine combined with a picture which is aesthetically one of my most pleasing and a personal favorite for me...and likewise i hope you enjoy this impression and contemplate and connect with the accompanying quotes and tunes i have included here in today's blog to compliment this dreamy composition​...​
"there was a boy, that boy with the real love letters written in his name...he was meant to be loved. so, there was this girl...she was meant to be loved. that girl who travelled from afar in the world to find that boy with the love letters written in his name. she knew she would give him the love that no one else knew how to give. she would love him for all the people who've withdrawn that love from him. inside, he was that little boy just wanting to be loved for who he truly was. she saw him. the real him...the real little boy with sparkling blue eyes filled with excitement and love, she recognized him immediately. he was the one who wrote the love letters in his name. he was the one who wrote those letters upon the stars of her soul before she was born. they were reunited across his universe. across her universe, their souls are filled with love, together they are love. that boy and this girl, their names now together. they are nirvana together in their glowing dreams in reality" ― bodhi, dream weaver
"the image is a dream. the beauty is real" ― richard bach, jonathan livingston seagull 

"as a child, he had preferred night to day, had enjoyed sitting out in the yard after sunset, under the star-speckled sky listening to frogs and crickets. darkness soothed. it softened the sharp edges of the world, toned down the too-harsh colors. with the coming of twilight, the sky seemed to recede; the universe expanded. the night was bigger than the day, and in its realm, life seemed to have more possibilities" ― dean koontz, midnight
"imagination opens things up so that we can grow into maturity—worship and adore, exclaim and honor, follow and trust. explanation makes things clearer, grounding us, but it restricts and defines and holds us down; imagination expands and lets loose. explanation keeps our feet on the ground; imagination lifts our heads into the clouds. explanation puts us in harness; imagination catapults us into mystery. explanation reduces life to what can be used; imagination enlarges life into what can be adored" ― timothy s. lane, relationships, a mess worth making
"perhaps lovers aren't supposed to look down at the ground. that kind of story is told in symbols, and earth represents reality, and reality represents frustrations, chance illnesses, death, murder, and all kinds of other tragedies. lovers are meant to look up at the sky, for up there no beautiful illusions can be trampled upon." frowning, sulky, i gazed moodily at him. "and when i fall in love,” i began, "i will build a mountain to touch the sky. then, my lover and i will have the best of both worlds, reality firmly under our feet, while we have our heads in the clouds with all our illusions still intact. and the purple grass will grow all around, high enough to reach our eyes" ― v.c. andrews, flowers in the attic  
"keep your eyes on the stars and your feet on the ground" ― teddy roosevelt, 26th president of the united states 
"walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it..." ― wilfred peterson
"would you consider yourself a dreamer or a doer? maybe both? it's important to learn how to balance your goals with your actions in order to live passionately and do what you want in life. a few weeks ago while i was on a run, the saying "keep your head in the clouds and your feet on the ground" popped into my head. i'm not sure why i thought of this, but once i did, i couldn't get it out of my mind. and while i've heard this saying many times—and actually have always thought it was pretty corny—i started to think about it more deeply and realized the true wisdom of this idea. as i've been thinking about it more, i notice that while i often have my "head in clouds," thinking about big goals, dreams and ideas, and my "feet on the ground," staying grounded in reality, taking practical action and keeping things real, i rarely do these things simultaneously. you probably find yourself on one end of this spectrum or the other. some people, like me, go back and forth depending on what's going on in life or how they feel at any given time. however, your ability to create an authentic sense of balance with your goals and actions (dreaming vs. doing), has a lot to do with not only how effective you are in making things happen in life, but also with how much joy and fulfillment you experience...one of the biggest challenges you'll encounter on your journey toward your dreams is either not taking effective action (because you don't know what to do or you're too scared to do it) or taking too much ineffective action (because you're running around crazy or acting in an unconscious way). when you allow yourself to dream big, keep your feet on the ground by coming up with intentional and appropriate actions to move forward with your goals, even if you're scared and not sure how things will turn out. you often need guidance, advice and support in this process because it can be confusing, intimidating or both" ― mike robbins, dreamer or doer or both?
"let the beauty we love be what we do. there's hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground" ― jalaluddin rumi, a year with rumi: daily readings
"you have been walking the ocean's edge, holding up your robes to keep them dry. you must dive naked under and deeper under, a thousand times deeper. love flows down. the ground submits to the sky and suffers what comes. tell me, is the earth worse for giving in like that? do not put blankets over the drum. open completely" ― jalaluddin rumi, the big red book
"you left ground and sky weeping, mind and soul full of grief. no one can take your place in existence, or in absence. both mourn, the angels, the prophets, and this sadness i feel has taken from me the taste of language, so that i cannot say the flavor of my being apart" ― jalaluddin rumi, a year with rumi: daily readings  
"how will you know the difficulties of being human, if you are always flying off to blue perfection? where will you plant your grief seeds? workers need ground to scrape and hoe, not the sky of unspecified desire" ― jalaluddin rumi, a year with rumi: daily readings
"if you look around and see nothing but darkness, maybe you are the light" ― jalaluddin rumi, the essential rumi
"all i can do is smile, and love, and exist, and create art, and keep dreaming my inspirations...hope you love my image today as much as i do, because it's truly a huge part of me, a huge part of who i am" ― bodhi, dream weaver
​t​o get this image naturally would be ​close to ​impossible. ​t​here​'​s just way too much light pollution to be able to see ​as ​many stars ​as this ​at this location in ​i​nverness, ​ca.​ ​it's​ just too close​ ​to the ​s​an ​f​rancisco ​b​ay area​ with all of its lights​...but, ​i​ was able to use all that light pollution that was present in the shipwreck image to my advantage in making this blend​ed image...​
​s​o what you have before you is a​nother​ dream of mine, translated into reality via two separate images. ​t​he ​reddish and earthly ​color tones here are extremely different from any of my other star images, so ​i ​really like this composition for being a change of pace for me.
​a​nd as ​was​ the same with all my ​older images from pre-covid, this composition (both images in the blend) ​was​ captured with​ a d​olica tripod, and could not have been created with out it.
​c​amera settings for the shipwreck image​ ​(f1/4@24mm for 111seconds, iso-100)​...but more importantly, to get the shipwreck illuminated and the reflection bright and crisp, i light painted the shipwreck--i​ paced around back and forth using a high powered flashlight from about 55 feet away (give or take a few​ inches​) to illuminate the shipwreck for 44 seconds of the exposure​ (and it took numerous unsuccessful attempts with exposures to finally get it perfectly the way i envisioned it)​.​..finally, ​​this i​mage was captured in the middle of the night when the tide was the highest.
​c​amera settings for the stars (f1/4@24mm for 11seconds, iso-1​250​)
​b​oth images used my ​n​ikon ​n​ikkor 24mm f/1.4 prime lens. ​but n​o filters were used for either image​, which is truly a huge rarity for me​. ​t​his ​was​ also the last composition captured with m​y nikon d800 before i upgraded to two new nikon cameras...so as a result, i retired the d800 and gifted it away​...
and a final departing thank you to all my sponsors, for without their support, this image might never have happened...
"you were blessed with 84,600 seconds today, have you used one of them to say thank you?" ― bodhi, blessed
"if nothing else...if i open my eyes, if i hope, if i cry, if i think, if i sigh, if i giggle, if i dance, if i love, if i breathe, then i have lived a full days worth of life...nothing is wasted, nothing" ― bodhi, if nothing else
"i do not want you to just be into my photography, instead, i'd much rather you take a journey into my pictures, and feel the impression i have created, feel it with all your senses" ― bodhi, into my photography
"my photography is my way of keeping a diary" ― bodhi, my diary  
"contemplate without thinking. be certain only in your uncertainty, content to be completely incomplete. stop the rush. slow down time. breathe and notice. slow down everything. let it all be. shut off the noise. hush. relax. seize this higher moment. reconnect. feel and sense what surrounds you. listen to all the colours of light whisper as they envelope you. see the melody and harmony that float about unnoticed. taste the solitude of all this wonderment. smell the beautiful silence. now discover your peaceful serenity. then, reach out and touch your faith with all your senses. this is my world. awaken!" ― bodhi, my world
i leave you today wishing that bright joy 
and spiritual peace fill your life...
imploring you to make every moment count, 
no matter what, always and forever, 
for that is the only thing that truly matters...   
and above all else,
i hope this message and impression find you well.

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