"When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence." - Ansel Adams
On February 28, 2016, I took a walk.
It's something I do multiple times a week: walk in nature, take a few photos, and enjoy the silence. I don't know exactly why I do it or why I'm drawn to it. I just know that it's something that I enjoy.
Whenever I'm walking outdoors I'm usually taking photos with my camera or my phone. It's become a habit. I must stress however, that I am very much an amateur; I don't own a DSLR, I have never used photoshop, and I have very little experience or technical knowledge in the field of photography in general, but I find it to be a fascinating medium in which to capture beauty and to express distinct feelings. There's some sort of a therapeutic aspect to it all.
What I'm drawn to the most is vastness. There is an overwhelming feeling I get when viewing a photo of an unending horizon, an image that depicts a seemingly endless sky above an endless earth. The two seem to meet at a certain point but that place is somewhere unfathomable. Those images depict the place we get the opportunity to exist in and I'm constantly on the lookout to view the wonderful natural world, the world that hasn't been tampered with by man, even if it's something as simple as staring up at the stars in the night sky for a few seconds.
I took quite a few photos yesterday, photos a bit like I described above. And there's a uniqueness to them because of the time of year: the dead of winter. My walk could be summed up with the following:
Capturing the lifeless time of winter can be problematic because of how uncomfortable the cold can be but yesterday was a rare exception with the temperature being in the 50s. And even though I love the desolate look that winter brings, I am greatly looking forward to the start of spring within just a few short weeks when the temperature rises and nature comes back to life.
Sometimes the best part of being outdoors and away from the rest of the world is the silence. Let's face it, most of us (but not all) live in noisy places. Believe it or not, I have found very few places near me where there isn't noise pollution. Even when I'm in the middle of the woods I can still hear the sounds of loud cars moving through busy streets far in the distance. Complete silence in the middle of nature has been hard for me to find but I have found it nonetheless and it's a special thing, it's something to cherish. It brings about calmness, inspiration, and a certain joy. Seek it out and maybe take a few photos while you're at it.
The best thing a photograph can do is make others want to be there in that split second moment, whether it's in the middle of nature, within a city, or with a group of people. That's really what I try to communicate with these images. And that's what's special about art, it captures and communicates the abstract, the immaterial, the things that cannot be expressed with language. After all, there's no need for any of it to be verbalized.
P.S. Happy leap day!