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Outrageous Goals…Now What?

 “Impossible is just a word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.” — Muhammad Ali

“Shoot for the Moon…and even if you miss…you’ll land among the stars” ~Norman Vincent Peale

The goal of becoming a Master Photographer doesn’t seem impossible…but still difficult because it is not something to be accomplished in a year or two…that is really a medium goal that could be a steppingstone to even more outrageous lifetime goals…

My heart contribution for this life…to enable the building of creative skills to those who do not have a means of expression for their soul…creativity is often not given much priority…but critical in today’s world…”research shows that creativity isn’t just cool. It’s an essential human skill, perhaps even an evolutionary imperative in our technology-driven world.”…photography, writing and the graphic arts as a means of articulating emotions…telling their story and how they see their world...

“Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.” ― Louisa May Alcott

I am not quite sure the path to the “far-out” goal…I can decide the S.M.A.R.T. action plan for the first step…achieving my 3-star rating ⭐⭐⭐…

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.”

— Pablo Picasso

I still need 12 Club Points to move into a 3 Star rating…that’s done by submitting great images for judging…each photo is judged by 3 judges…with 15 points by a judge as “very good” with a total of 39 points being awarded the “Certificate of Merit”…Bronze 21-26…Silver 27-32…Gold 33-38…I have not done too badly with only silver and gold awards…but only 1 COM when I was one star…time to up my game…

S.M.A.R.T. Goal for that achievement… “Get promoted to a 3-star rating within 6 months, by entering each monthly competition and salon entrance available while spending a minimum of an hour daily to increase my skills and abilities to show the world the beauty in life”

Specific: I will increase my rating to 3 star by spending 1 hour per day learning new skills

Measurable: I will achieve a 3-star rating by the end of end of year 2022

Achievable: In the next 6 months I will enter each monthly competition to achieve an additional 12 points…minimum 6 silver stars or 4 gold stars…2 COM+

Relevant: To achieve my goal of becoming the best photographer that I can be to inspire others through the beauty and character of the world…An inspiration that could lead to a change for the better…in a life…in the world..

Time-Bound: By December 31, 2022 I will be rated at 3 star…

Setting Goals is the First Step in turning the Invisible to the Visible ~Tony Robbins

No Salon Acceptances😢… yet😉

Secret Ingredient: Passion…passion to sustain you through all the boredom and tedium of the 10,000 to 20,000 hours to become a Master…to persist in those moments the emotional commitment…the “soul”…your life’s mission …Robert Greene said in his book Mastery...”The key to high level achievement in any field is to connect with what I call the Life’s Task, our vocation, what we are meant to do in this short time we have to live.”

“You must understand the following: In order to master a field, you must love the subject and feel a profound connection to it. Your interest must transcend the field itself and border on the religious.” ~Robert Greene, Mastery

What did you come to this world to create…what is your life task…your passion

Setting a Mountain Top Goal…A Master Photographer

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.”

—Andrew Carnegie

How do YOU define success…which achievements would make you sing with joy…it is as different for every person as there are stars in the sky…? what goals do you want to really go for with all your being …it may change with time and need to be changed…that’s where I am at… redefining and refining my vision of what “success” means to me during this new chapter of life…what audacious goal should I set my sights on…

THE WHAT: The primary kickstart for goals…what knockdown…knockout personal achievement would make you feel like you made it to the top…

This is mine
Ultimate Goal – Honours Laureate Gold

Currently after 1 year…I have accumulated 28 from entering the monthly …needing 40 club points to move to a three-star rating…

Goals map out where you want to land…but they can be ambiguous and you may never achieve your desired end result…Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’re going to end up somewhere else…” I’ve been there before when I’ve set goals and then never achieved them…

  • What is your story, why do you do what you do? 
  • What keeps you awake at night? 
  • What inspired you to pursue your business?
  • What makes your heart race?
  • What was the moment that changed your life as you know it?
  • What’s been the biggest challenge for you on your photography journey?

What lights you up…Going “niche” makes you stand out…which reduces your competition… increases your visibility…stokes your creative fire…and hones your expertise…remember the old saying “jack of all trades and master of none”…

I’ve tried various niches…street, night, nature, portrait, wedding, black & white, boudoir, macro, candid, landscape, wildlife…some I lose all track of time…I find myself getting lost in creating the magic in nature and wildlife…adding artistic and creative techniques that help tell a story…yet still in the process of defining my own visual and artistic style…

Before & After – My “style” in progress

Always take time to play…“All work and no play doesn’t just make Jill and Jack dull, it kills the potential of discovery, mastery, and openness to change and flexibility and it hinders innovation and invention.” – Joline Godfrey

What are your fantastic magical goals…shoot for the moon🌙…my darlings…you have nothing to fear…at the very worst you’ll fall among the twinkling laughter of the stars…love, laughter and magic

Dedicated to Misfits the World over and their Crazy Adventures…

Alaska…the place of misfits and adventurers…and I am both🤣

Each evening the night swallowed the sun and gave the raven the sun’s energy. He stored this power in his wings, tinged with the blue of Alaskan skies.

–Suzy Davies
See the Sign…Alaska…my first view of the last great Frontier…

In 2012, I was in a position that I had just resigned from a company that had been bought out…the culture became unbearable…and I needed to remove a toxic person from my life…fast

My naivete, empathy, and sensitivity to other people’s pain put me in a relationship with a mentally unstable person…yet I just couldn’t put him out on the street again…he had been living in his car…taking the opportunity…off I went to take him home to Alaska…a bonus of traveling across country and visiting the land of glaciers, wilderness, wildlife…defiantly another crazy adventure that I had gotten myself into…

“When life itself seems lunatic, who knows where madness lies? Perhaps to be too practical is madness. To surrender dreams — this may be madness. Too much sanity may be madness — and maddest of all: to see life as it is, and not as it should be!”

― Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote

Looking back…I am grateful to have had the adventure…these are a few of my observations…the photos are grainy jpeg’s …yet, hope you enjoy the beauty and memories of one of my “Don Quixote” adventures…as I saw it then…possibly stir you to visit this place called Alaska (from an Aleut word, Alyeska. meaning ‘that which the sea breaks against,’) …for there is no possible way to explain the majesty of this wild and often unforgiving land…where silence can often be the loudest sound…

The Road Taken…from Kentucky to Anchorage Alaska

Alaska herself can be Sleeping Beauty one minute and a b**** with a sawed-off shotg** the next. –Kristin Hannah

Sold everything…bought a van and despite everyone’s loudest admonitions …started out across country in October of 2012…taking a lot more time than I originally anticipated…Westward ho…

Photo by Kirk Thornton on Unsplash

How fitting that one of the first memorable sights that I remember is seeing the 630-Foot Stainless Steel St. Louis Arch… a monument to Thomas Jefferson and his ideas for America’s westward expansion…how fitting was that…Interesting fact – The Arch sways up to one inch in a 20 mile per hour wind and is built to sway up to 18 inches.

The open road was not singing 99 bottles of beer on the wall …several glitches along the way…most of the country seemed flat and monotonous…until we came to Oregon and Washington…waiting for money to arrive I lay in the darkness listening to the rain and breathed…it felt beautiful…the cool breeze mixed with the aroma of the pines and firs…their tallness enveloping me with protecting coolness…

Crossing the Canandian border…getting passports checked before being allowed to continue on…and then the snow…cold…colder…and coldest…hitting the Yukon… the blizzard started…that’s when I really started to worry that I had misjudged the ability to get through this late in the year…although the Alaskan highway is open all year…there are less gas stations and stores open during the winter months…so the van was stocked with several gas containers…and I kept going…really not having much of a choice in the matter…in for a penny, in for a pound…

In the Canadian Yukón…didn’t know Santa’s Reindeer were that far South

2012…First Contact

“The very thought of this Alaska garden is a joyful exhilaration.. Out of all the cold darkness and glacial crushing and grinding comes this warm, abounding beauty and life to teach us that what we in our faithless ignorance and fear call destruction is creation finer and finer.”

— John Muir ‘Travels in Alaska,’ 1915.

…to be continued

Anchorage Downtown During Ititarod 2012

Ellies…

What did the momma elephant say to her kid when he was misbehaving? “Tusk, tusk!”

Sorry🤣 I couldn’t help myself…A little cabin fever and a few days of an awful virus has me a little woozy…or that’s my excuse…I just looooove funny stupid jokes🤣

Haven’t had any wild adventures lately…but revisiting old photos made me smile at the antics of these juniors at Addo on a Sunday outing….

There is such happiness in just sitting in the car and watching…I get lost watching their antics…so much like humans…

They even have Playdates…
Those Kids are Such a Nuisance

Please forgive the unperfect photos…giving forward a little joy that this beautiful place has shared with me…

May your day be filled with a little sunshine and a lot of love❣ …and some magic too

And the Butt’s Have it…

One of the funniest occurrences that I seem to encounter frequently is that I’m always getting the tail end of things…

Fuzzy Butt
Misty Morning Bedraggled Butt
A “Follow Me” Tail by a Female Lion
“Females raise their tail to give a ‘follow me’ signal to their cubs and also use it to communicate with each other when hunting prey”
“Tourist’s are a Pain” Butts
A Beautiful Lonely One

But…wonderfully not at every photographic encounter…

With People it seems to Add to the Atmosphere…😂
Hmmmm🤔…Maybe they’re all just looking Forward to New Possibilities…
The End…

March 2022 Awards

Sun Rise in Flowers ⭐ Score 34 Gold

Roosvygie Score 32 Silver Award

I haven’t heard the comments from the judges yet…but after reviewing…although I enjoy looking at it…it really doesn’t evoke a lot of emotion…there is no story either…

Veil of Blue Score 32 Silver
Advancement Detail

This is how the awards are rated and what is needed for advancement…of course, being incredibly impatient and itchy to reach for the next tier… it’s a great incentive to grow in my skills daily…

I plan to start entering more national salons this year…in June joining the PSSA (Photographic Society if South Africa) to increase my learning curve on a greater level…and possibly next year join the PSA (Photographic Society of America) and enter some international salons…

I put off entering any competitions for over a year…not wanting to be “judged”…but one of the best learning experiences that I have had…the critiques are informative for continued growth…Silver stars feel like a failure…not hitting the golden moon…only the shiny stars…

“There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”

― Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

What future do I see with this passion…I always want to be the best at what I do…I want to dig deep and see what my potential is…I have used this before…I 💙this quote and want to feel like this at the end…

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming, “Wow what a ride!” ― Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967

Our lives are meant to be shared…given away…and in the giving…we are replenished to overflowing…

To give back to children of future generations…to give kids the ability to express themselves in with photography…to connect to the world…to see the beauty in lives that are empty of it, filled with ugliness …give them a voice for societal change, highlighting social issues and stigmas…and to introduce graphic art, probable future employment opportunities…art is not seen as a meaningful pursuit, especially in Africa…in my opinion it is an intracule part of humanity…a spiritual purpose for those with a passion…

“A photograph can inspire some, change someone’s views, shake someone’s ideals, educate, and inspire others to act, etc. They may invoke natural species ‘ innermost emotions such as fear, anxiety, etc. Not only do photographs affect personal lives. They can affect the public as well.” https://thriveglobal.com/stories/importance-of-photography-in-our-lives/

“I hope that my work will encourage self-expression in others and stimulate the search for beauty and creative excitement in the great world around us.” (Amen!…me too❣)

— Ansel Adams

Into the Garden…

The last few weeks have been a swirl of busyness and emotion…and with no forest within walking distance…into the garden I went…well, it’s really just the back yard😉…but it is my own personal Garden of Eden…green and full of nature’s soothing balm for my soul…

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.”

-John Muir

Grabbed the camera and my macro lens…just to practice…didn’t set up the tripod (which would have been smarter) but it was a sunny day and I just wanted to play…no agenda…just get lost in looking for small wonders…

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet, alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”

— Anne Frank

Look what I found😃
“No living thing is ugly in this world. Even a tarantula considers itself beautiful”
― Munia Khan
“Every being devotes and dedicates itself to some innate purpose. Single cells, microbes, plants, insects, animals—every being makes its own unique contribution.”
― Julie J. Morley, Future Sacred: The Connected Creativity of Nature
It was horrible…I almost got caught and eaten by that horrible mousebird that sits in the bush over there…
It’s OK…I’m here for You…

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 The Ugly Bug Ball…Hope you Laugh❣

Just an FYI…

“In clinical studies, we have seen that 2 hours of nature sounds a day significantly reduce stress hormones up to 800% and activates 500 to 600 DNA segments known to be responsible for healing and repairing the body.”

– Dr. Joe Dispenza

February Awards…

It is nice to see the reward of your work…I have to admit that I was disappointed last month…but it only pushed me to work harder…and listening to the critique was rewarding…it is not always easy to hear what needed to be improved…but one of the best ways to continue to develop your skills…by listening to those better than yourself…

By listening and observing the photos that were well received…the creative juices were stirred to design and grow in my own style…

My advancement from Level 2 to 3 requires 40 Club Points and another Certificate of Merit and Gold Awards10 …receiving 3 points for each entry increased my score to 15 Club Points on this level…Goal to advance to the next level by the end of 2022…

I have a Secret
Elementary My Dear Watson⭐ (This is a Flower Called the Watsonia)

“Reflections of Fall”

For some reason, I cannot find the file on this entry (this is a copy of the thumbnail😢) …it was entered under the theme of the month “Reflections”

This last photograph came out of a broken tree limb that fell in the pool…just an example of making “lemonade out of lemons”🤣

Like life…often how we view the circumstances of our lives depends on the filters that we use…when life appears all grey and dark…put on your rosy spectacles👓.. difficulties are often about perspective…gratitude being a great tool for making that change …

When my back gets cranky, and I am feeling sorry for myself…often just reminding myself that I am blessed to be able to feel the pain …how many quadriplegics would give everything to feel that discomfort…I know that doesn’t change the current situation…but just a minuet change in how you see the current situation…often is enough to give you a renewed hope and a small spurt of strength to take another step in the journey…and that’s all it is…one step at a time…in the moment…taking one new blessed breath at a time…

If you’re wondering what I mean by “miracle”, it’s simple: a miracle is a shift in perspective from fear to love.

– Gabrielle Bernstein

Love and magic for your day❣ and laughter…laugh today…dance in your underwear…just a moment of spontaneous joy for being alive

Raggey Charter Tour

You know it is going to be a bumpy ride when you start you with dark foreboding clouds…even if they try and appear all “fluffy’ and cute…

That didn’t Stop Us….
On Look Out
Storm Holding Back…Just Looking Fierce
Spotted Something on the Horizon…Nope

Raggy Tours is never a disappointment…even on the least favorable of weather days…our next adventure with them is now to experience the Shark Cage Diving🦈

“We are thrilled to announce that Algoa Bay, South Africa, has become the world’s fifth Whale Heritage Site and the second in South Africa, following in the footsteps of The Bluff, Durban.”…If you are ever in the area…come and experience …     16th June 2021    Dylan Walker CEO of World Cetacean Alliance

If you are ever in the area…come and feel the joy and harmony of the Bay and the marine life here…

Love, joy, laughter, and lots of magical memories❣…