Panned image of Aspen trees

Dancing Aspens

I’ve been ‘offline’ with the blog the past week simply because I’ve been cranking out changes/additions to the new website, fixing a few problems, and trying to get pictures processed! One-man band at the moment and pushing 14-16 hours days…it’s also been a time for me to recharge my batteries with a little soul-searching and creative thinking and goal-setting.

But while editing in Lightroom the other night, I watched the Polar Express. OK, I’m a sucker for ‘feel good’ movies, but mostly it has fun music and Tom Hanks is really good in this animated piece and the music is fun! It also has very positive messages in it, if you listen to the conversations.

There were a few lines I wrote down, but one that really resonated with me was

“Give your dreams the wings to fly; you have everything you need if you just believe….”

I have always believed this. But it’s not always easy to keep true to it. When book proposals get rejected, someone’s stock photo gets chosen over yours, the phone’s not ringing, and/or you don’t feel very creative, a message like this can seem hard to hold to. But it has worked for me and continues to as long as I believe it. No matter what your dream is, you have what you need to bring it to the world.

That can translate to seeing beyond the ordinary photograph, too. I have many pictures of aspen trees, and many others do, too. So when I was out in eastern California in October, I was asking myself what I really saw, or rather, what I really felt, about the grove of trees in front of me. And it wasn’t so much what I felt about the trees, but larger than than, what I felt about simply being outside, with the grandeur of nature laid out before me. Breathing the cool fresh air, reveling in the blazing autumn colors, I felt like dancing! So I made my trees dance in the photo, by panning while handholding. I gave the camera a little wiggle as I panned, and the trees came alive.

Ironically, a few days ago I read my good friend John Barclay’s blog posts, and he mentioned a chat with Dewitt Jones, who’s a good friend of mine. (I used to work with Dewitt a long while ago, helping him with his stock library and other things.) I viewed Dewitt’s video from the link John shared, and there was my dear friend, talking about “seeing it when you believe it!” I highly recommend viewing this video. Dewitt has long practiced what he ‘preaches’, this idea that you have what it takes within you to be great – and to bring the beauty of this world out with your camera. And others join us in this belief – Freeman Patterson being another great example.

Some people reading this may not buy this idea. It can seem impossible or ‘out there’ in terms of believing that we can control things – but I’ll hold to it – I have proof in my own life that when I believe that it’s possible, even that it’s already there, it manifests – whatever ‘it’ is. In terms of my photography, it has helped me to see deeper into the essence of my subject and helped me to see what the potential is in any location. In terms of my whole life, it has been the basis of all the great things that have happened!