Friendly Friday serenity search

Here is my Friendly Friday serenity which only a carefully worded post can ruffle. Is it true? Do I refuse to choose?

Yes, I have found my serenity, no search required. You can see it regularly in the photos on my blog and in this post. At least I hope this is what my photos are saying.

There is even too much of it. It IS possible, believe me, Amanda – our Friendly Friday host who set the theme as Searching for serenity.

I’ve read something recently and cannot snap out of it. Meet Florin Popa and his blog Riddle Me This. His photos are wonderful but what he says is of equal interest. In the post “Snapshots, postcards and photos” he writes:

What are our photos really saying? Is it “look where I am right now”, “look who is posing for me”, or “check out how skillful I am with these highlights and shadows”? Or is it a way of documenting something bigger than ourselves, a way of disappearing in the shadow of a story that is worth telling?

Hmmmm. What an interesting concept. Have you ever asked yourselves this question? Prepare an answer, I’d love to see them in comments. Start with “Look”, as Florin does. What are we seeing in your photos?

I remember watching a photo contest online and the first things contestants were told were “do not just click” and “do not take postcard photos”. I smirked and immediately felt deeply seen. This is what I do, the one or the other or both at the same time. I thought I was okay with it but clearly I feel irked.

Let’s see how Florin tells it:

Snapshots are the fast food of photography.

And:

If snapshots are a bit like fast food, postcards are like an expensive meal that you cannot really enjoy unless you talk about it to all your friends.

Thank you for the food for thought, Florin.

So what are my photos really saying? Is it “Look how serene it is here”? Or is it more “Look how alone I really am”? Oh and also “Look how I have no idea where my photography is going”?

No idea… Where have I heard this before? Is it that I again refuse to choose, just like when I post too many photos, or instead of picking one profession I do it all on my blog for free?


The first half of the photos are from this January and the second half from two days ago, with the reveal of new neighbours in the last photo. Meet my serenity now.

For Friendly Friday Challenge hosted by Amanda at Something to Ponder About: Searching for serenity

This day in my blogging history

Published by Manja Maksimovič

A Slovenian in Italy for love. Blogger, photographer, translator and would-be writer who would be a writer if she wrote. Plus reluctant but emerging poet. Beware.

36 thoughts on “Friendly Friday serenity search

      1. Oh yes, I understand that, but you can visit the city. That’s what I like to do now just visit the city then get back out here to the country which unfortunately is becoming the suburbs with all the new housing going up. Sigh. I’m already thinking about moving again sometime in the next 10 years to avoid the crowds and noise.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Photographs haven’t always been fast food – technology has made them that. Photographs were much more time-consuming to take and develop years ago. There was skill in getting the settings right. Now anyone can be a point and shoot photographer, edit it up, and it will look fantastic. Like many trades, much of the skill in taking photographs has been eliminated by technology.
    The photos of old were to document the times and they did indeed do that. A visual documentary on the times, people’s emotions, and they do, I think, bring history alive.

    Maybe the reason you take so many, Manja, is for a variety of reasons. It is your hobby – that is enough of a reason. For me, they illustrate a blog post and provide a window into another world. Especially for those who cannot travel. For some, it is about the technical aspects of photography.

    I could write a book on your questions. But the photos – your search for serenity culminated in the Capalbio photo that was featured. Excellent shot. Love it and the similar one taken two days ago, with the rustic fence in the foreground.
    My question for you is: What happened to the peach trees? Why did they remove them?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comment and this theme, Amanda. Of course, in the past it was completely different. Now clicking is cheap. I don’t take as many any longer since I stopped taking my (now heavier) camera on my daily walks. It’s only a guess but it’s because of the draught that killed all the peach trees one summer several years ago. After that they didn’t put in new ones nor continue with the vineyard. I guess watering would be more expensive than fruit. Be well. I’m glad that you could write a book. I’d read it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am sad to hear of the orchards and vineyards demise. It has happened here that they are ploughing in orange orchards as the oranges are cheaper to source from overseas. It is a food security issue for the future. Has Covid settled over your way now so you can get out and about with surety now?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I just had my booster a few weeks ago and now feel like I have a freedom ticket. Not that boosters are yet mandated but with Australia having a higher rate of Omicron infections than the UK with Delta, it plays to be safer than sorry.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you. I am glad you know what I meant, because I think it is an important thing about you, and it’s very clear to me the world would be poorer without you, very much, and how you are passing on your serenity to the rest of us is a gift.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. One of the best books I read during the lockdown was about solitude and the creative life titled At the Center of All Beauty. I walk the small local trails near my house and my camera stores up memories of these years when it is my privilege and blessing to live at the center of all beauty. When we pause to frame and click a photo, is it often a way to celebrate that we stand at the center of all beauty?
    Yes Italy, it doesn’t matter where….not until I visited did I comprehend, as an Italian-American, what courage it took for my grandparents to leave such a place.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you most kindly, Siena Blue, for the recommendation and your words. It’s exactly where we are, at the centre, isn’t it? Oh yes, great courage was required, especially since Italians love their country so much. And what’s not to love.

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  3. Thank you firstly for the link to Florin’s blog. I found his post thought-provoking, and others on his blog too 🙂

    Secondly, although these ponderings are fascinating from time to time, I don’t think you should over-think things. Take the photos you want to take of the things that look interesting to you. Share the ones that still look interesting after you have taken them, and those that illustrate a point you want to make here. And when you see other people’s photos that you like, maybe stop a moment to consider why you like them and whether there are ideas you could adopt in your own photography, but don’t feel obliged to do so! Your blog, your rules 😎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Sarah, for your wise words. As you can probably tell, I’m fine with how I do it most of the time. Sometimes a post like Florin’s makes me wonder. He is a new find for me as well. My blog my rules indeed. I think this is my favourite part. 😀 My own editor!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The “postcard snap” of Capalbio; I simply love it. The light, the birds, the town…ah. I had to laugh at the other commenter about your terrible winter. Like mine! It rains and I get so tired of it, and I complain to myself all the time. And on my blog. But so many friends and family have real winter, and laugh at me! ha ha. I agree with Amanda’s comment that she takes photos to illustrate her blog. My photos changed dramatically due to my blog. Whenever I do anything interesting, I’m automatically thinking I’ll likely blog about it, and if so, what do my readers need to see to help them understand? For that reason, I take photos that include stuff I’d otherwise leave out.

    Thinking about your photos though, you take many photos of details. Your eye catches so many details. Your photos reflect that. Your photos are a path for us into your mind, and that’s a wonderful skill. I think a fun blog question would be: what do others know about us because they’ve seen our photos? 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Beautiful, Crystal. I appreciate your input. A path into my mind… Sounds just right. I’m pretty sure my blog is a way of keeping my sanity. If it starts to go, you all will be the first to know. The winter “protest” was just a joke though. 😀 Also, it’s interesting how you say you’ll taking additional photos now, for your blogging audience. I try to establish if I’m doing the same… But I have so few interesting things happening. And when they are, I tend to forget about everything and just enjoy the moment. Thank you most kindly for this comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your blog exemplifies Life in Abundance. As you say, why choose when we (actually) don’t have too. The scarcity of the old days (“I only have 3 pictures left on this roll of film”) has given way to an enormous freedom to seek, find and record delight and stories everywhere. That’s what you do: fling your arms wide. And you sweep all of us with you. I’m so grateful.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh, how lovely this sounds when you say it this way, Carol Ann. 🙂 It’s true, I felt this frustration all the way up to 2007 when I got my first digital camera. I saved Versailles for the last day of our holiday in France and I had exactly one photo left for it. 😀 Fling arms wide, sweep all of you. Got you. What a brilliant metaphor for blogging.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Excellent post. I love all those questions. I think they’re all designed to make you take better pictures in the end because your new questioning thoughts will take the photo for you and only capture more depth. You’re right, you have serenity excess and it spills over. I’m glad you spread it around. Serenity, that is 😀 😀

    Liked by 1 person

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