THOMAS CAKALIC PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog en-us (C) 2023 Thomas Cakalic Photography (THOMAS CAKALIC PHOTOGRAPHY) Mon, 03 May 2021 04:47:00 GMT Mon, 03 May 2021 04:47:00 GMT THOMAS CAKALIC PHOTOGRAPHY: Blog 80 120 Takeoff  

Osprey Starting Flight from Ponderosa PineTakeoffThe simple grandeur of a bird's flight. Taking off. That's what this Osprey was doing in this image. 

It was a drizzly, overcast day in late April. I was focused on the nest about 50 feet in front of me, when this one swooped in to the top of a Ponderosa Pine, about 40 feet to my left. It only stayed there for about a minute before flying to the nest. 

I spent about 90 minutes at this nesting site. It was cool and windy, punctuated by drizzle and occasional sun breaks, with the sweet scent of pines and sagebrush rising from the forest.  

There's a fast flowing mountain stream about 1/10 of a mile away, and 100 feet below the nesting site. 

The light, combined with overcast skies make this image feel more like a painting as opposed to a photograph. 

"Takeoff!" is available in the "Birds"gallery. 

Wishing you the "Peace of Light".



(THOMAS CAKALIC PHOTOGRAPHY) Art birds blog Boise Cakalic Fine art Idaho Light Osprey Peace of Light photography Takeoff Thomas Tom Mon, 26 Apr 2021 22:48:44 GMT
18° Below on the Salmon River 18° Below on the Salmon River18° Below on the Salmon RiverTruly cold, especially after several hours. Fingertips, nose, ears. But doesn't exhilarating moments like this make life worth living?
I'm alive!

It was -18°F (-28°C) when this image was taken in early January. Not the coldest I've experienced, but even a truck heater has trouble keeping it warm inside at this temperature. Exposed fingers and face start to sting in about five minutes. 


It's moments like these that remind me I'm alive! We all like to be comfortable, but experiencing an extreme can be exhilarating... for a change.


A fog rises off the river as it's warmer than the surrounding air. The Salmon River has a number of hot springs along its banks, which may contribute to the temperature differential, to some very small degree.  The vapor crystallizes on the trees nearest the river, giving them a "sugar coating".


A few miles upstream, otters, seemingly oblivious to the cold, frolicked in the water. Then they found a sunny spot and piled on top of one another, several feet ashore. Maybe they were cold after all. 


I feel peaceful when I view this scene, with its subdued color palette of blues, grays, whites, black, and the slightest tinge of violet. 


"18° Below on the Salmon River" is available in the Landscapes gallery. 


Wishing you the "Peace of Light".




(THOMAS CAKALIC PHOTOGRAPHY) blog cakalic fine art idaho peace of light photography salmon river sawtooths stanley thomas tom Thu, 21 Jan 2021 19:55:26 GMT
Have a Purpose Red-breasted NuthatchHave a PurposeHave a Purpose


Do you think this little Red-breasted Nuthatch has a purpose in mind? Of course you do! 


The stance and steely-eyed concentration gives it away. Possibly I'm anthropomorphizing. But maybe that's also the way humans most readily relate to the Animal Kingdom. 


What was his or her purpose at this moment?


It was to get a drink of water. From a single droplet that had formed from snowmelt, on the bottom edge of a Bluebird box, just inches away. 


Ahh... that ice cold water tastes soooo good!


Lot's of things have purposes. The Aspen tree the Nuthatch is on has been dead for several years, and I've been meaning to replace it with a new one. But even a dead tree has a purpose. The birds don't seem to care that it's dead. Some birds like Woodpeckers may even prefer it at times. So the tree stays. 


What's my purpose? What's yours? 


I was fortunate the bird landed in a spot with such an uncluttered background, total overcast sky.


"Have a Purpose" is available in the Birds gallery. 


Wishing you the "Peace of Light". 


Thomas Cakalic 

(THOMAS CAKALIC PHOTOGRAPHY) Art birds blog Boise Cakalic Fine Have a Purpose Idaho Light Nuthatch of Peace photography Thomas Tom Tue, 05 Jan 2021 02:03:38 GMT
To Wonder Why To Wonder WhyTo Wonder WhyImogene Lake Milky Way. Why?


It's a 6.5 mile (10.5 km) hike in to Imogene Lake, in the Idaho Sawtooths, mostly uphill. :) The lake is at an elevation of 8,442 feet (2,573 m).


After a day's activities at this elevation, it gets difficult to stay awake long enough for the skies to become this inky dark. Yet it's well worth it. 


When you see the night sky, what's the first question that comes to mind?


Quite possibly, "Why?".


It's been said that "Why?" is the most important question to be asked in almost any endeavour, scientific or otherwise.


"Why?" is unique among questions.


"How?", "What?", "When?", "Where?", "Who?", all have fairly discrete answers. The answers to these are essentially raw statements of fact. 


"Why?" however is a question that digs deeper.  Merriam-Webster defines it as essentially: 


1 :for what cause, reason, or purpose

So the question "Why?," presumes there must be a cause, a reason or a purpose. (duh)


Unintelligent, inanimate objects may, by a strict definition, cause things to occur. However, they don't have reasons for the actions they may be a part of. They certainly don't have a purpose for their actions. They are pretty much victims of their own circumstances. The only things we know of that cause other things to occur, for a reason, or with a purpose, is other entities. A person or persons. Even a dog or cat person has a reason or purpose for what they do. 


Someone may ask "Why did the falling rocks land on the road?". Because there was heavy rain that loosened the soil. The rocks, assisted by gravity, began their downward motion. There was a cause in this instance, but not an intelligent one.


A child might then ask, "Why does it rain?" or "Why is there gravity?". It seems one question "why", often inevitably leads to the next question "why", for both children and adults.

When I look up at the night sky I wonder "Why?". Likely you have as well.


By the definition of the word "why", it's logical to assume that only a person can answer that penultimate question with a satisfying answer.


"To Wonder Why" is available for purchase in the Landscapes gallery. 


Wishing you the "Peace of Light". 


Thomas Cakalic 




(THOMAS CAKALIC PHOTOGRAPHY) blog Cakalic Fine art Imogene. Light Milky Way Peace of Light photography Sawtooths Thomas Tom why Sat, 02 Jan 2021 05:35:57 GMT
Mount Rainier at Sunrise Mount Rainier at SunriseMount Rainier at Sunrise"The mountains are calling and I must go" - John Muir


"Mount Rainier at Sunrise", from an area in the park, known as Sunrise. 


I'd often wished for a few puffy or straggling clouds in this image, yet the more I look and think about it, this is a bit of a rarity. 


Statistically, it's fairly seldom one can see Mount Rainier without clouds, if it's not totally obscured!


So I've come to enjoy the pristine crisp beauty in this image. The subtle pinkish-orange alpenglow, the purplish-brown of the rocks, contrasting with the blues and yellows. The pastel of it all. 


Wonderland Trail is a 93 mile long hiking trail that traces the circumference of the mountain. Wouldn't it be great to set out on that trail? Three miles a day would mean it would take about a month to circle the mountain. If in a particularly great spot, stay an extra day or two and make it up later. 


I highly recommend visiting the mountain, especially in September and early October. That's when the skies are clearer, and the foliage is changing to reds and yellows. I can only describe it as "sensory overload"!


There's beauty to be discovered at every turn in the park, be it only a few steps off road, or hours down a trail. 


"Mount Rainier at Sunrise" is available for purchase in the Landscapes gallery. 


Wishing you the "Peace of Light". 


Thomas Cakalic   



(THOMAS CAKALIC PHOTOGRAPHY) blog Cakalic Fine art Light Mount Rainier mountain of Peace photography sunrise Thomas Tom Wed, 30 Dec 2020 01:06:29 GMT
Hunkering Down A baby Screech Owl in southwest Idaho. About the size of a large avocado.


It's hunkered down in the picture, but it doesn't mean it's defenseless!


Beak and talons just aren't in action. 


It reminds me of us, the collective "us" of humanity, at the moment. Hunkering down, but not defenseless.


"Hunkering Down" is available for purchase in the Birds gallery. 


Wishing you the "Peace of Light". 


Thomas Cakalic   

(THOMAS CAKALIC PHOTOGRAPHY) blog Cakalic Day Fine art Hunkering Down Idaho Peace of Light photography Screech Owl Thomas Tom Tue, 29 Dec 2020 01:44:22 GMT
Another Day Another DayAnother Day"Ah, it's just another day" - Paul McCartney

It's just another day. 


That's the way it was at home, in the Boise Mountains of Idaho, in late September. Who could ask for a better vista 50 feet out the front door? Many I suppose, because beauty is present in an infinite variety of forms and settings.


Even if you can't see anything remotely like this at the moment, I'll guarantee one thing... there is something of exquisite beauty within inches, or within your field of vision. We need only look. 


Find it.

See it.

Appreciate it.


Beauty, in all its forms, large, small, spectacular, and subtle, is beauty!


This is one of my views however, and the weather and clouds are frequently like this at the right time of year. That makes it just "Another Day". 


However, it doesn't always get this good! That makes it a special "Another Day". :) Please allow me the liberty of some silliness. 


The image title is an appropriation of Paul McCartney's first post-Beatles single, "Another Day".


My image, his song, and the images in Paul's "Another Day" have nothing in common, aside from that they represent another day. 


That, in and of itself, is a cause for celebration!

The video in the above link is fun. A man and his wife riding horses. Simple pleasure and an enjoyable tune. Another day for them.


"Another Day" is available for purchase in the Landscapes gallery. 


Wishing you the "Peace of Light". 


Thomas Cakalic 









(THOMAS CAKALIC PHOTOGRAPHY) Another Day blog Cakalic Fine Art Idaho Peace of Light photography Thomas Tom Wilderness Ranch Thu, 24 Dec 2020 05:52:48 GMT
Autumn Harvest Autumn HarvestAutumn Harvest Sometimes, actually many times, the ingredients for a pleasing and peaceful image are close to home.   


I went to harvest the last of the tomatillos from the garden in the early autumn of 2020.


I often bring a camera when I trek the 200 feet down the hill. The greens and purples were so pretty I thought they deserved a better presentation. 


After getting a black velour drop cloth, some tomatoes from the garden, and a garlic clove from the kitchen, "Autumn Harvest" was produced. 


I was fighting harsh sunlight outside, so found a couple of pieces of plywood to overlap and lean against the edge of the house. This created a little shady 'photo booth', of sorts. The velour was laid across an outside table and tacked to the house. Then it was experimenting with the placement of the elements. 


Salsa Verde was part of the menu the next day. 


"Autumn Harvest" is available for purchase in the Panorama Format gallery. 


Wishing you the "Peace of Light". 


Thomas Cakalic 

(THOMAS CAKALIC PHOTOGRAPHY) Art Autumn Harvest Cakalic Fine Light of panorama Peace photography still life Thomas Tom tomatillos Mon, 21 Dec 2020 22:43:59 GMT
Fallout - An Unexpected Find It was a cold and dreary January day when I visited Assateague Island National Seashore in Maryland. I went there to see and photograph the main attraction, the wild ponies of Assateague.


I saw them. I photographed them. 



They weren't acting too wild. No herd of wild horses galloping through the tide, with water spraying, and manes blowing in the wind for me! 


They just weren't putting on that show today. No, this was a day for foraging and lazing around, much like humans in this kind of weather. If they had a television, they'd probably be sitting on the sofa, snacking on a bowl of oats and watching "Mister Ed". 



So I began wandering around the shoreline and began noticing the patterns in the sand. The best image of that day was completely unexpected, "Fallout". 


FalloutFalloutErosion on a beach at Assateague Island, Maryland.


This isn't the kind of image you examine up close. Your eyes need to relax. Backing up several feet from the screen helps. 


You'll see that almost all the tiny pebbles (around the size of a grain of rice or tapioca), have been pulled downward in the image by an outgoing wave. They've left a small lighter colored trail of that downward motion, above them. It appears they've fallen in the image, hence the name. 


This kind of abstract image looks good when printed large. 


"Fallout" is available for purchase in the Abstracts gallery. 


Wishing you the "Peace of Light". 


Thomas Cakalic  

(THOMAS CAKALIC PHOTOGRAPHY) abstract Art blog Cakalic fallout Fine Light of Peace photography Thomas Tom Sat, 19 Dec 2020 00:21:32 GMT
Free as a Bird Love for beautiful imagery doesn't lead to cityscapes and man-made objects very often for me. "Free as a Bird" is one of the exceptions. 


I was in Chicago for a photography exhibition. One can only hang around inside for so long. 


Millenium Park in downtown, has a large piece of sculptural art, colloquially referred to as The Bean. It's official name is "Cloud Gate". It was designed by Anish Kapoor, an Indian-born British artist.


The sculpture is large, measuring 33 feet high, 42 feet wide, and 66 feet long. It's easily large enough to walk under. When people near it, the curved surface shines back with warped, carnival funhouse-like reflections to the viewer. I really applaud him for this interactive work of art. If you go there, you're more likely to spend an hour as opposed to 10 minutes. 


I often use the camera viewfinder as a frame to isolate parts of a scene, scanning around with it up to my eye. I was definitely trying to capture an image devoid of the hundred or so people present. As I did so, a seagull flew through, and I instantly knew the kind of composition I was going for. 


I was aiming high enough to avoid the ground and people, while still capturing most of the sculpture - and a lot of sky. Subtracting the ground provides no visual clues, and is part of what makes the image abstract. 


The next 20 minutes was spent watching for gulls flying in proximity, and preparing to release the shutter at the right time. Numerous birds flew through in those 20 minutes, sometimes in unwieldy groups, but most at an undesirable height or unflattering angle. Finally one posed almost perfectly. 


"Free as a Bird". What does it mean to you? 

Free as a BirdFree as a Bird"Free as a bird / It's the next best thing to be / Free as a bird" - The Beatles

I know what it means to me.


It also reminds me of The Beatles track, of the same name. 


Free as a Bird is available for purchase in the Abstracts gallery. 


Wishing you the "Peace of Light".


Thomas Cakalic 


(THOMAS CAKALIC PHOTOGRAPHY) Cakalic Chicago Cloud Gate Fine Art Free as a Bird Peace of Light photography The Bean Thomas Tom Thu, 17 Dec 2020 22:40:51 GMT
Stratford Point Light in Winter Storm Lighthouses symbolize beacons of hope, and perseverance. Historically, they've been the only thing standing between safe harbor and potential death, for mariners on dark, treacherous seas, approaching an unseen shoreline. 


I wish the story I have to tell was as dramatic as the prior sentence. Alas, it's not so. If you were expecting otherwise, this is not the lighthouse photography blog you're looking for. 


Stratford Point Light Winter StormStratford Point Light Winter Storm"Once the lighthouse is seen, the rest of the sea is ignored" - Terri Guillemets


In Connecticut, I decided to search for lighthouses because they have great stories and make equally great art subjects. The closest to my location was the Stratford Point Light, at the mouth of the Housatonic River.


Key to me, is that the light is still operating. What is a lighthouse without a light? In most cases a tall skinny...  ? 


The first time I visited was in daylight, to get my bearings. It's at the end of a narrow lane with limited parking, so I left the car a good distance away. I was at the last residence on the street, and saw the homeowner in his yard. I stepped past the edge of a garage on to the driveway, and was immediately greeted with "Would you step back? You're standing on private property."


My first thought was this was the stereotypical "New Englander" ego at play. I hope not to fall prey to stereotyping. I'm not a potato farmer with dirt under my nails just because I live in Idaho. I have dirt under my nails for other reasons!


In any case, I got it, respectfully apologized and took several steps back, which seemed to appease the fellow. I'm a homeowner as well. "Invasions" are rarely welcome. For all I know, he may get ten people per week invading his space. I may feel exactly as him, if I were in his shoes. 


I did however, want a chance to photograph the lighthouse. This is where a small degree of perseverance comes in to play. I returned multiple times. That first time was the only time I ever saw another person. Had I been asked to leave again, I would have respectfully done so. 


I was there on fairweather days and several bad. Twice in rain and snow. 


In this image, it was a mix of both. Snow kept accumulating in the bottom of the lens hood, which was needed to keep it dry. So I was having to clear it with a finger to prevent it from obscuring the view. I was also pretty much soaked through, at least my overcoat and shoes. Hair totally wet, with rain and snow water running down my face. Camera drenched, hoping it would also persevere.  


A lighthouse doing what it's supposed to do, in the conditions it's most needed to do them in.


I persevered. I'm sure the homeowner living next to the lighthouse is persevering. The lighthouse has persevered in its present form since 1881. 


Stratford Point Light Winter Storm is available for purchase in the Landscapes gallery. 


Wishing you the "Peace of Light".


Thomas Cakalic 

(THOMAS CAKALIC PHOTOGRAPHY) Cakalic Connecticut Fine Art lighthouse Peace of Light photography Stratford Thomas Tom Fri, 11 Dec 2020 01:56:39 GMT
Late Winter Afternoon Skiing and photography. A match made in heaven! One's already, no doubt, in close proximity to some spectacular scenery. Combining the two is only natural. A heavy camera and lens around my neck, concealed under a ski jacket? No problem!


Alpine snow skiing can give one a feeling of unbridled freedom.


Sun, snow, sky

Scent of pines and conifers in the air

Gliding almost effortlessly

Brisk wind rushing by

Soft "swish", "swish", "swish" of edges carving turns


Nothing else quite like it in the world!


Skiing does take some effort though, as one's body attests to throughout the day, and at the end of it. The same goes for photography. It's hampered somewhat by the unzip/zip of the coat, taking off gloves to operate the camera, breath fogging up the viewfinder. Stopping to shoot, then realizing there's a slightly better vantage point, uphill. 


At the end of the day one can be fairly exhausted, but it's OK, because there may be scenes like this:


Late Winter AfternoonLate Winter AfternoonLate afternoon light filtered through a snowy Ponderosa Pine. Skiing at Bogus Basin and this was the end of the day. A wonderful reward.


This was taken at Bogus Basin, located above Boise, Idaho. A 16 mile drive from town.


I'd observed the light changing on the last run of the day. I got down and took the ski's off, which hampered my ability to get to where I wanted quickly, which was across the parking lot and up on a 5' high snow berm created by the plows. Carrying skis and clunking around in ski boots, I made it in the nick of time.


A nice end to a nice day.


Late Winter Afternoon is available for purchase in the Landscapes gallery. 


Wishing you the "Peace of Light".


Thomas Cakalic 

(THOMAS CAKALIC PHOTOGRAPHY) basin blog Bogus Cakalic Fine Art Idaho landscape Peace of Light photography Thomas Tom tree Wed, 09 Dec 2020 15:56:46 GMT
The Citadel at Bryce Canyon Were you ever profoundly moved by something you saw? When the scene made you stop and think, and moments later you were transformed, with a totally different outlook?


I experienced this at Bryce Canyon in Utah. Winter is my favorite time at Bryce. Snow adds contrast to the color palette, the crowds have vanished, the summer heat has gone... definitely gone.  


In complete solitude, hiking down the trail, I turned a corner, and saw this:


The CitadelThe CitadelThe Citadel

The colors and shapes stopped me in my tracks. Above all, I was struck by the sublime serenity of the scene.


I wondered, "How many times throughout centuries and millennia, have these conditions been repeated with no human present to view it?" Yet here it was preserved, waiting for me to see and absorb. 


It made me think there's bigger things in life than my own petty worries.


"There's definitely a higher power in control of things. Everything is going to be OK". 


Viewing the image again transports me to that time and place, November 24, 4:08 PM, 2011, Bryce Canyon National Park.


The same sense of well-being encompasses me each time I look at it. 


I call it "The Citadel", not only because it looks much like a fortress, but because a fortress is a stronghold, a place of refuge and safety. That's the way it made me feel in that moment. Safe, secure, at peace.


I can't remember exactly where this was in Bryce. It's certainly off one of the main trails near the entrance of the park. If you go in winter, bundle up and be prepared. The rim elevation varies between 8000 and 9000', so it can get quite cold. Traction devices for shoes and boots (sold at the general store before the park entrance) are a necessity when hiking on steep snow and ice covered trails. 


"The Citadel" is available for purchase in the Panorama gallery. 


Wishing you the "Peace of Light". 


Thomas Cakalic 


(THOMAS CAKALIC PHOTOGRAPHY) blog Bryce Canyon Cakalic citadel fine art Peace of Light photography Thomas Tom Utah Tue, 08 Dec 2020 19:25:57 GMT
Stanley Lake and Mount McGown Blue Hour at Stanley LakeBlue Hour at Stanley Lake"The deeper the blue becomes, the more strongly it calls man towards the infinite" - Wassily Kandinsky


Stanley Lake and Mount McGown in Idaho, are a mere 109 miles from home.


The twisty drive takes one through canyons with black lava basalt cliffs, and over 2 mountain passes. Then alongside a stream that appears to be flowing uphill. After that, past hot springs cascading over a rock face into a river below, and through heavily forested terrain. 


Starting out on the drive while still dark, the first image, "Blue Hour at Stanley Lake", was taken 1 hour and 40 minutes before sunrise on October 23, 2016. Several snowfalls had already occurred in the Sawtooths. The bright star on the upper left is Sirius. 


Stanley Lake ShorelineStanley Lake Shoreline"The lake and the mountains have become my landscape, my real world" - Georges Simenon

The second view, "Stanley Lake Shoreline", was seen 40 minutes later. The crystal clear water allowed one to see the lake bed out to about 15 feet away, before the reflections of the sky and Mt. McGown took over.  A fine mist in early morning is often hanging over the water, as can be seen on the distant shore. 


It was around 20°F, and after freezing for several hours it was time for warmth, coffee, and breakfast at a rustic cowboy cafe, about 8 miles away.


Ahhh... Yum!


Both images are available for purchase in the Landscapes gallery. 


Wishing you the "Peace of Light". 


Thomas Cakalic 

(THOMAS CAKALIC PHOTOGRAPHY) Blue Hour Cakalic Fine Art Idaho Mount McGown Mt. McGown Peace of Light photography Sawtooths Stanley Lake Thomas Tom Mon, 07 Dec 2020 18:11:22 GMT