Sometimes, I like to sit and think or stand and think. Either way, I am an introvert, so it comes naturally for me to need time to process life around me. I enjoy nature so much so that I do not know how good my life would be without it. Another part of my life that is important to me and I am protective of is my peacetime. I do not function, write or be a happy person without time to reflect and rest. I do realize that this all plays into the great adventures that I go on. The need to explore and take photographs of places around me. I need both, and surprisingly they go hand in hand in my life.
The creative side of my nature feeds off of the photography and writing. Photography takes time to learn and develop and the ability to see a good photo does not happen overnight. The development takes looking at other peoples photos who are better and seeing what they see. Reading books on photography helps too. My favorite book when I was starting out was “Digital Exposure Handbook” by Ross Hoddinott and “Understanding Exposure” by Bryan Peterson. They helped me understand the f-stops, lighting, and speed which function together.
And I like to look for what people overlook. The abstract, simple, intricate, lines and anything that will interest you and me. Mostly, it has to mean something to me and my vision. Photography and writing is a reflection of the artists’ life. Most people don’t recognize and or see the relationship. Most people don’t care they just either like the photo or not. Just as the writing, the story either says something to them or it doesn’t. Either way, I never expect people to really understand what I see. A few people will, but those are the writers, poets, photographer romantics on a similar journey.
My best advice is to not get upset if people don’t see color in your black and white. Developing your creative side and learning what works for you takes time and comes down to what is inside of you. Not everyone you meet will be supportive or have an interest in what you do. Keep your faith and learn to grow. I have been more of a late bloomer with my creative side. As the confidence in myself grew I laid down the old hang-ups. Don’t be surprised if your photography inspires you to write, paint or dream.
The traveling opens doors to the soul and you find people and places you didn’t know existed. My thinking burst the limits of my small town the moment I flew across the water. The moment I stood and stared out across a lake in the still of the morning covered in mist. I hope you find your adventure.
And breath! After a rushed weekend crammed full of gardening, laundry, cleaning, packing and cooking. I went on vacation almost exhausted before I got into the car for the drive. I had been looking for a cabin to stay in that had some atmosphere and not just a dull treeless campsite. I found Four Mounds in Dubuque, Ia during a long search for the right spot. The cabin had a view of the river and was isolated enough for peace and rest. Plus, some history behind the location that was started as a gentleman’s farm in 1908. I could almost feel the early 1900’s in the houses and the drive and the peace of the garden. It wasn’t hard for me to imagine the bustle of everyday living here next to the river.
The two older houses were used as bed and breakfasts. I could hear the echoes in the hall of the family that lived there. The wood around the door frames, windows and the wood floors reminded me of a time we don’t understand anymore. The head house keeper Anna who came from Ireland when she was 18 and staid the housekeeper for the next 40 years until she died. Apparently, she never married but carried out her life here. I could understand why standing in her room and seeing the view from her window. We walked the grounds and read the billboards describing the past. People, lives and living.
And then the cabin built for the granddaughter in the 1950’s. The chair that I spent quite a bit of time in reading and staring out the window watching the rain. Can you believe I felt guilty for doing nothing but reading. It took time to wind down from all the activity my life contains. Time to relax and time to forget that all activity isn’t productive for me and that rest has great value. Time to read and unplug as much as I could from the world around me. I did of course have my camera, but only took photos that represented something to me. I love to be in the trees and feel the cool under the shade of the leaves and limbs. I could hear the patter of rain and watch it drip from the leaves. I walked the path along the river and listened to the birds sing in the trees. And dreamed the dreams of the creative mind free of the clutter of technology and time.
The oak tree with its rugged bark and scars of time, still standing. A tree knows how to be a tree when it comes out of the seed. Humans are the only ones that seem to not understand their purpose. Nature has a way of bringing me back to the present and keeping me grounded. Realizing that doing nothing was actually something that was needed to regain focus. I spend a lot of my life trying to get back to nature. I don’t think I need to wonder why.