06 January 2014
Let me know which you prefer and why.
Usually, inner reflection of the past is not a regular part of my repertoire. I very much like to live in the moment–the here and now. Throughout the decades this philosophy has merged as interior layers were built by the usual peaks and valleys of life’s journey.
I admit that the tail of 2013 and its touch upon the infancy of 2014 offers a place for a deeper introspection of last year’s evaporated months. This turning point can conjure a slightly-tender, curiously-midland, or outrageously-gigantic roller coaster of emotions to pursue one’s most recent back story.
Usually, I resist a concentrated backward glance. I prefer to just be. But another winter storm appeared a day ago, and rising from it came a patina of musing and wondering about the thick and thin of past year.
Winter also edges me with the “hibernation” syndrome. Because other animals are dozing underground, this seasonal habit creeps into my thoughts. Oh, and the sun has barely been visible: producing lots of gray mornings and afternoons. I ponder the possibility of sleeping until Spring appears.
Since winter strips away parts of the visual landscape, I savor that underlining beauty. Bare trees are quite stunning; they give pause for renewal.
Ice and snow bring a different luster to the landscape (and we always need the water). Mostly, I try to keep it all in perspective: three more months of dips in the temps and the landscape will begin to regenerate and rejuvenate itself.
On the day before this last storm the sky’s overcast tones drew me to a local pond. A thin glaze of ice covered parts of the surface. The sun was doing its best to show the surroundings: to pull through the clouds.
The icy parts were opaque, but the pond had enough open water to reflect the light and outline the mature trees. A hint of magic presided.
In the Lens section are two almost identical images. The first shows a more ethereal view of the scene. The sun blasting through the sky, creating indiscernible reflections. The second image taken not long after the first provides more details in the mirror-like glow.
Each image is a testament to how a moment can change what we see. How the tick tock of time alters our perception and vision. How one variant can reflect the past or pierce the present.
Tip of the Week: Nature photography is a mammoth challenge. Whether one is trying to still an animal’s cadence, capture the brilliance of a summer flower, freeze an autumn sunset, focus on the face of a bird, steal a private moment between two praying mantises, or shoot the glaze on a midnight moon, the result is very much dependent on the eye of the photographer. That’s not news or groundbreaking. But I have learned that what I see in front (to the sides, in back, overhead) of me takes closer examination than the scene or time might allow. Nature photography can take an inordinate amount of patience, but so does photography of any subject. A landscape, for example, can be so vast as to cause emotional overload. My approach is to break it down into planes: to see the scene as layers that need to be assessed. This point of view can be summarized as: featured plane (reflection as focal point), horizon (where pond meets the landscape), mid-ground (spectrum of light), foreground (trees as backdrop), cloud and skyline (top and through trees). Nature photographers usually include at least five planes, sometimes six. Of course, this suggestion can change with the complexity or simplicity of the composition. Photography is not about rules; it’s about our individual vision. But with experimentation and practice it also becomes full of instinctual and subconscious choices.
View other entries for today’s challenge here:
Note: As always I welcome any comment about this post or any part of my blog.
If you’d like to join the fun, please click here for details. If you have any questions about the Phoneography Challenge, please contact me.
Below is a reminder of the monthly schedule with themes for upcoming Phoneography Challenges:
1st Monday: Nature
2nd Monday: Macro
3rd Monday: Black and White
4th and 5th Mondays: Challenger’s Choice (Pick One: Abstraction, Architecture, Food Photography, Night Photography, Portraiture, Still Life, Street Photography, and Travel).