A friend visited me a few days ago. We went for a drive into the northwest hills on a gorgeous fall day and somewhere along the way he made the comment that the countryside was “achingly beautiful”. I think I said something to the effect that I agreed, but I probably didn’t really give it much thought; until latter.
I do find it beautiful here in Connecticut, especially our part of it. I’ve gotten to know these hills best, and so I guess that’s natural. So far, I haven’t fallen victim to that old saying about familiarity breeding contempt. Oddly, I think part of it is that it is true to the stereotype. I’m going to guess that a lot of people imagine Connecticut to consist of rolling hills covered in maple trees dotted with well tended farms and white fences, and as far as that statement goes, it’s pretty accurate. Of course there is a lot not covered by that discription, but it is true in the way stereotypes can be true; it is an oversimplification that is only inacccurate by omission. Further, my method or style of photography, tends to concentrate on finding the beautiful to record, even if it is the unexpected beauty of dead trees or empty corn fields. Even when photographing old run down building, I strive to find the beauty in them; the colors or textures, or evidence of past glory or what made them unique.
There are plenty of photographers who have a talent for bringing us images of decay and ruin, and there are some who are able to photograph dispair and death that neither cheapens nor romantisizes either. We need photographers with those talents, but I don’t know how they do it, and I’m too old to find out. After almost fifty years of taking photographs I finally am beginning to understand what works for me and that’s what I’m going to work on.
Pentax K5IIs with 15mm f4 lens.