Sunday, January 27, 2008

Cold By the River

It's always tempting to tinker with these late winter photos of fields, fences and frozen rivers. The shadows are so long - everything is so intensely blue and cold looking. Crop, contrast, brightness, resolution, a little less blue???

Then there is another issue to be dealt with. In winter, as much as I love my rambles in the highlands, a kind of restless malaise sets in. I wander for miles in wild and hidden places, and I return home with memory card after memory card of photos. I upload the day's activities into the computer and move the multitudinous images into various waiting folders. Then I look at the whole lot and can't believe how perfectly awful they all are - I feel like erasing each and every image and never picking up a camera again. The inner critic scoffs at my efforts and she makes rude noises, snorting and telling me that I am a fool and wasting my time.

So far, I haven't succumbed to the impulse to tinker, and I haven't succumbed to the impulse to erase everything and put the camera away either. The camera is my third eye, and I know that very well - it is a part of my Buddhist and earth centered spiritual practice — a passionate loving eye on the magnificent living world of which humanity is such a minute and destructive element. The subtitle for this wandering life and my art, illustration and photography studio has always been simply, "a passionate eye on the living world".

Love it or eschew it entirely, this is just what my world looks like in winter. Sometimes, just sometimes, I can look into one of these late winter photos with a quieter eye and remember how astonishingly beautiful the day was, how the fresh snow glittered by the river, how the wind turned into a harp and played haunting ballads through the cedars on the embankment, how the ravens sang their delight in the blue day right over my head. Emaho, emaho, emaho...


Anonymous said...

Please don't toss you camera! The photos you post are lovely and many of us look forward to viewing what you see through it. You seem to live in an area of exceptional beauty, and record it so well.

By the way, I probably keep two or three shots out of every forty or so that I take. And, that is on a good day!

K Allrich said...

That inner critic? I have one, too. But these days I don't hear her voice as much.

Not since I told her it's more about the process, not the end result. She's quieter now. Especially since the last time I got angry with her and asked, Yeah? Well what have you ever photographed/painted/written/risked?

Not much it turns out.

Keep on keeping on, Dear Heart.

Love and friendship, Karina

SLW said...

This is a wonderful photo--one moment that will evoke many more for you. I hope you'll always continue to share them...

Have to confess I sometimes yield to the urge to tweak contrast or brightness. The camera never seems to give me what the eye remembers.

Suzanne said...

When I see your photos I always feel like I'm looking through a square on the web page into a living picture. The trees look alive to me -- real. The snow cold and wet.

And your words give me a sense of what else was happening and how you experience it.

Altogether it is a most pleasurable experience of nature being loving and nature being loved.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the winter malaise is just a natural part of the cycle of life and reflection. Do you think our souls need dormant time as the earth does?

Karen said...

Please don"t think you should "toss" your photos they are wonderful.
When I see that you have a new post, my heart has a little jump - beacause for me - your posts are so much more than a photo - they are a meditation, a blessing, a praise for this planet on which we live - and on which you tread so lightly.

Take your inner critic by the hand - and let her make snow angels - while you get on and do what you do so well.
Bright Blessings

mama p said...

How your site has amazed and inspired me! I look forward to each morning's quiet window: 5 minutes where my son is eating and I, coffee in hand, *peruse* (...not a word I get too often these days...) your daily posts.

And, as a bit of irony to pass on, my inner critic is like the distant little sister to yours, always comparing my writing to yours, my images to yours, my attitude (also buddhist/earthy) to yours.
:) Funny, huh?

Rain Trueax said...

Your photos are beautiful. I do enhance mine if I get home and see they do not look like what I saw. I don't yet have the knack of always getting the camera to record what my eye saw. When it isn't right, I make it right at home.

Julianne said...

Your photos are the most beautiful I have ever seen. They literally speak to my heart. When I look at them I can actually feel the emotion. I am in awe of your ability to put your emotions into words, something I have great difficulty doing. Your inner critic is in need of new glasses.