Intimacy and Snow

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There is an intimacy with nature that I truly enjoy with photography. I do like to do some landscape stuff as well, but I am about the detail, the things we miss when we move too quickly through this world. I think I’m more about my impressions of nature, the dreamline quality of removing ourselves from civilization, form city pavements and roadways and experience the sublime peace of walking through a forest, or by the side of a lake or river.

In winter, there’s a certain  quality of stillness in the morning, a muffled sense of solitude when snow blankets the ground. There’s a subtlety to winter in nature that I trully embrace.

Rock 2019 with new goals, new adventures…

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A new year is here. Fresh year, new chapter, so many adventures to take. Time to begin. We don’t know what the year will bring, but it’s up to us how we move forward, what mood we move forward with, and deciding what goals we want to achieve, both short-term and long term.

One of my goals is to visit 52 different parks this year, and I know that’s a doable goal. That’s other part of goal-setting is making goals that have a chance to succeed.  That doesn’t mean they should all be easy, we do need to reach somewhat. But a mix of goals is always good and it helps to motivate and be able to move on to the next goal we have set.

Mr. Squirrel just walked across the fence in front of my window. It’s a sunny day and I expect he’s other gathering some stores to carry him through. Planning is an important of making progress for humans as well. And be it photography or writing, having a list of goals helps to keep one rooted to progress. It helps to redefine periodically if we have that written list.

This weekend I think I’ll plan those 52 park adventures, and by year end I’ll see how well I’ve done. I’ll revisit my list every three months or so to keep me grounded on moving forward, but whether I hit 10 or 52, it’s all about progress. Do you have your goals set for 2019?

Happy New Year, everyone!

Sunlight and Shadows

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Discovery Trail, Centralia, WA

As a photographer, and as a writer, I love the early morning light.  I’m always up before dawn and this year I’ve played a lot with aperture settings and speed and ISO. Being adventurous and, I hope a little bit creative with my photography.

I like to see how the light plays in the branches, I love the mist of a Pacific Northwest morning, how it undulates across the ground and through the trees, and over th waters of the river. And each day, each season, at any given moment that light changes. Maybe it’s the whisper of a leaf, the tremble of a branch, the ripple of the water . I stand and watch and wait for it, wait for it. Being a nature photographer requires patience and observation.

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Discovery Trail, Centralia, WA (August  2018)

 

There’s something about the peacefulness of the environment, stepping away from technological objects. Stuffing the phone away, turning off the computer, and stepping out into a dawn breaking, to birds singing, to trees creaking as they sway with a breeze. There’s a certain excitement and awe to watching sunlight sweep away the mist of a dawning day.  Being out in nature before people rise and even consider taking that first walk. Leaves whisper, a flutter of birds doing some early morning foraging.  The crunch of my own feet along a hiking path.

What’s waiting around the corner yet to be discovered?  Misty sunlight always catches my attention. It makes the sun shimmer, the mist making it appear always shy, just arising at the beginning of a new day.  Parting the cool covers of mist to warmly shine down, giving sparkle to the dew drops in a golden twinkle. A glint catches my eye because I’m walking slowly. It’s not about scanning the area with my eyes. It’s using my sense, the look I give the area, is that of a lover, a slow and intimate appreciation for the environment around me. Because, photography in any form is a passion, and with any passion, there is a certain intimacy necessary to embrace the moment fully.  Thus, I use all my senses in moments like this. That shine of the sun, it energizes me, it fills me with its light. It soothes with the revelation of early morning shine. It fills me with wonder, and, indeed, it fills the well of my soul.

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Dewdrops on Feather. Discovery Trail, Centralia, WA (August 2018)

I like being a morning person, up before the sun, getting ready, heading out. I stand on the step and gaze up at the sky, always a smile of anticipation. The mist envelopes me as I step down and head to the car. I know, whatever this day will bring, it’s going to be a great day for more discoveries in nature.

A Digital Age of Photography

I tend to think the world of technology has changed the world of  photography. Hugely changed in many respects. We are now developing into a different creative form of imagery, used in both good and bad ways. Just by using images as memes makes it a more diversified creative medium, or creative manipulation as another example, switching heads and bodies and backgrounds like a round with paper dolls. Cameras have also become much more user-friendly, with a wide range of possibilities for the  average consumer, including phones.

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The rush of freeway traffic

When it was film and not digital, I was  more judicious about taking photographs, learning about settings, composition, ISO, speed, and using them with an educated, careful eye. Film and processing was expensive. Our tools have changed. Such as using photo processing software and phone apps. We used chemicals and settings and certain types of cameras, certain types of filters, processing equipment, perhaps creative filters we designed ourselves. And the audience and places to share  images are much more global.

 

Today, we have different tools, larger audiences, and photography is becoming a very different type of art form than what we remember it to be. In some respects I love that I can be more creative and design differently. In others, I fondly remember the judiciousness of film imagery.

Like most mediums of art, photography is individual. As when I write fiction, I have one thing in my mind about what that story is. The reader takes away something else. It comes from different life experiences and perspective.

For me, it isn’t simply about taking a “perfect” photo. It’s about the art of photography,

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Song sparrow giving us a beautiful seranade

it’s about nature and environment, and how I perceive something. I prefer macro to landscape, I prefer intimate, unguarded moments with people and places rather than portraiture. Photography is multi-stepped:  it’s about choosing the subject, about the taking of the picture, as well as the processing of the images, be that film or digital. Photography is about the composition in your mind, the colors, the shapes, the imagery and how you want to represent what you see. It’s about playing with settings, it’s about capturing the emotion and wonder and peace or excitement of that moment and what I, as the photographer, find exciting about that visualization.

Be it a painter, a photographer, a writer, creativity is about personal perception. Representing a world that we see, and sharing that perception with others.

But there is another side to taking photographs. Because it’s become so easy to take picttures at every turn, signage_photos-8213 it’s also about copyrights and personal privacy, and the ethics of taking photographs and being sensitive about what I take pictures of, respecting the space of people or animals, places, and being educated on practicing this art form.

I love taking pictures,  I love being out in nature, surrounded by so much beauty and passion and inspiration. I can’t help wanting to capture a moment, of sharing that moment. See what I see in a way I see it. My own mind’s eye.

The world is a beautiful place, filled with moments worth sharing.