Today I was rather listless; moping around the house and not feeling very motivated. The holidays are over for us—no more traveling, etc.—and so it’s a bit of a letdown. Not all bad, mind you—a nice, quiet day… but something was missing.
Then I read John Batdorff’s latest blog post.
His post today, “Put on your boots and shoot” was just the kick in the sweatpants I needed. (Actually, I don’t own any sweatpants, but you know what I mean… and you know who you are ) I put on my winter layers, tugged on my boots, and headed out into the snow to see what I could find to shoot.
Luckily, I live near a state park, Summit Lake, that offers many photo opportunities in all kinds of weather. I especially love winter there, because the lake, the woods and the snow all combine for some fertile photographic ground.
There wasn’t much snow accumulation when I started out, but it was snowing steadily and by the time I arrived, there were a couple of inches on the road. It was still snowing steadily, so I had to improvise with a trash bag as a weather cover, since I managed to leave my real camera cover in a different bag. After making sure both camera and I were bundled up, I set off toward the edge of the lake.
The falling snow made it difficult to get some of the shots I was seeing because no matter what settings I used, the snowflakes in the air were almost always showing up; mostly as blurred streaks in my shots. I was beginning to get frustrated, so I stopped for a moment to center myself and focus on what I was trying to do. Then I knew.
The falling snow wasn’t a hindrance to my image, it was the image. What I really wanted to show you was that feeling of being out there in the snowfall; the feeling of the flakes falling from the sky, swirling in your face, and settling on your coat and boots. There was a lot of snow in the air and that’s what I wanted you to see.
I’m a big fan of pre-visualization; attempting to see in your mind’s eye the final image you want even before you shoot it. But sometimes you need to let go of what think you should see and simply focus on what you do see. Sometimes you find the image that is there, not the one you thought should be.
Tomorrow, I’ll put on my boots and go shoot again… and see what else I can find. Thanks, John!