Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Please, do sweat the small stuff!

As Above, So Below
   We've all heard the old adage, "Don't sweat the small stuff!"  I'm here to say that it is all small stuff and it is well worth the effort.

   Thoreau said that there are two ways to view the landscape, with a telescope or a microscope.  Somehow I think the answer lies in between.  While we all love the grand vista, it is in the intimate details that I find the most enjoyment.  For me, the landscape is the sum total of the myriad details that make it up.

The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
- Henry Miller

   While I love to photograph the sweep of a pond,  the big view, I am most content with the closer, more personal relationship I can forge with the small details of the landscape.  Like this study of reflections at a friends pond this summer.

   I was captivated by the light, the color and, of course, the amazing reflection in the still water.  And moving in to a more intimate detail creates a lovely abstraction.  Yet, everything the larger photograph has is contained in the small view.

   The closer I get into the landscape the more impressionistic and even abstract it becomes.  I've certainly discovered this in my project The Poetry of Place.   It really is, in the final analysis, up to your personal engagement with the landscape...do you take the large view or the small view?  Or perhaps, like me, do you enjoy the process of walking into the landscape, to try and see the whole from a small part?  Here is a link to a discussion on three different ways to engage the landscape...try them all!

   No matter which of the three you decide suits you, keep your mind and heart open.  Sometimes it is the landscape itself that will tell you what you need to do.


Dotti said...

I do agree with this, Patricia. While vast vistas are dramatic, when I have my camera in my hands, I can often be overwhelmed by it. But let me find the details and I'm in a zone. Great thoughts.

Patricia Turner said...

Thank you Dotti! I too find myself, more and more, turning the camera lens down, to the details at my feet. I joked once that as your eyesight gets less precise, you have to look more intently at things to see them...this has turned out to be a really good thing in my book!