Saturday Evening Post #91: It’s About Time

One of my fellow blogosphere inhabitants, the Chronicles of  A Blogaholic, posted just recently a quote from Martin Luther King Jr.

“We may have all come on different ships,
but we’re in the same boat now.”
Martin Luther King, Jr

Now to be honest, I am not that familiar with the writings of MLK, but this one struck a chord with me, as we settle into a six week enforced stay at home.
I am, truth be told, not that enthusiastic to the “We’re all in this Together” media blitz that keeps coming over the gunwales, I think that most of us more identify with “I am in this Alone”. However to a much broader term, the MLK quote I think carries its own special message for the here and now.

Time it seems, doesn’t stand still, we have been working with a growing trio of young Black-shouldered Kites, they are not going to sit around, frozen in time, if you will, waiting for me and my lens to get back out and pickup where I left off.
They will be gone. Following the ways of a Black-shouldered Kite. I’ll have some photos and some memories.
They will have their lives, a day full of moments, each filled with intent.

Time it seems, is Now!
When it comes to the images I make, to the people whose lives I’m gifted to share, to opportunities to learn about myself and others, there is only now.
Inspiration is not just two more pages over in the book I’m reading, I may never turn the page and miss it. It’s not another 1:34 along in some dotube that I’m watching. I might click ‘stop’ before I get there.

Robert Capa, had an amazing life, made some awesome photographs and experienced more than most.  Many will know of his Falling Soldier killed in action.  The irony I think of that photo is it was made on the last day of the conflict.
Time or chance or…

He once said, “If you photographs aren’t good enough, it’s because you are not close enough”
I think he means, not so much a physical proximity—today, of course, abiding by the 1.5m rule—but rather an experience with the subject. As nature photographers, we buy the longest lens available, or at least that we can justifiable afford.  Although I suppose some lenses I’ve owned over the year stretch your definition of ‘justifiable’ to a new horizon. 🙂

The question was once asked of a nature photographer, ‘Do you think it’s possible, to some degree, to translate the experience of a close encounter with a wild animal—in this instance it was the Kyutzeymeteen Ghost Bears—into a photograph?”
And a second part of the question, “If it is, how come so few people achieve it?”

With our long lenses, it becomes I believe a lot harder to provide a close, almost intimate invitation into the world of our subject, the narrow lens might fill the frame, but it doesn’t necessarily bring the right feeling. They compress lines, shapes and distances. Rather then drawing the viewer in, the long lenses exclaim, “This was a long way away, don’t you feel safe.”

Establishing that closeness, is first and foremost I also believ, is about respect for the subject, taking time to build the relationship, building on a fascination for the subject, a thread that is extended to the viewer.

Recently, as we approached the roosting area of the three local kites, I spotted one on the ground behind some bushes.

I stopped and sat on the ground, maybe I’d make a great takeoff shot against the sky. To my surprise the young bird stepped around the bushes and moved closer to me. The light changed, a soft and mellow melding light that draped like a poem over the form of the bird.
It was time.

 

12 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Post #91: It’s About Time

  1. A fabulous experience for you that day. All three made connections with us in some way. I remember one morning when one flew over to sit on a branch right above me. It would be wonderful to think they might remember us if we ever get to see them again. Iwas going to do my exercise walk to Sneydes last week, and probably should have, coz I sure can’t go now!
    Stay warm, stay well, see you on the track sometime in the future!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi David, yes, you certainly made a great discovery when you first pointed out they had moved in to nest.
      I think the small area actually worked well to give plenty of scope to photograph them without any stress.

      We’ll just have to wait out the time and see what is out and about when we too are able to get out and about.

      Stay safe

      Like

  2. Your pictures and prose are such a pleasure to read and enjoy. Musing and switching between the two sentiments of “We’re all in this Together” as well as “I am in this Alone”
    Thanks for sharing David!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello Jeremy, thanks for taking the time to stop by.
    Glad it gave you food for thought.
    As Premier Dan said today, my staying at home is the best action I can take to help our tireless health workers. I’ll miss a few photographic days, but its hardlly a sacrifice.

    Stay safe, stay well, and keep the creative juices flowing

    Like

  4. A beautiful intimate photograph – there is a wonderful feeling of trust that you will do no harm. You certainly built the relationship for that to happen, and a photograph like that, and the feeling of the moment, are your reward.

    Take care, both of you.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks David for your well written, interesting and philosophical thoughts, which highlight relevant and current truths we have to navigate through. This pandemic has caused us to dig deeply into understanding life and how we do it, and what normal might be. Your special moment with the Kite on the grass, speaks to me, and expresses what you are saying so well. I find connection with certain birds that I have come to know, especially my backyard friends, and one’s I visit in favourite parks, and understand how that relationship develops. You sharing your own own amazing experiences in addition helps confirm latest research in concluding that our avian friends are far more intelligent than was previously thought, and that they, ina similar way to humans, want to socially interact, if they can trust us and know our intentions are similar to their own.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello AB,
      Thank you for the kind comments. I appreciate the thoughts.
      I often quote from Jon Young, and his concept that it is connection with the birds that makes it so enjoyable.
      We were indeed fortunate for this nesting, it was an area close to home, a small area and had good opportunities to interact with the birds. Not always that easy.

      We’ll just have to see what the next season brings.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s a pleasure to read your thoughts and stories illustrated so beautifully by your photos. This closeness with birds is definitely something I enjoy immensely. When I flush out a bird, I almost feel offended 😉 .
    And while being alone “in this”, I feel this nice closeness with your views and ideas.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. G,day Adam, glad you dropped by.
      I sometimes am quite harsh on myself if I flush a bird, particularly if I’ve been working with it, and cross that magic, ‘no go’ barrier.
      I know I’ve said it before, but some birds will allow close approaches and make it clear that they accept my presence. Never easy to explain, always delightful to enjoy.
      Stay safe, and calm and creative

      Like

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