The Life in My Years

An anthology of life

This week’s Lens-Artists challenge is hosted by Donna, who’s site is Wind Kisses. The challenge? Over The Hill. What’s our take?

My take starts across the bay, about a half hour away, in San Francisco.

Tony Bennet immortalized the hills of The City.
To be where little cable cars climb halfway to the stars         

California Street cable car descending Nob Hill.

I used to drive these hills in a Honda Accord – with a manual transmission. Over the hill? As I ascended a hill, trying to time stop lights, I often muttered, “Please God, get me over the hill.” The real fun came when I had to stop at a light and the car behind hugged my bumper.

Looking down Jones Street to the bay. The smaller island is Alcatraz and the larger is Angel Island.

The steep grade of Jones Street. No, I did not tilt the camera.

Telegraph Hill offers stunning views.

San Francisco is west of me. A few minutes in the other direction takes me to the rolling East Bay Hills.

I applied an oil painting filter to this photo of the morning fog creeping amongst the hills.

During our road trips, we’ve come upon mountains, mesas and rolling hills.

An old barn in the Blue Ridge Mountains

The sunrise is over the hill at Seligman, Arizona.

The hills (cliffs) of Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona.

And then – well – there’s this. I’ve reached that point in life when “over the hill” rings a personal bell.

“Just remember, when you’re over the hill, you begin to pick up speed.”
~ Charles Schultz

Picking up speed towards what? That’s the salient question.

I won’t say I’m “over the hill.” I figure I’ve a way to go before reaching the summit.

So, with “Over the Hill” as the topic. I took an inward look and decided to have a little fun. Fun? Maybe let’s call it a demonstration of photo editing.

I set up the tripod and took some self portraits (selfies in the vernacular) posing with two passions, camera and books. Then I visited Photoshop. In one image I turned down the texture and clarity which, when it comes to portraits, is a gesture of kindness to the subject and a rebuke to father time. In another I amped up the texture, showing the crags and canyons of age.

“Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” ~ Mark Twain
So, I’m pleased with both.

I’d like to think that the canyons have a river of wisdom running through them.
The older I grow, the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom.”
~ H.L. Mencken. Okay, maybe fissures of foolishness?

“Youth is the gift of nature, but age is a work of art.” Stanislaw Jerzy Lec, Polish aphorist and poet.

Click here to see Donna’s interpretation of “Over the Hill” and then scroll down to comments where you can find links to other lens artists.

24 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Challenge: Over The Hill

  1. Outstanding images. I love visual storytelling.

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you Stephen. Much appreciated.

  2. Wind Kisses says:

    I can’t love this enough, Paul. From the old barn in the Blue Ridge mountains, to Oak Creek Canyon in AZ, the photos are stunning and certainly give us a glimpse of different hills in this diverse country of ours.

    San Fransisco! Yes! Its cable cars are spot on for the challenge, and I can so relate to driving a stick up a hill (Seattle). I especially loved the angle of the sidewalk to show us the steep grade.

    Age, is indeed, an issue of mind over matter. Today is actually that “day” I am older and wiser. Your self portraits were an outstanding look at how we can have fun and fool around with our “wisdom”. I loved both of the photos. And interesting that you were smiling more in the second photo. Yes…age is a work of art. Well done!!! Thanks for joining us. Donna

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Donna, Thank you so much for the kind words. Thank you especially for your comment on the self portraits. I struggled over putting those up. Happy birthday Donna.

      1. Wind Kisses says:

        Loved it. And thank you ,

  3. Tina Schell says:

    Terrific response Paul – I’ve driven and walked that street in SF and it’s no joke! I know just what you mean about being in a clutch car with someone right behind you! I also suspect I share your thoughts on being “over the hill” and I absolutely loved your two photos. Honestly your smile in the second made my day!

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Tina, Thank you so much. I hesitated more than a few times before posting those portraits so your comment made my day.

  4. Dawn Palmer says:

    Beautiful photos! I especially love the fog creeping over the hills. I’ve driven SF hills in a stick shift too…I didn’t like being in front of other drivers on those inclines! I’m missing SF now…thanks for sharing!

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you Dawn. Yeah, no more manual transmission for me. I don’t need that thrill anymore.

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you.

  5. Those are truly wonderful pictures Paul!

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you Peter. Much appreciated.

  6. Teresa says:

    Love your images…. Especially the barn on top of the mountain.

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you Teresa. Barns are a favorite subject of mine.

  7. Toonsarah says:

    I remember learning hill starts in a manual car fir my driving test, but never (thankfully) on a hill that steep! Your photos really capture both San Francisco cityscapes and hilly landscapes equally effectively. I love the fog in the East Bay Hills in particular 😀 As to the two self portraits, I can sympathise with the wish to experiment with softening the image but as a photographer I much prefer the one with texture!

    1. Paul says:

      Hello Sarah,
      I prefer the one with texture also. Thank you for visiting and commenting.

  8. Leya says:

    Amazing photography, as usual, Paul! As you might guess my favourite is the tree with oil painting filter. It could easily hang on my wall…But, the self portraits really made your post this time. Love, love them, and most of all love the last one – with the last quote. Magnificent. Your smile made me smile and scroll your post again…and then smile!

    1. Paul says:

      Ann Christine, Thank you so very much for the wonderful comment. It made me smile.

  9. JohnRH says:

    San Francisco, the PERFECT city for hill shots. Well done.

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you John.

  10. annecreates says:

    Beautiful images!!!

    1. Paul says:

      Thank you Anne

  11. eden baylee says:

    How the hell did I miss this post? No notifications, Grrrrrrr!
    I recall we spoke about manual driving and how hills made it so much more challenging, fun times, haha! I love the angle of the shot of Nob Hill.
    As for the pics of you, the second one is great. Your face lights up with a smile, even in black and white.

Would love to hear from you

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