Cloudy, 33 Degrees, West Wind 15 mph.
It is a cloudy and damp morning as Jamie and I head out for our walk. There is just a hint of mist in the air, but it’s warm enough that most of the ice and slush from yesterday has melted. It’s certainly not a nice day, but it’s dry enough to walk and photograph.
After a couple of days with very little photography, I woke up this morning thinking that maybe this idea of photographing every day for a year is simply crazy and impractical. I’ve thought a lot that maybe photographing every day is impractical, but I have not thought that I should stop altogether before this morning.
It is a passing thought though. I have come to far to consider stopping now. Of course, that could happen later when the monotony of summer is in full swing, but I still want to see what might come of continuing. What will I come up with? What will I create? And will the entire experience add up to something more than the sum of its daily parts?
But back to today. Today we walk. I take the Lensbaby again, because I think that it’s just too gloomy to shoot much else. I have really enjoyed the strange effects the lens creates. Some of my favorite images of late have come from that lens. So it’s more experimentation today.
I shoot the road, as usual. It looks much like it has lately, but it’s always subtly different, so I always record it. Then I start playing with overhead shots of branches. I’m looking for interesting juxtapositions of branches from one tree against another, foreground and background. I compose instinctively, looking for interesting, even awkward compositions that nonetheless work for me.
I’m also experimenting a little with the aperture on the lens. A bigger aperture yields more blur around the perimeter and a smaller aperture yields less. I felt there was maybe too small a focused area and too much blur the last time I shot, so I want to experiment. Unfortunately, the lens does not communicate the aperture to the camera, so it won’t be recorded when I review the shots in Lightroom. That makes it a harder to know what I’ve been doing. I mostly stuck to f4 and f8 this time.
I revisit the pine groves with the lens as well, looking for those spiky branches that I like. It’s very dark in there because of the water-soaked limbs and the dark skies. I should probably return when it’s lighter out.
As I walk along the trail on my way out, I see a large bird fly out across the marsh. It looks like a hawk. I have the wrong lens on to even attempt a shot and it’s behind too many branches anyway. But then I notice another big bird sitting in a dead tree overlooking the marsh. It looks huge to me. The head seems really big, so I think for a minute it’s some kind of owl. I doubt it is, because I think they’re mostly nocturnal.
The bird stays put for a bit, so I stand behind a tree and swap to my long lens, hoping to get at least some kind of shot of the bird so I can identify it. When I step from behind the tree, it’s gone. I’m disappointed, but I’m guessing these birds are mates and maybe they have a nest nearby. Maybe I’ll see them another day. Next time I’ll put on the long lens before I walk by there.
From there, we head home. There’s not a lot to photograph from here out. Or maybe it’s just that my creative energy gets drained before I reach this point. I shoot the road again from a different vantage point on the way home, and Jamie and I walk together, side by side, back to the house. He’s lying on a rug just a few feet away right now, completely satisfied with his walk.