“On the Way”

“We see so much, along the way. So much of our experience is casual observation. When we take the time to really see things, spend time with them, that is where true beauty is found. But, that requires us to pause in our journey and appreciate those moments that would just fade to faint memory” – Ed Lehming

This image is a continuation of my recent series, all photographed within a few minutes along Bancroft’s “Y” road. The road is named because it forms the shape of the letter “Y” as it is a bypass from Hwy 28 to South Baptiste Lake Road. We often take this road to shave a few minute off our drive to High Falls or when driving the backroads around Baptiste Lake.

As mentioned in my prior posts, we were returning from a friend’s home along this road when the setting sun on the pines caught my eye and I stopped to enjoy the details.

All too often, I see wonderful scenes along the road and make a deliberate mental note, wishing I had the time to stop and enjoy it more. But, we often have timelines to meet or traffic on the roads does not make it safe to pull over. More often than not, once I do pull over and walk back to where I observed something, the moment is is gone, the light has shifted, or the scene is not quite how I originally observed it.

In this case, we had the time and it was easy to pull off the road to really view the scene that I casually observed. The scene above is my first impression of the sunset light on the pines. It was stunning, with the towering pines catching the orange light , while the underbrush was already in shadow. The brightness was breathtaking and I wanted to capture the scene immediately, before it faded. Fortunately, I think I caught it just as it was starting and I enjoyed the few minutes while it lasted, dissecting the the scene into a series of images using intentional camera movement to create a more painterly look.

I discovered this technique a few years ago and continue to use and improve on it, always pleasantly surprised at the results and the way it naturally enhances the mood of what I am photographing. There’s always enough detail to remind me that it is a photograph, but the movement and subtle blur that it causes seems to imbue the image with an energy that I really enjoy.

It seems like a long time since I have had the pleasure of spending time with a subject and really extracting the essence of the scene. I’ve found myself all to often using my iPhone simply because it’s convenient, lightweight, and makes great stills. Yet, the artist in me loves the creative flexibility my DSLR provides me. I simply can’t do this with a phone. As well, the pro body and this technique cannot be rushed and I find myself spending more time enjoying the process, on the way.

Nikon D800
Tamron SP 70-200mm f/2.8 Di VC USD @ 92 mm
1/4 sec, f/20, ISO 

2 Comments on ““On the Way”

  1. I have absolutely loved your last two photos and wondered how you achieved the effect (and affect). I appreciate the titles too, especially “Between” and explaining how it is synonymous with “present”.
    Thank you for posting.

    • Thanks Gail, it’s done by moving or ‘panning’ my camera vertically with a slow shutter speed. It’s a lot of trial and error, but now it’s basically muscle memory. I’ve been shooting this way for a few years now when I want a more abstract effect. As for the titles, I usually let the image speak to me for a bit, and the title simple happens.

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