Walking on Ice

I was looking at images on a photography website, early one morning. One photographer was bemoaning the fact that his new beautiful image had too much noise in it to be made into a print. I was immediately incensed. Who made up these rules? Probably some web loudmouth. A beautiful photograph is a beautiful photograph, period!

With these disturbing thoughts in my mind I set out to take photos. While driving to my chosen location that morning, I thought of different ways to portray my rant. What stories I could use to illustrate the absurdity and arbitrariness of such rules and the people who espouse them.

But I had to stop. First, to notice the beautiful sunrise over the Flatirons while I drove south. Second, in order to focus on what was at hand, poring over the fantastic formations, textures, shapes and colors of the ice on South Boulder Creek. One day I would notice one type of photo opportunity that intrigued me — frozen leaves and twigs peering through the clearer portions of the ice. I would go back another time looking for more of these and the edges of where the ice met the flowing creek would hold my attention. More recently I was captivated by the beautiful patterns in the frozen, melted and refrozen layers. I had to keep a quiet and open mind and not have any preconceptions, because there was so much to take in, and any preconceptions of what I might be looking for would blind me to other opportunities.

Occasionally I’d look up see the bare cottonwoods lining the creek and the beautiful Flatirons in the distance. I’d marvel at the luck of this Brooklyn boy to end up in such a beautiful place. And, once or twice, I’d remember the fury in my mind as I drove here this morning and my plans to write about it.

It was funny. From a morning start of agitation, self-righteousness and self-victimization, I was now feeling quiet, serene, excited and joyful as I navigated the ice looking for new visions.

I knew I didn’t want to go back there and be the frightened person who wanted to rant. There’s a lot in the world that I don’t agree with and would like to see change, but approaching it from the point of view of a frightened angry ranter will not make the change I would like to see. I’d rather spend my time walking on ice.

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~ by danbaumbach on January 29, 2012.

4 Responses to “Walking on Ice”

  1. Well done, Dan, and congratulations with these fantastic photographs!

    I think you made your point quite clearly, in the first paragraph.
    And, I absolutely agree. It is nice when just having made a both aesthetic and technically good photograph, but if the technical issues becomes the master over the aesthetic, the creative mind is easily lost in the process and
    so is the joy of photography.

    Thank you for sharing your photography and writing, Dan.

    Best Wishes
    Seung Kye

  2. Amazing pictures and beautiful writing. A very enjoyable post.

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