I read an interesting article recently comparing photography with painting/drawing. The gist of it was that photographers see an eye-catching scene and capture it on camera without noticing the detail whereas an artist sits and takes in all the detail as well as the overall scene. The conclusion was that photographers miss out. It was a view held, if not started, by the art critic, John Ruskin and there is certainly truth in that view especially in the 21st century when everyone seems so ‘busy’ and rushes through life without stopping to just sit, look and listen. As the poet said, ‘What is life, if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare’!
You can see the point – the artist has to sit for some time, perhaps several hours, to take in all the finer detail of a scene in order to commit it to paper whereas the photographer doesn’t necessarily need to as the camera does the work of recording the detail instantly. But it needn’t be that way and we can benefit hugely from making a conscious effort to really look as we walk – there is so much that we often just pass by without even realising.
The same is true of life. I read another article some time ago from a blogger who set out the benefits to her of writing a blog – the gist of it was that blogging made her take notice of things that happened during the day, be it a chance meeting, a conversation, a thought, or just something she saw. Things that would normally just slip by without taking root, became more vibrant as they provided material for the next blog.
All this is just about maximising life and adding texture and sparkle with a full realisation of this wonderful world we live in – everything we see, everything we hear, everyone we meet, everything that happens to us can enrich our lives if we let it.
I always try, although I often fail, to adopt this view when I am walking, being alert to all that is around me, especially in the countryside. It means taking time and often standing or sitting still to drink in what is before me, looking up and down as well as all around. The pictures below were all taken on a local walk that I do often – it is my regular ‘Sunday morning stroll’ and I ‘walked with my eyes open’.
Autumn grass in the nature reserve
We especially miss things that are on the ground, like diminutive fungi, and things that are high up like the beautiful light filtering through the canopy above.
The leaves, especially at this time of year, are truly amazing. The colours range from green through the whole range of autumn tints, to the dead and decayed – there is as much beauty in decay as there is in the fresh foliage of spring!
Have you ever noticed what a huge variety of bark there is in an average woods? Different textures and colours, wrapped in ivy, covered in lichen, lived in by bugs…..
Whatever the weather, bright sunshine as in the second photograph above, or dull and wet as in the picture below. The splashes of the raindrops on the water are like little pools of diamonds on the black water of the pond, like stars in the night sky. How often we run when the rain comes……but stop for a while and drink in the beauty.
And the log pile – is it just a log pile, or is it a high rise for bugs and fungi? Take a look, explore, you never know what you might see.
Everyone loves a spiders web with that wonderfully delicate and intricate tracery, an engineering miracle that can hold so much weight.
And of course there is always the bigger picture. The beauty of dappled sunlight slanting across the clearing with a carpet of golden leaves. Who could resist such a lovely scene?
In the clearing
And even late in the year, butterflies continue to dazzle with their beauty……even if a little bedraggled. The Comma below will hibernate soon.
So much to see all around us, and yet we miss so much. So walk with your eyes open, both through the woods and through life itself!
Thanks for stopping by.
Until next time,
The Dorset Rambler.
If you would like to contact me, my details are on my website which ishttp://www.yarrowphotography.com – comments and feedback are welcomed.
All photographs, poems and words in this blog are the copyright of The Dorset Rambler and must not be reproduced without permission.