Luz-Paz by Bodhi Smith

"luz-paz" a new impression from bodhi smith...
"when we are lost at sea amongst the darkness, lost under all those stars, amidst all those waves...we need that one light, that glowing light from the shore, looking out for us, to bring us back home, back to solid ground... back to peace under the light" ― bodhinku, peace of the light 

"if the light is in your heart, you will find your way home" ― jalaluddin rumi, the soul of rumi
btw, here is a great tune to listen to, with beautiful lyrics, "guiding light" by mumford and sons as you read my blog (just click on the song title, it is a link to the lyric video)...

"relate to my youth, well i'm still in awe of you. discover some new truth, that was always wrapped around you...well i know i had it all on the line, but don't just sit with folded hands and become blind. because even when there is no star in sight, you'll always be my only guiding light..." ― 
mumford & sons, guiding light
this summer, my pup besos and i were on a huge 11,000 mile road trip across the united states through 41 states with many miles along the north states and canadian border...we were gypsies on the road for a month...a lovely journey, of body, mind, and soul...but always a round trip, and at this point i was starting to make my way homeward, to the place i belong, no matter how far away i go, or for how long, i was headed there, and this lighthouse was a sign of just that to me...a calming light of peace, a symbolic metaphor of a beacon to guide the way back, where my feet will recognize the ground as home...
this stop along the shore of lake superior, i saw this lighthouse in a travel magazine when i was at apostle islands national seashore earlier in the morning the same soon as i saw it, i knew i wanted to shoot it with the stars...
beautiful night, especially once crazy things calmed down (see below story), and once the stars came out during the blue hour of twilight...warm, windless, only me and my doggie in a remote place along lake superior in the northern united states, under the milky way, and the lighthouse glow, on a pebble beach, you can see the tranquility, and here the the image is appropriately named in spanish as luz-paz, which means light-peace...and this was mother nature's birthday gift to me...
"me as i reflect, 
her reflection is
i remember,
remember her 
there above
me glowing, 
her glowing light 
just full 
of everything...
the only thing,
only place 
of peace for
me as i reflect" ― bodhinku, luz-paz

“you don't make a photograph just with a camera. you bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved“ ― ansel adams
“in your light, i learn how to love. in your beauty, how to make poems. you dance inside my chest where no-one sees you, but sometimes i do, and that sight becomes this art” ― jalaluddin rumi, poems of ecstasy and longing
"i am sure life could be beautiful without light, i'm sure it could be so calm and peaceful, but...i think i don't want to know that particular world...i just need light in my life. i need that little mixture of sparkle and chaos amongst my peaceful, quiet darkness" ― bodhinku, peaceful light
this was about 10,000 miles into my trip in july this past summer, a roadtrip with my doggie, besos...just the two of us on a month long adventure together journeying across the united states...with this night as my birthday, and the first birthday i got to spend with besos, and hopefully the first of many together...on this day, we found ourselves on the shore of lake superior at a beautiful lighthouse perched on a cliff...
we arrived in the early afternoon and did some scouting, instantly upon one look, i knew this was going to be something special of a shot later that evening...besos and i left to go grab a bite to eat in a nearby town about 30 miles back, and fill up the gas tank with fuel, and then return later in the evening...
we returned an hour or so before sunset to do my usual preshots for my foreground. we arrived and there was no one around, totally amazing, that on this photogenic beach, in the middle of the summer, warm evening beside lake superior, not a cloud in the sky, no wind, nearing sunset, on a saturday night, and my birthday to boot, not a person was around....even for a location as remote and far away from things as this, i found that amazing, simply amazing for a location as pretty as this...but alas, soon my pup and i both found out the reason this beautiful beach scene was vacated of all people...
about 45 mins before sunset, my dog and i were attacked by flies. not just a few, but literally thousands of them, swarming around both of us, and these flies were biting, and i had bug spray on, they were impervious to it, biting right through it...instantly, boom, photo shoot, over, no way can he or i stand there, let alone try to take pictures, no possible way...grab my camera on the tripod, sling my camera backpack over my shoulder and we took off get away from the flies...but they ran with us, stayed with us, are you kidding me?? 
over the rocks and off the beach and through the woods to the parking lot we go, very fast, sprinting with my full camera set-up still on my tripod...made it to the vehicle, with all the flies still swarming each of us, moving with us like a cloud of dust, even think we picked up a few more along the run...opened the door and let besos in, then my gear, and then the process, letting in a couple hundred flies as well. they were covering my jeep on the outside by the hundreds, all over the windows and hood as i swatted and killed numerous flies at a time on my dashboard, and seat, and windows, and legs, and arms with my sanuks (sandal like shoes)...all the while besos was doing his part biting at them and eating them to kill them...of course now, a month later, he hates being bothered by any fly...
only time i ever saw bugs so crazy in such numbers was the time next to the owens river in california when one evening two summers ago, a horde of bugs were attracted to the interior lights of my jeep with the doors open, and they created a massive frenzied vortex swirling around the interior map lights...but none of them were biting bugs...
these flies bite, and hurt. they look like regular house flies, maybe even smaller. i read up on possible flies in the area, and the best match would be stable flies these were not, nor deer flies...these were flies i have never experienced before, except they looked like regular normal everyday flies we see in california, only with a voracious appetite for besos' and my blood...i thought to myself, that i would trade these flying devils anyday for just some normal mosquitoes, trade them anyday, especially since my bug-juice always keeps the mosquitoes from biting me...
we drove aways and the flies on the outside were still clinging onto the vehicle as we were moving, in fact most hung on until we hit speeds of about 50 mph...are you kidding me!???
i stopped and got some gasoline, with most of the flies gone, but still an occasional one bugging me...did some more internet research, and asked some people inside the gasmart about the flies...both the internet and the locals inside stated that the flies go away when the sun sets, magically disappearing to wherever they came from...the pesky and persistent flies show up on nights like this one to the beaches along lake superior on windless nights in the summer, and are very ruthless.
so we returned back to the beach with the lighthouse, promptly at sunset (as you already know we did since you are looking at the picture i took there) flies, woo-hoo!! and i did not have to re-set-up my camera since i never took it down when we evacuated the beach about half an hour previously...needed to take my foreground shot, for the stars that would be later...only got time enough for one exposure, only one chance to get it right, with it being sundown already using a 10-stop i captured my one single ultra long exposure shot for my foreground of the lighthouse, and i did get it to my liking as you see...
and remember, the wish i said that i would trade the nasty swarm of biting flies for mosquitoes anyday?... well, i got my wish from earlier...mosquitoes. lots and lots and lots of mosquitoes. big mosquitos. i reapplied more bug spay, but these guys were like the flies, persistent, flying in my ears, up my nose, in my eyes, swarming my legs...even though the bug spay kept almost all of them at bay from biting me, mostly...some of them were very large, and figured out that they could bite me though my clothing, really?? ouchy a few times, and i swatted a few only to be left with large blood splatters (yucky) of other people's blood all over my i emptied the contents of my bug spray bottle on my clothing, and they quit biting me, and soon quit bugging me and went away...finally then it happened, like the fog going away, or a weight lifted off your chest...some peaceful time under the light of the stars and lighthouse, beautiful moments to forever remember, wow...and that is the name of this image when translated, light-peace...
me and besos waited there on the beach, in no hurry to leave for a couple hours, waiting for the blue hour to disappear and the sun glow to go away, and for the core of the milky way to come out and play, dancing into place before my eyes..i took a few images of the stars looking southeast over lake superior alongside the lighthouse...very cool way to spend my birthday with my pup in a place i had never been before, doing what i love, and not being deterred by nasty blood-sucking insects, enduring through to the light-peace of the night to capture the vision i had in my mind when i first stepped onto the beach many hours before in the early afternoon...hopefully you enjoy the results of my efforts, as what you see before you now...luz-paz...
"ahhh, alone at last...under a billion twinkling stars, both over head and reflecting under feet...hear the tranquility? see the solitude? feel the light-peace and fill up your senses with wow, this is a goodnight!" ― bodhinku, light-peace
“in me there is darkness, but with you there is light; i am lonely, but you do not leave me; i am feeble in heart, but with you there is help; i am restless, but with you there is peace" ― dietrich bonhoeffer, letters and papers

“a still more glorious dawn awaits. not a sunrise, but a galaxy rise...a morning filled with 400 billion suns; the rising of the milky way”― carl sagan, cosmos

“the universe and the light of the stars come through me” ― jalaluddin rumi, the soul of rumi
"one truth, many paths.
one heart, many complexions.
one light, many reflections.
one world, many imperfections.
we are all one,
but many.”― 
suzy kassem, rise up
“if the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the beauty which had been shown! but every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile” ― ralph waldo emerson, nature and selected essays
“as he caught his footing, his head fell back, and the milky way flowed down inside him with a roar" ― yasunari kawabata, snow county
“the whole world may say there is light and there is rainbow in the sky and the sun is rising,
but if my eyes are closed what does it mean to me?
the rainbows, the colors, the sunrise,
the whole thing is non-existential to me.
if my eyes are closed, i am blind.
and if i listen to them too much,
and if i start believing in them too much,
and if i borrow their words and i also start talking about the rainbow that i have not seen,
about colors which i cannot see,
about the sunrise which is not my experience,
i may be lost in the forest of words.”
― osho, a bird on the wing  
“keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground” ― teddy roosevelt
“he's seeing the actual milky way streaked across the sky. the whole of his entire galaxy, right there in front of him. billions and billions of stars. billions and billions of worlds. all of them, all of those seemingly endless possibilities, not fictional, but real, out there, existing, right now. there is so much more out there than just the world he knows, so much more than his tiny town"― patrick ness, more than this
“i leaned back on my palms, looking at the milky way spilling in modest grandeur across the sky. a fountain of stars frothing over, surrounded by a mist of stardust. it looked like raw magic, like the glimmer i’d spy in a shadowy corner where the sun skimmed off invisible particles, reminding me there was a whole hidden world tucked inside this ordinary one. and it was up there every night, offering its mute beauty while we sat here with our heads down, tragically terrestrial" ― leah raeder, unteachable
“when the light returns to its source, it takes nothing of what it has illuminated”― jalaluddin rumi, the soul of rumi
"in your light, i learn how to love"― jalaluddin rumi, poems of ecstasy and longing
"if the light is in your heart, you will find your way home" ― jalaluddin rumi, the soul of rumi
"shhhh...can you hear it? the silence of the light-peace, and if you truly listen, it will surely guide you to where you need to be..." ― bodhinku, shhhh
with this being a merge of two image composition of a semi-long exposure times, a stable and sturdy tripod was an absolute necessity in order to keep the image sharp in the places i wanted sharpness (i use selective focus on most of my images, similar to the way our eyes see things) as well as keep both images aligned and in the same frame for an easy photo merge.... for this i used a dolica 70" carbon fiber tripod....for me, this shot would never have been possible without my friends daniel and april at dolica tripods.

in my photography i always use filters to create longer exposure effects and to balance the light in my composition in camera...i often use as many as four filters at time, and i always use at least one the case with this image, i used filters on the lighthouse above the beach composition part of the photo merge (i did not use any filters for the star composition), and to get the effects and balance i was looking for, i needed to use two filters...and for this, i chose to use the amazing 3.0nd progrey antarctica magnetic filter (and holder) to slow down the exposure 10 stops and totally smooth out the waves and let them reflect like saturate all the blues and reds more, plus in combination with the 0.9gnd progrey genesis filter to help balance in-camera overall the image the way i envisioned it, as the sky behind the lighthouse was considerably brighter (i use parts of both skies in my star merges), about 3 stops brighter than the rest of the darker parts of the image composition...
i wish to openly thank my sponsors who have always supported me through both the good and bad times...for truly this semi-long exposure impression would not be possible without the use of my trusty dolica tripod in combination with the progreyusa filters which i use with every photo i take...
"the transition of twilight is so unique, that time we call blue's where i find my peace under the light of a billion stars, glowing and flickering like fireflies rising up in the night sky as the sun sets..." ― bodhinku, my peace
"contemplate without thinking. stop the world. slow down everything. shut off the noise. relax. seize this moment. reconnect. feel and sense what surrounds you. listen to all the colors of light that envelope you. see the melody and harmony that floats about unnoticed. taste the solitude of all this wonderment. smell the beautiful silence within your peaceful serenity. then, reach out and touch your faith. this is my world. awaken." ― bodhinku, my world
above all else as always, i hope this message and image find you well.


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