Where do you find inner peace?
I am standing all alone at the edge of small stand of trees smack in the middle of Incline Village, NV. There is about 30 inches of new snow on the ground and walking is a chore! With every step I take in the unbroken snow I sink to my waist. It is a beautiful, cold crisp morning with temperatures in the mid teens. The snow, where it is low (back by the road) crunches under your footsteps. I saw a few cars when I walked to this area but once I left the road I have not seen another person.
I couldn’t walk far because it was just too much work, but as I was walking I was thinking about all the changes that have taken place in photography since I first started out. I mean, here I am carrying my digital camera slung over my shoulder, no tripod, no additional lenses, just a spare memory card and that’s it! I was thinking back to all the days when I lived in Yosemite and how I would ski around with a camera pack, tripod, sometimes even the 4 x 5 camera, lenses, light meter and fill holders. Life is easier now! And it also helped that I was 20- 30 years younger then.
And of course I couldn’t help think back to Ansel Adams, since his birthday was celebrated this week. I remembered how excited he was when he got his huge IBM word processor and how much he enjoyed technology and I was wondering what he would be thinking about my digital camera and better yet my iPhone with built in HDR! A lot goes through your mind when it’s a struggle to walk 30 yards!
Just ahead I could see some nice light on the evergreens in front of me. I walked up a fire road a bit and stopped to photograph. I made a few nice images and thought of moving on, but then I realized I didn’t need a change of scenery to make better images, I just needed a change in seeing. So I stood in one place, maybe drifting a foot forward or backward for a slightly cleaner composition but basically rooted in the same spot. I watched as the light shifted, and the winds blew the snow off the trees. Sometimes the drifting snow would be backlit like a million tiny crystals, other times it for a veil like fog over the landscape. From this one location I had back lighting, side lighting and frontal light. Every turn was a new scene! It's amazing what you see when you look!
I stayed here for about an hour alternating between taking images and just soaking it all in. Every click of the shutter was exhilarating. The snow absorbed most noise and it was just me, and the trees and the wind. That is where I found inner peace this week.