Saturday, January 2, 2010

First Lesson of the New Year: Listen to Your Instincts


It was inevitable. I had to go out into the crisp, fifteen degree and windy day to get a package over to the post office before noon. The car was warming up outside while I was organizing which items I needed to bring - the grocery list, the package, my cell phone, etc. and out I went. I was just about to back out of the driveway when I remembered there was something I needed to return at Lowe's and impatiently went back inside. While there I also remembered to grab my glasses and my gloves and as I was just at the door when a thought went in and out of my brain, "maybe I should bring the camera, just in case?"


After a twenty minute wait at the post office I came out to my car and noticed the sky brightening with a hint of warmth in the clouds and as I headed out I decided to take the back more scenic route across town to the mall. And I heard the voice again, "You should go home first and get your camera, I bet the farmland over on that side of the river will look extraordinary today." But I convinced myself that the extra time and hassle it would be to head home and back again was not worth it. Besides, percentages were not in my favor.


Then I was there. Driving alongside the nearly frozen river. The way the side of the hills were  standing there was unlike any other day. They were filled with rich deep browns in the deepest folds balanced by white strands of snow along her shoulders. There was at once a large field of yellow ochre corn stalks shirring against the breezes followed by a flat blanket of freshly fallen snow and ending with a small grove of tall trees, their branches like fluid tentacles as if blown there by angels with india ink. I was drawn to pull over. And I kept going. 


Yesterday I watched the PBS documentary on Ansel Adams. There was a recurring theme to comments made about his work from those that knew him best. They said even though Ansel took numerous good pictures his really great pictures were from moments he captured quite unintentionally, unplanned and with a statement that combined the luck of being in the right place at the right time with the skill that came with the many years of practice and hard work. I think I now get what this means.


So having met with my first yellowfish moment of the year, my heightened awareness as to the photographic quality of the day while doing other seemingly necessary things, I learned that I still need to remember to trust my instincts, listen to and follow my intuition and for Pete's sake always, always remember to bring my camera.


P.S. I found this great demonstration on how to paint winter trees in watercolor. Here's the link. Enjoy! watercolor demonstration - winter trees

1 comment:

  1. This is so true! I can't count all the times I have come upon somthing while doing the mundane and wished I had the camera with me! Yet, when I had the camera with me...nothing. sigh...

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