Over the past several years the weather has been noticeably warm for winter, here in Maine. I cannot discount the idea that we are moving to a point of no return. With wild weather fluctuations and unprecedented natural disasters it would be impossible not to conclude that we will face a reckoning in the near future. Global warming is all around us and yet we are indignant to change our way of life, even if it could save humanity. It is as if we have no incentive to stop plundering the Earth’s resources and evidently we are more determined than ever to carry on as usual.
Today, I took my camera along for my morning walk. My routine has been to walk two to three miles on flat ground with occasional exceptions. The exceptions are walking through the woods, aimlessly. By aimless I mean just walking where my whim takes me, with the idea of arriving home at some point. When I woke this morning and looked out the window, my compulsion was to get outside where the fresh five inches of snow had rendered everything bright, brilliant and beautiful. It was about 10°F which creates an extra crisp light.
What I enjoy most about walking through the woods with my camera is the freedom of choices, movement, composition, to click the shutter or not to click. Foremost, I am witness to the incredible display nature is offering. It is mine and it is the most magical exhibit I have ever known. I need only to open my mind and let my eyes lead the way. I don’t know how to express this wonder but make humble attempts, realizing the very act is a compromise. My favorite places to walk are the woods with views of trees, the ground and the sky. I love to turn around and look behind where often the best magic takes place. But as soon as I reach for my camera something else happens. My mind transforms to conventions, to composition and framing the image. This process is a departure from pure observation. I don’t mind this process as it is an attempt to respond to a call to action. I feel a necessity to capture a facsimile of what I am experiencing and bear witness to the inspiration I perceive. Immediately after the shutter clicks I know I have failed at an attempt to capture the exhilaration I feel from my communion with nature. But a photograph conveys something quite different and at best offers the viewer a shared moment, an offering of consideration and perhaps evoking the viewer’s imagination to participate in a semblance that initially inspired the shutter to click.