Responding To Our Subjects


I love taking photographs and working on photographs. I go out most mornings with my camera either locally or to the high country to wander around in some beautiful place and try to capture some of its beauty.

I’m always looking for new places to go, but most of the places I frequent I’m very familiar with, and will chose different ones based on light, season and weather.

We’ve had a lot of cold and snowy weather here recently. It makes for very striking winter images, but I’m looking for more than that and I’m still learning how I want to photograph snow.

This morning it was 14 degrees with light snow and I went to one of my favorite places on South Boulder Creek hoping for some interesting ice. There was more snow and less ice than what I was expecting and initially it was hard to find something that moved me.

Let me be clear, where I was, was absolutely beautiful, and I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the snow on the trees and the creek. However, what I was hoping to photograph was mostly beneath the ice and snow, so I had a different landscape from what I was comfortable with.

The beauty and the quiet of my location were such that it was very easy to get quiet and just look at things. I’m always looking for new ways to see things and that inner quiet is necessary so that I don’t have any pre-disposed ideas of what I’m looking for or what kinds of photos I’m trying to take. From that quiet place, seeing things differently and experimentation is natural.

Sometimes I come up empty; but this time, probably because of the natural beauty of the place and the winter quiet, I found some interesting things.

I find that that inner quiet is necessarily to really see things freshly and and photograph them freshly. We have many ways to quiet down and meditation is probably the best known way. In meditation we surrender our desires for and against and that allows our minds to quiet down.

We don’t have to meditate to surrender—we can be merely aware of what our desires are at the present moment. If we’re out taking photos, are we looking for a certain type of image? We have to be willing to drop whatever we want to get or achieve, and just fall into ourselves and allow ourselves to respond to what’s in front of us. Meditation is a formal way of doing that, but I prefer wandering by a creek on a cold snowy morning.

~ by danbaumbach on February 19, 2019.

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