Tertiary, A Photograph

“GEOLOGY, n. The science of the earth’s crust –to which, doubtless, will be added that of its interior whenever a man shall come up garrulous out of a well. The geological formations of the globe already noted are catalogued thus: The Primary, or lower one, consists of rocks, bones or mired mules, gas-pipes, miners’ tools, antique statues minus the nose, Spanish doubloons and ancestors. The Secondary is largely made up of red worms and moles. The Tertiary comprises railway tracks, patent pavements, grass, snakes, mouldy boots, beer bottles, tomato cans, intoxicated citizens, garbage, anarchists, snap-dogs and fools.”
– Ambrose Bierce

Bed, Jennifer Allison
Bed, Jennifer Allison



Travel, A Photograph

“Journeys are the midwives of thought. Few places are more conducive to internal conversations than a moving plane, ship or train. There is an almost quaint correlation between what is in front of our eyes and the thoughts we are able to have in our heads: large thoughts at times requiring large views, new thoughts new places. Introspective reflections which are liable to stall are helped along by the flow of the landscape. The mind may be reluctant to think properly when thinking is all it is supposed to do.

At the end of hours of train-dreaming, we may feel we have been returned to ourselves – that is, brought back into contact with emotions and ideas of importance to us. It is not necessarily at home that we best encounter our true selves. The furniture insists that we cannot change because it does not; the domestic setting keeps us tethered to the person we are in ordinary life, but who may not be who we essentially are.

If we find poetry in the service station and motel, if we are drawn to the airport or train carriage, it is perhaps because, in spite of their architectural compromises and discomforts, in spite of their garish colours and harsh lighting, we implicitly feel that these isolated places offer us a material setting for an alternative to the selfish ease, the habits and confinement of the ordinary, rooted world.”
– Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel

Travel - Jennifer Allison
Travel – Jennifer Allison


Capital S, A Photograph

“As we live and as we are, Simplicity – with a capital “S” – is difficult to comprehend nowadays. We are no longer truly simple. We no longer live in simple terms or places. Life is a more complex struggle now. It is now valiant to be simple: a courageous thing to even want to be simple. It is a spiritual thing to comprehend what simplicity means.” 
– Frank Lloyd Wright, The Natural House

Simplicity has been elusive for me these last weeks as there have been home sales, home purchases, new babies born and old ties broken – It’s merely been a blip in time, although the whirlwind of it all seemed to take over temporarily.  This past weekend my friend and I snuck out of town and lived simply, albeit for only a few days, in the beautiful wine country of Walla Walla, Washington.  I took my camera and not much else…

Walla Walla Washington, Jennifer Allison
Walla Walla Washington, Jennifer Allison


Twisted Santa Monica, A Photograph

“They are dragged to the withered bracken by the load, 
And they seem not to break; though once they are bowed 
So low for long, they never right themselves.” 
– Robert Frost

I spent last weekend on a mini-getaway in Santa Monica.  Before I left I told myself I would only take five photographs the entire four days.  It was a challenge as I usually take multiple shots and then decide which I like better.  This challenge to myself was to not just point and snap, but search for the perfect subject and then take only one photograph of it.  This is what I came away with….just the one…

Most people in Southern California look the roughly the same, so I couldn’t find any real interesting subjects in humans.  The trees however, were so cool the way they seemed to emerge from the dirt like a giant earth worm, then settle back in, that I used all of my five shots just on them.

Twisted, Jennifer Allison
Twisted, Jennifer Allison


Creepy, Photographs

“Dolls with no little girls around to mind them were sort of creepy under any conditions.” 
– Stephen King

I never owned dolls.  They’ve always creeped me out.  I remember as a little girl I had a friend who owned a collection of them.  Her house was always overly clean and very red – blood-red carpets, red accents in her kitchen and red towels in her bathroom.  I liked her because she was a year older and would tell me about boys, while her dolls listened in.   When I would stay the night at her house I would lay awake, wondering if the dolls were going to come to life and smother me with their porcelain hands or crocheted mini-blankets…while she slept like a little doll baby.   When my daughter asked me for a doll I caved and bought her one.  Although I also bought a wooden case with a latch, a coffin if you will, that the doll could “sleep” in at night.  I think she liked it in there…

Doll Face, Jennifer Allison
Doll Face, Jennifer Allison
Roman Heads, Jennifer Allison
Roman Heads, Jennifer Allison




Ridiculous Beginning – A Photograph

“All great deeds and all great thoughts have a ridiculous beginning.  Great works are often born on a street corner or in a restaurant’s revolving door.”
-Albert Camus

Street Art, New Orleans - Jennifer Allison
Street Art, New Orleans – Jennifer Allison


Still Face, Photograghs

“For your sake, I hurry over land and water;
For your sake, I cross the desert and split the mountain in two,
And I turn my face from all things,
Until the time I reach the place
Where I am alone with you.”
– Al Hallaj

I took these photographs while visiting Joshua Tree National Park this past weekend …. A still and peaceful place

Tree, Jennifer Allison
Tree, Jennifer Allison
Joshua, Jennifer Allison
Joshua, Jennifer Allison
Alone, Jennifer Allison
Alone, Jennifer Allison

Earth Poetry, Photographs

Trees are poems that earth writes upon the sky,
We fell them down and turn them into paper,
That we may record our emptiness.

Kahil Gibran

I am an advocate of many things –  of the arts, of humans, of trees, of philosophy, of poetry and literature, of interaction, of expression and of love.  A man whose words have always touched me deeply were those of the Lebanese-American Kahil Gibran.  If I could bring anyone back for an evening of conversation over a meal, it would be him.  I’d like that – to sit in an olive grove with Mr. Gibran and just listen…

Olive trees, as you may have read in my past posts, hold an allure for me.  I like that their gnarly trunks make this bold statement of, “I am here and have been for many years and will continue to do so,”  while their dainty silver-like leaves seem to be fickle in their presence..almost blending in to the sky behind them…

Religion, A Photograph

“I have been astonished that men could die martyrs
for their religion–
I have shuddered at it,
I shudder no more.
I could be martyred for my religion.
Love is my religion
and I could die for that.
I could die for you.”
– John Keats

Religion, Jennifer Allison

Waiting, A Photograph

“The very essence of romance is uncertainty.”
― Oscar Wilde

On my last evening in Verona I walked through Piazza Erbe one last time.  While resting at a cafe I noticed this young man waiting by a statue holding a red rose and looking nervous.  I wasn’t going to shoot him, but then the old man to the left walked by him and noticed him as well.  He gave him a look I couldn’t pass photographing – a knowing look.  It’s not the best of photo quality…but it says a lot about the two men and their thoughts.

Waiting – Jennifer Allison

Wild Books, A Photograph

“Second hand books are wild books, homeless books; they have come together in vast flocks of variegated feather, and have a charm which the domesticated volumes of the library lack.”
– Virginia Woolf

I have an affinity for used books.  I can spend hours upon hours in a spot not bigger than my bathroom, while surrounded by books.  Yesterday I was in Bellingham, Washington and while on a long walk in search of dinner I came upon an enormous antique store.  I knew there were bound to be loads of books inside and lo and behold…I was gifted with rows upon rows of old books.  Two hours later I left the section and found dinner.  I also enjoy taking photographs of books – of which I have many.  Like this one…

Bellingham Books – Jennifer Allison

Milan, Italy and The Giardini Indro Montanelli

“No, mother; no. She was really keen on Italy. This travel is quite a crisis for her.” He found the situation full of whimsical romance: there was something half attractive, half repellent in the thought of this vulgar woman journeying to places he loved and revered. Why should she not be transfigured? The same had happened to the Goths.”
E.M. Forster, Where Angels Fear to Tread

jennifer allison, black and white Milan

jennifer allison, black and white gate of Milan