Is Looking Seeing?

I love photography of all sorts but when it came to picking a primary subject, nature was my choice. With that said, I still made pictures of whatever interested me and in some cases, whatever might sell. 

I have had nature loving photographer friends, who made the decision to only photograph wildlife, or wildlife and flowers, or only landscapes, or only nature abstracts. They certainly had and have that right, but they actually made it a rule of sorts. Accept in the rarest of occasions, they followed the rule of no landscapes, or no macros, or whatever. I could not fathom that. I mean, you’re out there when you find that great subject and you say nope, I don’t make pictures of that.  Maybe in the film era to save money, although I never had the willpower to look and then not make a photo of something that interested me, but today in the digital realm? 

Of course some people only “see”  a very narrow view.

I was traveling to a great wildlife destination with another photographer and the sun began to rise as we drove. I said wow, look at that. He looked where I looked and simply could not see anything of interest. He kept asking what I saw as he saw nothing. I said, what about that huge, red rising sun and the fields which are glowing from it. He said, what about it. I believe that he thought the “new light” of day might have exposed a bird or something. He never considered the sun itself, or the land that it colored as anything to photograph, or really even to look at.

I caused him to look, but he just could not see.  We live in a world where many look, but few will see.  They have made decisions to only see this or that. Nothing else.

Open eyes and open minds sort of go together.

Falling Down.

Tis the season for outrageous colors of yellow and red, but also gentle peaceful moods. I love autumn.

Look down.

For photographers, the fall season is not entirely about grand scenes or a tree full of color. Small groupings of leaves and detail rich individual leaves are a photographer’s delight.

Sometimes fall is right at your feet.

Exploring the veins and the details of leaves up close, can be an enriching experience.

Leaves on top of fallen trees make for both close-up studies of detail as in the first photo below, and small landscape images as in the second.

Visual studies of leaf on leaf scenarios in fall on a wet morning, made for color and texture rich images that always made my day.

A large maple leaf rests on a gigantic leaf of some sort and they both show off their autumn colors.

Abstracts are always a matter of personal opinion.

There is only one small millimeter of sharpness in the odd abstract study of red on red.  Experimenting is always a learning experience one way or the other. Even though this is my image and I love abstracts, it misses the mark for me. I do not know where to look, and it is just too much red without a break.

Win some, lose some, but keep trying. Sometimes we do not see the way we wish to, but the only way to improve is to keep looking.

To me, being an outdoor photographer was often about wandering about and “seeing” what’s around you, and capturing what you see.

Get out this autumn and explore. Trust me, it is not as beautiful from the window of a house, or when passing by in a car. Put your feet on the ground.

Let’s finish today with an image that is not specific to autumn. You can create silhouettes of trees, with or without leaves, in every season. My memory is somewhat foggy about this sunrise, but I will bet you that a special day followed.

May God Bless,

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