June 2017 print of the month
This month’s print of the month is a divergence from the Southwest’s arid and rocky forms and colors.
I have always liked leading lines when I compose an image, as they lead the viewer into the image. I have loved photographing trails for the simple reason that they are leading lines.
This month’s print is from a fall trek in the eastern San Juan Wilderness in Colorado. We were hiking along and turned a corner in the trail, when I came on this scene. I was not specifically on a photo op and was spending some time with friends hiking in the Wilderness.
Yet here it was! A scene that captivated me and was completely unexpected. In an instance I saw the lines, colors, light, and forms that made this scene so attractive.
This image was taken after several years of time spent with Alain Briot, learning composition and image processing for fine art. So, when I raised the camera to my eye, I immediately adjusted the focal length to get the elements in the image I wanted. I scanned the perimeter of the frame to make sure there was “breathing room” for what I wanted to show. I made a bit of an adjustment to avoid lens flare given the angle of the sun. After doing this repeatedly in the past, it had become second nature. It all occurred almost without thinking.
Once you begin to see, it is hard to return to the state of just looking at the elements around in order to adequately navigate through them. The visual art world would describe seeing as the connection of the artist to his/her subject. Now I have to admit that seeing while I’m driving to work would most likely result in a wreck 83.7% of the time. So I can afford to see only in certain safe circumstances. Yet even while functionally observing the navigation of elements in our surroundings, sometimes a seeing moment breaks through.
This image also shows that taking a camera with you can result in worthy images that seem to occur spontaneously when you are just wandering around. So learn to see. And learn your camera, so you don’t have to think about your camera settings and composition and lose the moment.