Still Learning To See

“Delays”—just another kind of time

Snow yesterday and more last night. Lovely to see each branch of every tree-lined in white. What caused joy for me has caused long delays for the airplanes I was hoping to ride today. So it goes. An exercise in patience and acceptance.

The patterns caused by wind and sand have a remarkable, simple beauty to me.

As a result I had time to look over some photographs I’d made last August in the sand dunes along the west shore of Lake Michigan. Sand changes color, though to a lesser extent than snow, depending on what light is above. Early and late in the day, the colors can range from rich honey to deep purple.

Once the sun is up, the bright light contrasts heavily with the deep shadows. Photographers are always warned to avoid these conditions but I find them an attractive challenge.

Direct sunlight is more harsh than early light but brings with it interesting shadows.

The sun and wind rule and shape everything with little regard for softness. The sand, and all dune life, simply bends to these forces. I’m intrigued by the sand being so fluid. I often see similar flowing patterns in clouds, snow and water.

I also enjoy the early morning quietness of the dunes. Nocturnal insects and rodents had been busy making tracks in the sand, leaving many stories told and a few mysteries to be deciphered. Moisture condenses in odd patterns as the sun heats the sand and then after as it cools to the clear skies. The wind blows plants and plant roots around creating remarkable circles of texture. In the winter ice and snow add their own magic to the patterns in amazing ways.

Yes, I’ve enjoyed this look “back in time.” That summer morning there were no schedules or delays to think about, no airplanes, no voices blaring over loudspeakers, only the subtle changes in light so inevitable in the dunes and the pleasure of exploring what the day offered.

Many patterns, many photographs

Wind spins some grass and roots into a unique pattern in the sand and early morning light.

This entry was published on January 13, 2012 at 4:29 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

One thought on ““Delays”—just another kind of time

  1. The details:
    All four photographs were made using the Pentax K-7 with a Sigma 30-200mm zoom lens at ISO100 except the last which was made at ISO 1600.
    • 1/500@f7.0 at 70mm
    • 1/200@f5.0 at 45mm
    • 1/100@f4.5 at 31mm
    • 1/500@f7.0 at 85mm

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