take a walk in nature.
Sometimes you stumble across a few chords that put you in a reflective place.
I’m reminded on a continual basis that “time” is not a given and that every moment is precious.
I’m reminded that “home” will never look the same for me as it once did.
I’m reminded that the memories of my “past” will be forever changed.
I’m reminded that all of that is okay.
And all this from a river view of geese in the early morning.
of the frame.
Every action of your life touches on some chord that will vibrate in eternity.
Edwin Hubbell Chapin
A hike in the mountains with me isn’t for the faint of heart because rarely is reaching the summit important, and the person that can come with me and take pleasure as well in the findings along the way is a true gem.
The woods are full of stories. Stories of rebirth, life and death struggles, hope and renewal. We found these scars encircling this tree scraping higher and higher. All around were other trees burned, some to charcoal, others merely kissed by flames.
Black bear we figured. We like to think he survived the fire of 2017 but can only imagine how many animals did not.
I had a recent review of a group of five photographs done by an industry professional whose words struck a chord with me. He referenced a serenity and poetic quality in my work and spoke of how most offered elements that existed outside of the frame.
I’m still thinking about those words and how to dig deeper, not just when I have my camera in hand but every day for it’s not just in the image where elements exist outside of the frame.
Something to think about as this year draws to a close…
Now Autumn’s fire burns slowly along the woods and day by day the dead leaves fall and melt.
Don’t wish for the season to change.
Don’t stay where you’re not happy.
Don’t wait for a better time.
Don’t forget to say I love you.
as a verb.
It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam.This crisp winter air is full of it.
I watched an inspiring speech by Mathew McConaughey this week, thank you LH for posting it, that talked about being the architects of our own lives. To not do the things that put our souls in jeopardy. To find out who we are not in order to then learn who we are.
Timing…sometimes that’s the critical element that allows a message to really sink in and for me the timing was right to hear words about simplifying my life.
Every time I pick up a camera I choose very deliberately what will be within that framework so why then is it so difficult to use that same process in life?
We are each as individual as the snowflake pictured above. We each value and follow different paths in search of that which brings happiness and contentment. If we were to compare those snapshots of our lives each would look entirely different.
Following along the lines of last week’s blog post of a self-portrait, I am going to spend more time treating my life as a photograph, carefully framing its elements, removing those that no longer suit, and filling it with those things that feed my soul.
Architect as a verb…that works for me.
a self portrait.
Photography is an austere and blazing poetry of the real.
I’ve been playing around with portraits lately, you know, part of that exercise to do those things that you’re the least comfortable with. Replacing fear with confidence allows you to make choices that aren’t predicated around a feeling that you could fail.
When your life has gone through a complete upheaval the tendency is to analyze every choice that you made and to find reasons why you made the choices that you did.
I think that it’s a necessary part of recovery but there also comes a time to let those things go and take a good long look in the mirror. I’ve found through chance encounters that my story is not all that unique and with that discovery comes a sense of relief. I am grateful to those women who have shared their stories with me.
The photo above is about looking in that mirror. It is a self portrait of where I am right now in this moment.
Every so often in nature, with jaw dropping vistas a far as the eye can see, you encounter a tiny intimate landscape that just speaks to you on a whole different level.
This was one of those defining moments.
And how unusual…
It’s almost always about the water.
the food chain.
In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.
Some people can go all of their lives and never see a glimpse of these top of the apex predators.
This year I’ve been on a roll, catching my first glimpse from 20 feet away. A chance encounter on foot that fortunately ended well, no cubs to protect or kill to guard. Considering that they’ve been clocked at 30 mph it makes 20 feet feel like a hop, skip, and a jump away.
When we first saw this most perfect of natural track traps laden with grizzly prints set by a layer of frost covering the wet mud, I almost had to remind myself to breathe.
Tracks are rapidly becoming something that I find great joy in photographing. I think in part it’s the transient nature and the luck involved with encountering them at just the right moment. Capturing them, these intimate landscapes, provides a permanent record that places like this still exist.
They tell a story as you follow them ever mindful that the beast that created them has been there and still might be. Interspersed amidst the grizzly tracks were tracks from black bear, mountain lion, elk, and later on, those of my Staffords.
But soon the wind will blow and the snow will fall, erasing the signs that in the wilderness the wild is never far away.
Stay vigilant and always check your surroundings…
just because we say it’s so?
Before the people at large, and for that matter, the artists themselves, understand what photography really means, as I understand that term, it is essential for them to be taught the real meaning of art.
Had some interesting conversations lately about art; what it is and what it is not.
Is it the piece of dryer lint tied with thread and given space at a gallery? Or perhaps it’s the old sheet hung on the wall with a word written on it? Is it assembly line production of paper and glue?
Is it art because it matches your sofa cushions? Is it art because you cut an old RV in half and applied social commentary to it? Does the quality of the material used elevate the work?
The very definition of art, the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination would lead me to believe that there are more components involved than the simple desire to be called an artist.
Recent art exhibits seemed to be accompanied by lengthy bios on the artist and the creative process that resulted in some of the exhibits mentioned above leading me to wonder is it art if it has to be explained to you in advance of the viewing?
For me whatever I’m looking at, my own work or that of others, first and foremost it has to evoke some sort of emotion and secondly the creation of the piece has to have some component of skill and intention involved.
Art or craft…always a hot topic. I’m grateful for artists like Stieglitz who paved the way for photography as an art form.
There was a man with great passion, talent, and intention and I would have loved to shadow him for just one day as he worked.
Who moves you? What motivates you to create and not just replicate?