In my first and only pre-digital photography class back in the early 1980’s, we were instructed to shoot only with black and white film and developed our own negatives and prints. I set up my tiny bathroom as a darkroom where I could transfer the negatives from my camera to the developing tank sans light. My recollection is that I used a small stainless steel developing tank where the reel onto which I had wound the negative roll was deposited. All print developing was done at the college photography workshop. I loved the entire process! I still have my portfolio from that class long ago. My grade was an “A” – 99%. The professor wrote on my evaluation “excellent work, stay with it, you have a good eye!” Whenever I feel my photography is becoming stagnant – I pull out this portfolio and read that comment!
I continued to take photographs through the years but they mostly fell into the realm of family pictures – vacations, birthdays, holidays, etc. Never with a keen artistic focus – just a recording of our lives.
It was many years later that I once again took up the art of photography with a more critical, technical intent. I enjoy the challenge and am always quick to critique my work and eager to improve. The above photograph, for example, is horribly out of focus! 🙂 I was hiking at Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park yesterday and I was unprepared for the icy carriage roads. I did think to bring my Yaktraks but left them in the car when I noticed joggers in sneakers coming down the carriage road at a good clip. I figured the trails were just fine. Wrong! I still can’t figure out how they managed to run down that trail without slipping! I trudged on up the hill, too lazy to return to my car and get the grippers. So, for most of the hike, my focus was concentrated on staying upright rather taking photographs.
Partway up the Mountain Road leading to the Pogue, I detoured onto the Pogue Brook Trail because it was less travelled and therefore not as icy. A wise choice! As I was crossing the brook at one point, I noticed the icicles and ice forming along the edges of the brook and snapped a quick picture. It was in the forest and the light was not strong so I had to use a slow shutter speed and did not bother to check for focus. It’s okay though – I still like the photo!
Once I reached the Pogue, I took the loop trail around the lake and, for the most part, it was clear. Heading back down the Mountain Road, I stayed to the edges of the carriage road walking just off trail where the snow was still crunchy and not packed down and glazed over with ice. Upon reaching the intersection where the Upper Mountain Road turns right, I headed in that direction once again hoping for a less slippery surface. Another wise decision!!
My motto for the week: When life throws you a curve ball, sometimes you just have to adjust your swing….it’s taking me a tad longer than usual to get the correct angle so I can hit that curve ball out of the park but I’m getting there. 🙂
I thought I would be enjoying the sunshine and warmish waters of the Gulf Coast right now, but with travel plans on hold, I’m trying to embrace the bleak, cold, snowy, icy, wet days of winter in Vermont. I think I need to find some alternative adjectives that describe my location in a more positive light! I’ll work on that!
For now, a walk in the rain, a hike on icy trails….and sometimes like today, an afternoon spent indoors quilting!