When I began this weekly blog, in October 2010, I wrote that my posts would primarily be about Appalachia and about photography. And I would keep each post simple and not too long. I thought, correctly, that imposing a reasonable structure on the effort would keep me from burning out too quickly. I also, over time, didn't want to overburden my readers.
I can see that I have done the best on the Appalachia part. I love this place where I live, for one thing, and, to me, what is here is ever fascinating and beautiful. Where else would I have neighbors who put up hay, kill hogs, have waterfalls, barns, tobacco, sorghum, and so much else plus a genuine willingness to let me hang around with my camera? No surprise that I show more about them than I do about myself or my family, apart from the fact that I am a privacy nut. I am grateful to them all.
Today, however, I plan to share some of how I might decide what to photograph, when to do it, and even a bit about how -- though I am certainly no technique guru. I am more of a practice, try it out, practice kind of learner -- when I am not just being a "hope for the best" and "making do" kind of person.
OK, Friday, two days ago: last week I had put off long enough going down to our waterfalls area to check on the rhododendrons so I was determined to go this day. They usually bloom by July 4! I waited until late afternoon to walk down there so since that means a better chance for better light. It's all about light. But it's also about being there.
One year, maybe 2007, there had been an abundance of blooms. No hint that was happening again this year. However, I carry with me the memory of how thrilled my photographer friend John and I both were that day we worked surrounded by so many blooming rhododendrons along this creek and the falls.
Sure enough, Friday I saw only the occasional bloom. But at least there were some! They are each beautiful deep in the woods like that. Of course I don't know the best way to show both the beauty of the bloom and the location of the bush in a single photo! It may look at first like I made the photos in someone's suburban yard weeks ago!
I had been skeptical enough about any blooms still being there on the 4th not to bring my tripod. I ended up locating a fallen branch with a fork, like the victory sign. I put the trusty wash cloth I always carry with me in that fork; I was able to rest the camera in there to help steady it once I located a bloom at about the right height. I did have two lenses with me at least. It was soon 6 pm, and time to head home.
I am sharing just one image for now. Of course for me it comes with the whole place, the being there by myself, the figuring out stuff and seeing around me as best I can. Actually I did have many moments of wishing the whole world were with me experiencing the worth of this forest area and of all the unique diversity in these Appalachian forests. All of us human beings should have a stronger resolve to value the true richness that is our shared wilderness, rich and irreplaceable. And life giving.
Next week I'll finally get back to May in England or France with some travel photos -- I hope you enjoyed this different kind of journey in today's post. Best wishes from me for good adventures anywhere you are. Ann