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30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 11

Nostalgia can be a powerful drug.  It can dictate our decisions, both good and bad; cause us internal upset or make our stomachs tickle with delight.  Nostalgia can generate emotions at both ends of the spectrum, its duality and penchant for living at the epicenter of where our hearts and heads collide make it a tough beast to wrestle.  It can pull you in and create a false sense of security and satisfaction…and it’s hard to realize this until you take a step back.
However, across from the danger of nostalgia lies peaceful gratification…”ah, the good ol’ days”: a simmer of longing for the way things were, before it all changed.  I’m sure most of us can identify with the desire to return to those days of innocence.  
The lamppost outside my bedroom window has grown into a symbol of nostalgia for me.  I used to stare out my window as a child and watch it stand upright in the rain or snow for hours on end.  Maybe if I gaze at it now I can be transported back in time to the days of innocence.
(Copyright 2014 ~ Jason Natzke)
Zoom Info
Camera
Canon EOS REBEL T5i
ISO
6400
Aperture
f/5.6
Exposure
1/50th
Focal Length
250mm

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 11

Nostalgia can be a powerful drug.  It can dictate our decisions, both good and bad; cause us internal upset or make our stomachs tickle with delight.  Nostalgia can generate emotions at both ends of the spectrum, its duality and penchant for living at the epicenter of where our hearts and heads collide make it a tough beast to wrestle.  It can pull you in and create a false sense of security and satisfaction…and it’s hard to realize this until you take a step back.

However, across from the danger of nostalgia lies peaceful gratification…”ah, the good ol’ days”: a simmer of longing for the way things were, before it all changed.  I’m sure most of us can identify with the desire to return to those days of innocence.  

The lamppost outside my bedroom window has grown into a symbol of nostalgia for me.  I used to stare out my window as a child and watch it stand upright in the rain or snow for hours on end.  Maybe if I gaze at it now I can be transported back in time to the days of innocence.

(Copyright 2014 ~ Jason Natzke)

30 Day Picture Challenge - Day 10

I’ve been sitting on this picture for about a week; I was just waiting for the perfect day to share it.  It’s an oddly personal one for me, for reasons I find hard to articulate…but I’ll try. 

There is something both hopeful and melancholic about trains: they represent the idea we will always be moving forward in life, sometimes faster than we can keep up.  On the other hand, we have periods when the movement grinds to a halt, as our life is momentarily defined by the screeching sound of brakes.  I am currently identifying with the latter example. 

During this 30-day photo challenge, I’ve attempted to take photographs of what I see during the day, what I’m experiencing, what I’m doing, etc…all on the surface, in other words.  But this is the first photograph that actually reflects how I feel inside. 

Regardless, I’m eager for my train to be moving forward again.  I am choosing to chase hope down the tracks…

(Copyright 2014 ~ Jason Natzke)


30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 9

I believe a large part of being a martial artist is being of service to your community and making a positive impact in whatever way possible.  Martial artists are modern-day warriors, which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all about self-defense: it’s about living like a champion on and off the mat.
Four years running, I’ve had the pleasure of participating in Denver’s Step Up for Down Syndrome walk in City Park with our students who are testing for Black Belt.  And every year, I leave with a smile on my face and a glow in my heart, blown away by the compassion and power of the human spirit that I see.
(Copyright 2014 ~ Jason Natzke)
Zoom Info
Camera
Canon EOS REBEL T5i
ISO
100
Aperture
f/7.1
Exposure
1/250th
Focal Length
55mm

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 9

I believe a large part of being a martial artist is being of service to your community and making a positive impact in whatever way possible.  Martial artists are modern-day warriors, which doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all about self-defense: it’s about living like a champion on and off the mat.

Four years running, I’ve had the pleasure of participating in Denver’s Step Up for Down Syndrome walk in City Park with our students who are testing for Black Belt.  And every year, I leave with a smile on my face and a glow in my heart, blown away by the compassion and power of the human spirit that I see.

(Copyright 2014 ~ Jason Natzke)


30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 8

I went for a walk in Wash Park this morning and came across this new furry friend.  It’s a secret dream of mine to journey to a far-off land and photograph exotic animals in their natural habitat…African safari style.
But until the day comes where I am being paid by National Geographic to travel to Kenya and take pictures of Chimpanzees grooming each other, I will photograph squirrels in suburban Colorado.
I have to start somewhere, right?
(Copyright 2014 ~ Jason Natzke)
Zoom Info
Camera
Canon EOS REBEL T5i
ISO
800
Aperture
f/5.6
Exposure
1/320th
Focal Length
250mm

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 8

I went for a walk in Wash Park this morning and came across this new furry friend.  It’s a secret dream of mine to journey to a far-off land and photograph exotic animals in their natural habitat…African safari style.

But until the day comes where I am being paid by National Geographic to travel to Kenya and take pictures of Chimpanzees grooming each other, I will photograph squirrels in suburban Colorado.

I have to start somewhere, right?

(Copyright 2014 ~ Jason Natzke)

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 7

For those of you that know me, it goes without saying that the martial art of Taekwondo has been a major part of my life.  After practicing for 20 years, the joy now lies in watching other students test and achieve the rank of Black Belt and beyond.  For me, it’s about watching other shine.

Tonight, I had the privilege of watching Adam Natale and Mikaela Dittbrenner achieve the rank of 4th degree Black Belt.  In the photo above, our Grandmaster instructor (my father) watches a Judo demonstration.

(Copyright 2014 ~ Jason Natzke)


30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 6

As a society, we identify with superheroes and it’s easy to see why.  We strive to be as courageous, noble, honorable and empowered as we can.  I’ve always identified with Spider-Man: he’s the scrawny, scrappy loner of the superhero world.
But a superhero is more than just a big, strong individual who does their best to take care of others.  Sometimes we need to talk care of ourselves first, so then we can help take care of others.  YOU are the most important person in your life. 
Be your own superhero.
(Copyright 2014 ~ Jason Natzke)
Zoom Info
Camera
Canon EOS REBEL T5i
ISO
6400
Aperture
f/5.6
Exposure
1/50th
Focal Length
55mm

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 6

As a society, we identify with superheroes and it’s easy to see why.  We strive to be as courageous, noble, honorable and empowered as we can.  I’ve always identified with Spider-Man: he’s the scrawny, scrappy loner of the superhero world.

But a superhero is more than just a big, strong individual who does their best to take care of others.  Sometimes we need to talk care of ourselves first, so then we can help take care of others.  YOU are the most important person in your life. 

Be your own superhero.

(Copyright 2014 ~ Jason Natzke)


30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 5

I came across a fallen crow on my walk this morning.  As summer fades and fall takes over, life expires everywhere in nature…only to be reborn again in a few months.  There was something both heartbreaking and peaceful about this crow.  I wonder what it will come back as…
(Copyright 2014 ~ Jason Natzke)
Zoom Info
Camera
Canon EOS REBEL T5i
ISO
3200
Aperture
f/5.6
Exposure
1/320th
Focal Length
240mm

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 5

I came across a fallen crow on my walk this morning.  As summer fades and fall takes over, life expires everywhere in nature…only to be reborn again in a few months.  There was something both heartbreaking and peaceful about this crow.  I wonder what it will come back as…

(Copyright 2014 ~ Jason Natzke)


30 Day Picture Challenge - Day 3

I remember as a child laying in the grass of my backyard during summer afternoons, looking up to the sky and picking out shapes and symbols as the rainclouds rolled in.  What fascinated me the most, and it remains true to this day, was the fact that nothing we see in the clouds lasts more than 60 seconds…they are always evolving and changing form.  Cloud-watching challenges the viewer to be fully present in the moment.  What a beautiful concept.
When I looked at the clouds tonight, I immediately felt seven years old again.  I felt a surge of innocence and the hope of creating new dreams amongst the ever-changing shapes.  Today is the 2-year anniversary of when I left for my New Zealand journey, one my greatest dreams that I was lucky enough to see through.
Here’s to finding a new dream in the clouds.
(Copyright 2014 ~ Jason Natzke)
Zoom Info
Camera
Canon EOS REBEL T5i
ISO
250
Aperture
f/7.1
Exposure
1/200th
Focal Length
96mm

30 Day Picture Challenge - Day 3

I remember as a child laying in the grass of my backyard during summer afternoons, looking up to the sky and picking out shapes and symbols as the rainclouds rolled in.  What fascinated me the most, and it remains true to this day, was the fact that nothing we see in the clouds lasts more than 60 seconds…they are always evolving and changing form.  Cloud-watching challenges the viewer to be fully present in the moment.  What a beautiful concept.

When I looked at the clouds tonight, I immediately felt seven years old again.  I felt a surge of innocence and the hope of creating new dreams amongst the ever-changing shapes.  Today is the 2-year anniversary of when I left for my New Zealand journey, one my greatest dreams that I was lucky enough to see through.

Here’s to finding a new dream in the clouds.

(Copyright 2014 ~ Jason Natzke)


30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 2

As I start this new chapter of my life, I’ve started every morning with a walk around the block to ground myself.  It’s been wonderful…I feel more aligned and have more energy for the sometimes daunting workday.
I pass a field on my walk each morning and something caught my eye today.  The Fields of Elysium…with some blue clouds behind the gray. 
(Copyright 2014 ~ Jason Natzke)
Zoom Info
Camera
Canon EOS REBEL T5i
ISO
200
Aperture
f/5.6
Exposure
1/320th
Focal Length
84mm

30 Day Photo Challenge - Day 2

As I start this new chapter of my life, I’ve started every morning with a walk around the block to ground myself.  It’s been wonderful…I feel more aligned and have more energy for the sometimes daunting workday.

I pass a field on my walk each morning and something caught my eye today.  The Fields of Elysium…with some blue clouds behind the gray. 

(Copyright 2014 ~ Jason Natzke)

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