I wish my friend Dave would Flickr so you could see his amazing photographs. He has been an inspiration to me. I love looking at his photos, asking him how he did this or that, getting his advice. Once he said to me, “You look at a scene and see it with your mind… but the camera shows you what is really there.” To a certain extent, I agree with him. I took this photo yesterday. (The goose that used to sit this egg and its siblings apparently got sick of so many humans walking by and abandoned the nest. Someone else, raccoon perhaps, helped herself to a tasty treat.) In this photo, for example… I absolutely did not see the stick while I was framing the shot. Of course, I did have a bunch of kids, each with his or her own camera all around me, distracting me… Still, I wish I had noticed the stick and removed it before snapping this shot. My mind had removed it. Why can’t the camera read my mind?
Sometimes, though, the camera captures exactly what I’m seeing. Today was another one of those gray days. The cloud cover was thick. The sun wasn’t due to go down for another hour, not that you could see it. It looked pretty dusky out there. It had rained, so everything was wet, rain drops clinging to branches like little jewels. On days like this, I’m always struck with the subtle, yet rich colors of the woods. The bark on certain trees, the reds and purples of new leaves bursting from their buds, dark green needles on spruces, the golden glow of willow branches, the vibrant green of False Hellabore. Even in the dull gray light, these colors just pop out at me and beg to be photographed. I have to put my ISO setting up high, making for a grainy image. But, you know, sometimes that’s how it looks even to my eye.
And what about the times when you just shoot a scene, not sure what you will get… And you get home and load it onto your computer screen, and you just say, “Whoa…” Did it really look like that? Or did the camera catch a dream scene? Was I not paying attention? I shot this scene while walking out of the park, back to my car. Other than an occasional attempt at the full moon, I haven’t attempted any night shots. I didn’t have a tripod and the shutter was slow. I figured I’d be deleting everything I shot after sundown due to the blurriness of handheld camera shake. If you click on this and request to see a larger size, you’ll see it definitely lacks a crisp focus! But gosh, I like it. I love the colors…
The subtle greens and golds and reds and purples in the woods I see when I’m walking; I notice them. These strange blues and pinks and purples and oranges – I don’t see until I look at them on the computer screen. That’s a mystery to me. (I used to watch the colors Norbert would put on his palette to make a painting and I couldn’t understand… I didn’t see any of those colors in the scene he was about to paint. Once they were on the canvass, they looked right… but I didn’t see them.)