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Posts Tagged ‘Walking’

I went for a short walk in the woods in Chestnut Branch Park a few weeks ago. Of course I had one of my cameras with me. The day was bright and sunny. I took four pictures. This one is the winner.

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I operate on instinct when I’m out taking pictures. I see things that interest me and when I’m in the zone, my design mind takes over and I snap a photo. Not to say I don’t move about framing and re-framing to get just the right image. That’s part of the fun of photography. How do I know when I’ve gotten it right and it’s time to press the shutter? I go by feel, I just “know” when to press the shutter.

This was one of those times when my knowing how to frame and when to press the shutter worked and I got a quality image.

I went for the light and got just what I wanted in this image. The lovely side lighting layers the light and brings out the textures of the tree stumps. My choice of focal length and aperture renders the foreground and background softly while the stumps are in sharp focus. This image pleases me.

My Nikon 8008s has become my workhorse for walk about shooting. I used an uncommon lens, the Nikon 35-135mm f/3.5-4.5 AF Zoom-Nikkor. This is one heavy lens but I love the focal length range, goes from wide-normal to moderate-tele in a single lens. Can’t fault the sharpness of this lens either.

When I want to travel lighter (most of the time) I mount my 35mm f/2.8 AF Nikkor, the only lens in my collection that I bought new.

Here we are, well into the digital age and I cling to my film cameras. I am not a Luddite who rants and raves about digital vs. film photography. I accumulated a nice collection of high quality film equipment that still works and since I’m retired with a fixed income, I use what I have because I don’t have the resources to match the level of quality with new digital equipment (and the necessary computer resources to go with a high end digital camera).

I thought about buying a mid-range digital camera a few weeks back, but even with a price reduction the camera alone costs $799. I compromised and bought two rolls of Kodak Ektar color print film instead for $9.98. Add $7.00 (round number) for processing each roll and my total comes to $24 (rounded again). I’ll load the Ektar into my flagship camera, my F3HP. I want to shoot a few rolls of color macros of flowers and other fun, fresh things. It’s Spring!!

Wow, I really ran off at the mouth here today. Take another look at today’s image. I’m happy with this one.

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Walking for inspiration is like dancing slowly with yourself, gliding effortlessly from thought to thought as you move to the rhythm of your footsteps. American author Gretel Ehrlich once said that “Walking is also an ambulation of mind.”

Ambulation is simply walking about. Amble, saunter or stroll — something magical happens when you go out for a leisurely walk. The sudden flash of insight, the “aha” moment, the best ideas show up when you least expect them. Why do you think this is?

Walking doesn’t require any mental effort at all, you simply do it. Walking frees your mind and sends your inner critic packing. Have you noticed how inspiration sneaks into your mind and ideas flow while you’re standing in the shower, or other times when you’re relaxed, not thinking about anything in particular?

Or in the words of Mozart, “. . . .When I am, as it were, completely myself, entirely alone, and of good cheer – say traveling in a carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep – it is on such occasions that my ideas flow best, and most abundantly. Whence and how they come, I know not, nor can I force them…”

Be at ease with yourself. When you’re alone with yourself just walking, your mind is clear of clutter and worry, your problems pushed aside. Unleash your dragon. Allow him to romp freely.

Savor the moments. Walk in a peaceful garden, inhale the sweet scents of the flowers and listen to the birdsong. Take a stroll during a spring shower and feel the raindrops on your face. Walk on the beach alone in company with the first rays of the rising sun. Even a walk down a busy street can be invigorating. Inspiration is everywhere when you allow it.

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When I worked in the city, no matter how busy, I always took a short leisurely walk at lunchtime and returned to my office refreshed and alive. Many times, problems I had worried over simply dissolved into elegant, inspired solutions.

When the words won’t come, push your chair back, tell your inner critic to take a nap and go for a walk with your dragon. When you return refreshed, grab a pen and paper and cluster before your inner critic wakes up from his nap. You’ll be surprised and delighted with your outpouring of ideas.

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