On Being Present
From the Vault: February 7, 2018
The From the Vault series re-visits older posts from my previous blog.
Here, an ode to solitude, peace, and winter wonder:
You've walked alone in the snow for nearly two hours this morning with your camera bag slung over your shoulder but you haven't even made a single shot, though it doesn't matter because you are just being right now, just listening to the swish of your snow pants with every step and just watching the dense downward drift of the snowflakes that look like a bazillion tiny white stars, and when you stop moving there's only silence so you tip your face to the whiteness of the sky and close your eyes and concentrate on the snowflakes coming to an end on your skin, the feathery tickles as they pool in freezing droplets on your cheeks and your chin and your glasses... so, in honour of your kids, and indeed of childhood itself, you open your mouth wide and catch the falling snowflakes with your tongue and you don't even care if you look ridiculous, there's no one here to see in any case; only the trees and they really don't seem to mind, and then you finally pull out the camera and make the only photo of the day as you stand among the stoic trunks of the conifers, an unremarkable picture except for the fact that when you look at it you're reminded that you are very small and the world is very big, that there is beauty in silence and solitude and in the crisp, cold taste of a bazillion falling stars.
My Comments Today:
The photo I edited and posted with these words in 2018 was dark, muddied with a green cast. When I looked at it today, I wondered what the hell I'd been thinking.
I reset the photo to its original state - poorly underexposed - and tried again. This time, I cranked up the light and tamed the green.
As I looked at these three images, I thought about the day I wrote those words and posted that picture. I thought about my life at the time. I thought about my life today. I thought about why my editing choices are so different now. Am I able to better use my tools (I think so)? Have I learned something about the styles and tones that appeal to me (probably)? Are the photos we make (and, indeed, anything we create) a reflection of our current state of mind? Are they windows to alternate moods and realities we're curious about? Is all of this hogwash?
Lots of questions. Not as many (definite) answers.
In any case... we simply carry on.
See you next week.