Den Ming-Dao quotes a Taoist thought
“Pattern and Creativity
Are the two poles of action”.
When I read that, I was struck by how true it is of photographic pursuit (I didn’t say photographic achievement 🙂 )
In this day an age of Facebook, Twitter-twadle, self-obsessed selfie takers, and all encompassing media bombardment it is sometimes hard to find the quiet of the moment to hear the wind in the tree, or feel the warmth of a rock in the sunshine.
And I’m not the only one, a clever Subaru ad, I saw the other day has as its theme a small child enjoying the moments. Such a tying shoelaces correctly for the first time. I remember that too. (If you get a chance to see the ad, don’t miss the closing scene)
It is to be recalled, that I’m a photographer first and a bird observer secondly. I have several friends who are always on the look out for the next ‘new’ bird. Seeing 400 species in a year is their thing. Me, I’d be happy to see the same bird 400 times.
Neither is the right appoach it is simply different expressions of pattern and creativity.
Den Ming-Doa goes on to comment:
Followers of Tao use patterns when planning. They observe the ways of nature, percieve invisible connections, matching patterns with goals. When the unpredictable happens, they change immediately.
The spontaneous creation of new patterns is their ultimate art.
I’ve always considered myself blessed by the number and variety of my mentors, who, among other things made me work at establishing a love of light, its form, quality and direction. Each element plays an important part in both the choice of subject, and the approach to bring out the right theme or mood.
Each encounter with light, soft, harsh, bright, moody, rich, or colourful, sets in motion opportunities.
And just occassionally, when the unpredictable happens… It offers the opportunity for a new pattern in my work.
It was a day—as so many have been of late—of overcast, grey, lowering, porridge skies. High ISO, slow shutter speeds, difficulty in seperating grey/white subjects from grey/white backgrounds.
I’d found—to be honest, it wasn’t lost!— a Black-shouldered Kite, resting in a tree. Probably worn out from hunting for mice in a drenched paddock. I sat down on a rock and watched. Took a few frames, just to keep my shutter finger warm, and waited. Perhaps it would fly and hunt.
When on a moment, the cloud changed, and a small breach opened up to let through sunlight that, like a “Super Trouper” Syncrolite spotlight drenched the scene. Directed, on schedule, on cue, and on time to the Kite, and leaving the surrounds in theatrical darkness. —Just like a script 🙂
And the Kite awakended by the light perhaps, like an actor on a stage, rose to the warmth and opened its wings for stretch relief.
Two frames, and the light, again on cue, was cut from the scene as the clouds regained their strength.
Sometimes, its seems the we plod, but we perservere and prepare, go out hoping, if not dreaming, of finding the birds and the light and the setting, striving to bring our vision of the world back home on a memory card.
As Deng Meng-Doa concludes:
If we nurse our plans through good times and bad, our plans will eventually succeed with the inevitability of fish being caught in a net.
Have a great weekend.
Keep takin’ pictures, we do.