Sunday, February 24, 2008

I Almost Drowned Today

Okay. Note quite.

For the first time all winter, I decided to engage in a little photography. Granted, I had taken some snapshots over Christmas and other such events, but this was the first time where I actually took my tripod and drove around - with the sole purpose of taking landscape pictures - since last October.

Truth be told, the cold weather in these parts - complete with five feet of snow piled up - is quite a deterrent from wanting to set out on such adventures. But today, with clear blue skies, I decided that I had to take advantage of such a nice day.

So I set out for a few places in my town. First, I went to the old Meeting House just down the road. None of the pictures I took of that vintage building were to my liking. Then I went over to a covered bridge on the other side of town. I had been eying this structure for quite a while, trying to figure out the best point to shoot it from. So I set off down stream to see if I could get a nice shot of the fast rapids, with the bridge in the background.

Fortunately, it appeared as though someone else had trekked through the snow already, setting a path for me. But when I got down stream and realized there were no good places that I would be able to get the bridge in the background, I tried to leap over a small dip in the snow, only to fall down and break through a little bit of ice. I was up to my ankles in water, desperately trying to get out.

Finally, I managed to pull my self out of the ankle deep water. My camera, which I had been carrying with my tripod, had taken a nose-dive into the snow, covering the whole backside of the camera. Fortunately, no damage was done to it. And, fortunately, my wet foot dried off fairly quickly as I walked around.

I was disappointed that I did not get the picture I was looking for - a better vantage point would have been on the other side of the river, but in order to get to the other side of the river, I would have had to slide down about a 75 foot embankment, with no promise that I would be able to stop before I reached the icy waters below. I figured it wasn't worth the risk.

So, I just retraced my footsteps and returned to my car.

Fortunately, I decided to linger a little longer at the bridge and take some other pictures of it. As is often the case in photography, though I set out with one particular shot in mind, I ended up taking some other shots that I thought turned out pretty good. I never would have captured them, more than likely, if I had just packed up my belongings and headed home after my failed attempt at getting the picture I had in mind.

After spending about 30 minutes at the bridge, I came away with a few shots that I am pleased with (of course, I would have preferred a few better ones, too). This is the way it goes with photography. One of the most important things a person can do is to slow down. I guess there's a spiritual lesson there somewhere.

All in all, after taking about 75-100 pictures in about 2 hours, I came away with probably 2-3 that I'm semi-happy with. That's photography for you as well.

Which of the two below do you prefer? The color, or black-and-white?


Dingo said...

Glad only your feet got baptized. I like the black and white photo best. Seems to bring out lots of contrasts.

Shawn Brace said...

Thank you for your input, Dingo! I think I might like the black and white better, too. There is something about a covered bridge that has a "vintage" feel to it, and black and white furthers that thought.

Melanie said...

I most always prefer color. This is no exception.

Rondi said...

I took a b/w photography class at Worcester State College many years ago. The teacher told us two staggering things on the first day: 1) only about 25% of us would have the patience to stick with the class to the end, and 2) if we get one good shot out of a roll of film we'd be doing well. I didn't believe him at first, thinking he was using hyperbole to scare us. He wasn't. And he was right on top of it.

As for your pictures, they are both beautiful...hard to choose...

Shawn Brace said...

Thank you for your thoughts, folks!

Joelle said...

The black and white one gets my vote.