Category Archives: Photography


Mom dancing

While her husband sat, mouth taut, fists clenched, jealousy raging, Mom danced. She and Chris whirled around the room with abandon.

I watched, camera in hand, from the middle of the massive glass doors which had just been pushed wide open upon my entrance into the grand retirement home where Mom lived. Click. Click. Click. The smile on her face said it all, and I had captured it.

Later, after pulling the photographs off my memory card, I smiled again upon remembering the sheer joy I had seen on her face.

Last March after Mom died I used one of the photos for her obituary; I wanted her friends to see her undeniable happiness; something that had eluded her for many years.

A few days ago I came across the photo unexpectedly while searching for something unrelated. Though I had seen the photo a handful of times already, this time I noticed something I hadn’t picked up on before: Mom was staring and smiling contentedly AT HER WEDDING RING.

Instantly I knew.

Instantly I was standing in her body, her powerful mind transporting us both to the ecstasy of true romantic love; she was dancing with my father, the love of her life.

I find it both fascinating and comforting that prior to me having found the love of my life, I hadn’t noticed the stunning significance of the photo. Despite forty-four years of being apart, my mother never stopped loving my father, and though she wore another man’s ring on her finger, what she saw was the ring my father had given her nearly sixty-six years prior. In that moment with Chris, the dance instructor, she was gloriously transported to a magical evening from the past.

Perhaps today Mom is smiling from Heaven at the timing of my unexpected revelation–how it coincides so nicely with the fact that I have finally found my own true love. It’s really all she ever wanted for me: to be truly happy. I am Mom, I am.

I think I’ll take some dance lessons…

Mom and Dad

A wave of deflation

A burgeoning California morning. An abundance; fields actually, of colorful blooms. A camera. Thus began a promising day.

The homeschool field trip to The Flower Fields in Carlsbad left me with time, while my children were attending a workshop, to take in and attempt to capture–in my psyche and in my camera–the intoxicating beauty surrounding me.

Click, click. Smile. Click. Smile. Click, click, click. Smile.

Arriving home, exhausted but happy, I could hardly wait to view my shots. I loaded them up, hit “Import,” and waited. It would be a while. There were hundreds. I pulled up the internet to check out the photos of an award-winning photographer I had met that day, Donna Pegakis.


I was tired. Too tired. Way too tired to view amazing photos expertly massaged into fine art; photos worthy of the awards they had received.

I clicked over to my photos, now loaded, to see if any were keepers. I didn’t get very far before a wave of creative deflation hit me. What had I been thinking? Me, a potential professional photographer down the road? Who was I kidding? Her shots were amazing. Mine paled in comparison, despite the brilliance of the flowers. I took a nap.

Weeks passed. I received an e-mail from Donna with her newly updated site, and I ignored it.

This. Is. Not. Like. Me. At all. In case you don’t understand. I am not a jealous person. I used to be, but when I decided that being insecure was NOT an option, I eradicated jealousy–seriously (it took many years). I am the kind of person who will compliment a drop-dead gorgeous woman on her calves, her stunning low-cut blouse, or her form-fitting capris. So this fresh round of envy, in response to Donna’s amazing work, depressed me. Still, I ignored it, until I finally decided to look at my shots; not to see if I could out-do my new friend, but to see if any of my shutter clicks matched my vision for them. Lo and behold, since I wasn’t comparing my work with Donna’s; wasn’t letting the atrociously ugly green monster control my thoughts about my aspirations, I found some I loved.

Today I will contact Donna and share this post with her. I will apologize for not responding. I will tell her how her work has inspired me to keep my own creative vision alive–versus comparing it to someone else’s and deciding to quit, or to settle for less than my progressive best.

As for those demons I thought I had wrestled into oblivion? I’ve realized that they are always waiting to rear their formidable heads–especially when I forget to remind myself that my dreams cannot be touched by someone else’s accomplishments. In fact, if I am smart, I will let other people’s genius inspire me to new heights.

Riding at Anchor

I am pondering the ironic fact that I felt less free over a decade ago while sailing over the Temecula Valley in a commercial hot air balloon than I did recently when I rose straight up over Orange County, California, in this tethered Great Park balloon.

I am reminded of another time I sailed through the air: when I careened off of a 30 ft. telephone pole as part of a team-building exercise. The atypical expletive I screamed as I jumped off the wavering wooden beast and toward the trapeze bar didn’t stop my epiphany: fear can be random and irrational. Yet fear was the last thing I had expected to feel. After all, no harm was in sight; I was harnessed and tethered. Yet “abject fear” barely defines what flooded my mind in the few moments that elapsed between climbing, standing, jumping, and gratefully connecting with that three-foot swinging bar.

Pondering fears–rational and irrational–inadvertently led me to the debate that exists between sailors who believe tethered harnesses should be the standard when sailing on the open seas, and those who don’t. Mobility and racing effectiveness are allegedly compromised when a sailor’s safety harness is tethered to  jacklines secured to the stern and bow. San Francisco and San Diego are both reeling from the recent deaths (rare occurrences in the sport) of several sailors, which has fired up ongoing concerns about sailing safety in general. Bryan Chong, a survivor of the San Francisco accident spoke up on the matter, standing clearly on the side of safety precautions that could have saved his crew mates and eliminated his horrific experience; one that he says was like being in a “washing machine with boulders.” Regarding not being tethered, Chong had this to say, “It’s simply a bad habit that formed due to a false sense of security in the ocean. It’s obvious to me now that I should have been clipped into the boat at every possible opportunity.”

Freedom creates a tantalizing fantasy that rarely considers viable dangers. Sometimes we act with wild abandon and we survive, thrive even. Other times we are left to clean up the aftermath of something we regret. There is a balance that involves weighing the risks – a “pros and cons” list we often make in our heads based on knowledge, experiences, beliefs, affinities, tolerance levels and more. It is complex and personal. This is a healthy process because we know ourselves best. But when we allow our fears to be tethered to our doubts, we are unlikely to sail toward our best dreams–the ones that bring us the most joy. Going adrift of total caution can be just what we need to spark an incredible journey.

So why did I feel more free in the tethered balloon? I have a fear of heights and a proclivity toward claustrophobia. Neither are a problem; they are mild in nature. But that day, the beauty of the Temecula Valley was obscured by my eagerness to land. The Great Park balloon on the other hand, is finite. It has a secure basket with a screen that prohibits falling out. There are openings that allow for photography, and behind the lens I was pursuing a passion that blotted out anything else. My fears were non-existent.  I was safe, and I was free.

My heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones to the sea; weak solace in the fact that they died doing something they loved. Hindsight has everyone involved wishing these souls had been safely tethered. Though they would not have escaped fear, they surely would have cheated death.

Note: An anchor that is aweigh is one that has just begun to put weight onto the rope or chain by which it is being hauled up. And while this pulling up allows a ship to sail, the anchor sits ready for when it is needed again.

To “ride at anchor” is to be anchored.

photographs and thoughts are the creation and property of the author/photographer, Britton Minor


“For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Sir Isaac Newton’s third Law of Motion explains much about the kickback of a fired gun, a firefighter’s lean-in to counteract the push-back of a coursing water hose, the reason a bicycle is easier to balance when it is moving than when it is stationary, or the displacement of water when something is dropped into it. But does this law have applications beyond physics?

Do our relationships bear witness to Newton’s scientific explanations as well? Do actions always beget equal and opposite reactions when it comes to interacting with others? If so, how? If not, why not?

Will you join me on a philosophical exploration? Weigh in…tell me what you think. Don’t worry about being right, or clear, or wise…I’m just curious.

And if this photo sparks completely different thoughts, leave those as well.

p.s. – Red Bells (Paprika) are wonderfully healthy. To see a full nutritional breakdown of these beauties, you can go here:

content and photo are the property of author/photographer, Britton Minor and The Jaded Lens Photography

La La Land

Do you ever have moments when you don’t fit in but wish you could? Like when someone tells a joke, and everyone is laughing except you? Or when there is a common bandwagon and you don’t hear the music? Do you ever wonder what the heck is wrong with you for not appreciating every good thing in your life, and for wanting more? Do you ever second-guess a desire because it feels self-indulgent? How about a crazy dream that involves mastering something you’ve never been good at-ever had one of those?

Well, guess what…this is Disneyland, and you can paint those teacups any color you’d like. Just for today, do not, for one second, let anyone tell you otherwise.



Photograph and content belong to the author/photographer, Britton Minor/The Jaded Lens Photography

Sun god

My pulse rises as I pull into a spot at the curb, grab my camera, and scan the park for a place to capture the bursting sky. Another photographer and his lady offer me a prime bench seat. I sit down gratefully and begin to shoot, wondering if a Canonite would have been so generous with the real estate. I’ve heard about the rivalry between those who, like me, shoot with a Nikon, and those who prefer Canon–but have never experienced it.

I decide to play with exposure compensation, dialing it down in an attempt to capture the way the vibrant oranges are manipulating the grayish blue sea; casting shadows on the sailboats, whose skippers must surely be preparing to sacrifice their lives for the mere chance to party with the irresistible sun god.

A wave of peaceful satisfaction washes over me. Behind the lens, with an abundance of manual settings literally at my fingertips, I am participating in the way creativity mingles with reality, enjoying the unchoreographed dance of a spontaneous life.




Photograph is property of the author/photographer, Britton Minor