The Art of Being Present

October 02, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Aspen Grove, Virginia Lakes, Eastern SierraAspen Grove, Virginia Lakes, Eastern SierraAspen grove near Virginia Lakes in the Eastern Sierra. One of the most fundamental rules of photography is that you have to be there. As simple as that seems, it can be one heck of a challenging rule to meet. Hours of lost sleep and countless miles traveled often take their toll, but they almost always prove worthwhile in the end—even if you don't get the shot you set out for.

While physically "being there" is a basic requirement of photography for most of us, photography itself provides a means of actually being "present" in that space. While I'm out shooting, I'm not worried about work or bills, not thinking about schedules or deadlines, and I'm rarely anywhere else but here and now. For me, it's one of the few things in life that consistently delivers that state of total immersion in the present moment. It's funny how easy it is to forget what that's like when you're caught up in the day-to-day grind.

It's also easy to get carried away, though, to fall so deep into "the zone" that you forget to appreciate the beauty of the place you're photographing. I mentioned in another blog post that tunnel vision often manifests when taking photographs, and we forget to take time to absorb and appreciate our surroundings. As photographers, we often find ourselves in truly spectacular locations. While the meditative retreat of shooting is great, it's important to take a moment to appreciate these locations.

Stanislaus National Forest, CAStanislaus National Forest, CAFall colors on Sonora Pass Last weekend I had a total blast driving around shooting early fall colors wherever I could find them. Despite running on only a few hours of poor sleep, I was able to enjoy a very grounding full day of photography. This shot is from just off Virginia Lakes Road, one of the few aspen stands I could find that had fully turned.

In the next few weeks many pockets in the east side of the Sierras will be exploding with color. I hope you all enjoy the change of seasons in one immersive way or another!

 

 


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