My previous photo essay presented images of St. John’s that I captured without having a car to get around. Now that I was home and had transport available, I thought, ‘now let me have a go at celebrating our beautiful countryside.’ So, out I went. Up early to catch that early morning sun on the land, I headed out in the car to some of my favourite countryside.
I drove around for about two hours, until the sun was too high in the sky to create the shadows and feel of the land that I wanted. Still inspired by what I’d accomplished in St. John’s, my thoughts were focussed something that evoked the same feeling in me, but of completely different scenery.
Back home I loaded the images into my computer and went to work. I had some ‘nice’ stuff, showing the foothills and valleys, but it all seemed a bit ordinary to me that day. The colours of Fall had not yet arrived and that would have helped; nevertheless, I picked out something that I liked and here it is.
It makes me feel relaxed and at home, showing a valley in the foothills of Alberta with cattle grazing and the morning sun providing long shadows from the little foliage that was in the frame.
I decided to take a break and went upstairs to brew my second coffee of the day. As I glanced out the window the May Day tree in our yard presented this image to me. I put the coffee fixings aside, retrieved my camera from my room, set up the tripod and recorded what I saw.
I felt more connected to the beauty of our countryside by just looking out our window than I did on that two hour drive—at least on that morning.
Might this be an image that can be found almost anywhere in Canada at sometime of the year? Yes, of course. Nevertheless, at that moment, on that day, this beauty was at my back door.
Why do I need to keep learning this art lesson time and time again? I don’t need to ‘come from away’ as the Newfoundlanders call travellers like us who visit their fair province. What I need to remind myself is to pay attention to what is about me, here and now—also, not get too focussed on the expansive landscape vistas. Both macro and micro compositions can be an aesthetic record of what I see.
There is an aspect of contemporary photography that focusses on lands, people, and fauna that is far away, some of it unattainable to other folk. I’m pleased those photographers exist. Those with the money, time, and skills to capture and present the images of those lands. However, for me, I am, at this stage of my life, happy to be closer to home. I wasn’t always this way. Goodness knows I’ve done my share of long distance travelling. It may just be my age (old!), or my new-found unwillingness to subject my self to the airline travel of today, but I just like where I am. Not only for my art work, but also for my constant connection to my family and friends.
If your curious, here is the link to Discovering a Better Picture (#1)