About a year and a half ago, we explored the Wind Caves. Being in a place like this, where there are large amounts of rock carved by little more than the wind, truly boggles the mind, and is endlessly inspiring. As a young photographer, it was really difficult to eliminate the glare from the rock. Though some photos turned out well, there were many that did not make the cut. The image to the left, with the rock against a deep blue sky, was almost excluded from this post, but the contrast between the colors of the rock and the sky, their respective weights and density, and the wispy cloud dancing up and out of frame, was one of my favorites,
even if the white rocks were difficult to capture. Finally, the absolute best part of the day was when my dearest Ross and I experimented with using the caves to frame the images. My absolute favorite photo of the day is the one below the text. With the cave at the top of the frame, the shadow at the bottom, and the shape of the mountain magically mimicking the outline of the cave, this photo turned out to be more than I ever could have hoped for.
Due to the fact that the River Kennet is a chalk stream, this water has a chemical composition that is incredibly nourishing, sustaining a wide variety of organisms, and the blooms on the bank are a wonderful visual representation of this!
I was trying to take a picture of this Purple Centaurea Montana Flower that had captivated me. Everything about the bloom screamed “Take a photo of me!” I wanted to show the world the striking fuchsia center, the light violet petals, and especially the negative space within the blossom. But the above picture was actually my second shot. In the first, the wind was blowing, so this was my original photo:
My initial intention was to get home and simply delete the photo, no harm done. But then I saw how the wind had actually helped me, and shown me a different angle than the one I wanted. From this view, so much more of the plant is visible, and sure, the flower is itself is stunning; but the incorporation of the base of the bloom, the slight blurring of the delicate petals, and the focus on the lone blossom? I wish I could say that I intended to take this photo, but I cannot take credit for what nature threw at me.
Some lessons, like the Rule of Thirds (post about that tomorrow!), are easy enough to Google search, but others have to be experienced. If I had closed myself off from the opportunity for things to go wrong, which I nearly did, I would not have walked away with such a breath-taking shot. While I cannot rely on accidents to take good photos, they often reveal a new way of looking at things that can be applied to future projects, and I cannot wait to try this one out!
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.” –John Lubbock, The Use of Life
The River Kennet, a rare and beautiful chalk stream the runs through Marlborough, is one of my favorite places to walk and, obviously, photograph. Numerous birds make their home here (e.g. ducks, swans, and migrating geese), not to mention a variety of fish, and the clear water nourishes lush foliage. The babble of the water as it passes through a pebble bed is quite soothing, and it is an honor to spend afternoons here, simply basking in the glory of nature and resting my soul.
The list of differences between Marlborough and San Diego are quite extensive, and writing them down would result in a list hundreds of items long. But one thing that absolutely astounds me is that, at the core, there are just as many similarities between the two, and this little ladybug (ladybird in England), although smaller than a penny, encompasses so much more than a tiny red bug. Instead, I am reminded of the beautifully mundane things that grace both locations: as a child chases after his “mummy,” as the laughter fills the local pubs, as I hear “Cheers!” when I pass people on the street, and as I walk the dog along the River Kennet, I feel as at home as when I bask in the San Diego sunshine.
Although I can’t wait to be back in Southern California, I’m enjoying the littlest of things as I explore all that Marlborough has to offer, and I cannot wait to see what I stumble upon next.