“I began to realize that the camera sees the world differently than the human eye and that sometimes those differences can make a photograph more powerful than what you actually observed.” — Galen Rowell
I certainly feel what Galen is referring to in this image. I can vividly remember standing out there in the silence of that sunset marveling at the light, but this completed image reveals emotions to me that I had only a hint of while I had the camera up to my eye.
On this evening I was out west of town following the clouds and storms. I had actually been back and forth along this stretch of road a couple of times checking out various possibilities. Stopped here once, went on down the road a way, then came back as the sun got lower and the clouds began breaking. I tried some shots looking to the east, but then I walked on down the fence line and turned to look to the west. I liked the fact that the windmill was looking right at me from this angle, but was concerned about the back lighting from the sun. My muse was sitting there on my shoulder though whispering me on to press the shutter release several times.
I know that for me at least, I have the element of the memory of actually having been there experiencing the light on my face, the slight breeze rustling through the wheat, the smell of the fresh rain mixing with the recently mowed shoulders of the road, the plaintive creak of the windmill as it replied to the occasional passing crest of breeze… But I also feel that God was somehow smiling for my camera here too. I am actually reminded of a quote from Ansel Adams here as I write this:
“Sometimes I arrive just when God’s ready to have someone click the shutter.”
Even if you weren’t there as I was, surely you have experienced these feelings and senses at times in your wanderings, and just maybe God posed for this image to provide you with a reminder to revel in the memory of those experiences for a brief respite. Savor those memories and enjoy the feelings they conjure, but don’t burden yourself with futile attempts or desires to seize the past. As Heraclitus said: “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he’s not the same man.”
Oh Lordy! Three quotes in one post. I’d better stop now.
Be at Peace
(Originally published July 27, 2016)