Picture This Photo Contest “Down on your Knees”

Here is my entry for
“Down on your Knees”
Picture This Photo Contest at

Cattail Sparklers. Typha latifolia

These fluffy, white seeds were once used for stuffing blankets,
pillows and toys. Native Americans would put them inside
moccasins and around cradles, for additional warmth,
but don’t talk to me about additional warmth
right now!

“This wonderful, poetic image stirs up all sorts of emotions, questions and intrigues, and at first glance left me with the impression that I must be seeing upward from under water.

In the larger version on his blog, you can see that the glowing, backlit cattail leaves and fuzzy seeds in the foreground are crispy sharp, which satisfies the eye’s need for an anchor and order, and sets up a visual tension that enhances one’s slightly voyeuristic sense of peering into a world where your presence is unseen and unnoticed.  Delicious!  We are watching from behind something, peering into a world not quite our own, and one that has a certain timeless, dreamlike, Alice-in-Wonderland quality to it.  Compositionally, there is the sun, the brightest part of the image where my eye starts its journey before traveling down those eye-leading, image-framing, diagonal flares to the brightest of the fluff below the little girl and then upward to her.  There is motion in the child at play, in her wispy hair, in the extended magic wand of a backlit cattail.  And winding up through all that, there is this receding, but traceable world of cattail fluff, extending from the razor sharp foreground, just inches away, upward and toward the sun, and off into the faint scattering breezes of the blue sky ether above the little girl’s head.  This image meets every one of the criteria set out in the contest parameters”.

Judge: David Perry


  • Annie in Austin August 27, 2009, 5:59 pm

    Congratulations, ESP! Just read that you won the Gold Prize for this wonderful photo. Pretty cool.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  • Les August 27, 2009, 11:43 pm

    Congratulations! When you posted this earlier, I knew there was not poing in anyone else entering if they wanted to win.

  • Les August 27, 2009, 11:45 pm

    That should be “no point” and not “not poing”. Sorry for the typo, but it just became happy hour here.

  • hayefield August 29, 2009, 12:00 am

    Oh, this is such a silly place! What fun. I’ll just quickly add my congratulations on winning Picture This with your outstanding photo. And how great that you have a spiffy new home to display your gold medal!
    -Nan at Gardening Gone Wild

  • eastsidepatch August 29, 2009, 2:06 am

    Hi Nan.
    Happy you find the Patch as silly as I do, a mad place with even madder characters (both alive and dead)!
    I want to thank you Nan and all at GGW for hosting the format that enables us, the amature photographers of the world, a format to hone our skills and enter such fun competitions.

    I love my spiffy new medal!

    Still grinning,

  • Ditto August 29, 2009, 3:36 am

    Congratulations. Yours was definitely my favorite blog I discovered through the contest. I’m happily following your feed now.

  • eastsidepatch August 29, 2009, 4:04 am

    Glad you found the ESPatch, and glad you have suscribed to the patch…I hope you will continue to track my madness!
    I always love new intergalactic visitors.
    Stay tuned, ESP.

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