This too is worthy

imageRoxbury nature preserve, Roxbury, Connecticut © Steven Willard

It is all too easy to miss seeing scenes like this while driving, even at the relatively slow speeds of our back-country roads. If you add to that the fact that I’ve driven this road, both ways, more times than I can remember, it’s no wonder that such scenes might go unnoticed, and I really try to look.

On more than one occasion during the opening of our current exhibit people asked me where a particular photograph was taken. When I told them they were often surprised, telling me that they knew exactly where I meant and yet had never noticed. It doesn’t surprise me. It takes so much of our attention to drive our cars, listen to conversations going on around us, plan what to have for dinner and change the station on the radio. It takes practice and a will to see beyond the road in front of us. It also takes a willingness to stop and look more carefully, and to sometimes be wrong. Sometimes there is no photograph to be had, but even then we have the chance to get just a little closer to our environment, to where we live. But it isn’t only the dramatic that should be worthy of our attention. Trees, bushes and weeds make up such a large part of where I live they deserve my notice. And the more I notice, the more interesting and beautiful they are to me. The plain, the mundane, the ordinary become more than worthy, they  demand that I pay attention and photograph them.

Driving home after work, I was focused a bit farther down the road, looking for a place to pull over for a different potential photograph, when I noticed out of the corner of my eye how the sun was streaming through the trees and highlighting the tree trunks and ferns. When I parked, instead of heading for the subject that had previously interested me, I walked back to this scene. With my long zoom I tried to penetrate the swampy forrest from my position just off the road*, but it was impossible. Anything could have been in there, and I loved that not knowing. In the end, there really isn’t anything beautiful to photograph here. No real subject, only a beautiful sense of light and mystery, and that’s what I attempted to capture.

*I think this qualifies for a place in my “Living on the edge” project as the ferns and trees grow right up to the road’s right of way.

Pentax K5IIs with 55-300mm zoom imported to my iPad Air and processed with Snapseed.

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4 comments on “This too is worthy

  1. superb photo Steven – dark and gloomy but somehow full of life. I want to explore it 🙂

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  2. Thank you so much for your comment! While the west coast of the States is gripped in a terrible drought we are positively swimming in green this year. How lucky we are.

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  3. JohnAmes says:

    Beautifully said Steve. Isn’t amazing how just taking more time with an area and REALLY looking around can result in something new and wonderful.

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  4. I think learning and implementing that lesson is one of the hardest things I do. It takes constant effort.

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