Still Learning To See

If only…

Often, when I make a photograph, I have a result in mind. Sometimes I clearly end up with something different, either one that goes right in the trash or one that is a delightful surprise. There are times, however, when I hold on to the photograph wanting it to be something more like what I had in mind, knowing at some level it will never be that. Not unlike many other things in life!

The storm cloud I posted yesterday ( again posted above) was one of those delights! I was thrilled with the photograph and still enjoy coming back to it with amazement at the power of the storm.

What I had really wanted, however, was the same sort of cloud but soaring instead over Camel’s Hump, the iconic mountain profile of Central Vermont. Making that photography simply wasn’t possible. The clouds and the mountain were in the wrong places. I might possible have driven to a different point, like Galen Rowell did when he ran until the rainbow was over the Potala Palace, where all things lined up perfectly but by then the clouds would certainly have dissipated.

The one photograph I did make of the clouds over Camel’s Hump is OK but it just isn’t what I really wanted it to be—damn it!

So it is a great opportunity to once again remember this simple lesson: a photograph can’t be more than it really is, even if I really, really want it to be! “If only… .”

This entry was published on September 13, 2012 at 10:14 pm. It’s filed under Clouds, Photograph and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

4 thoughts on “If only…

  1. Have to grin–you’re so right about “If only….” (and not just with photography! I loved the Story People site (thanks to Liz)–and this comment made me laugh outloud.

    “deciding everything is falling into place perfectly, as long as you don’t get too picky about what you mean by place. Or perfectly.”

    Good to remember that life is in charge even when we’d rather be holding the reins 🙂

  2. How right you are! We may actually be holding the reins but the horse still goes where it will when it will! It is all perfect isn’t it?!

  3. your sis, Karen on said:

    Well, it’s perfect for me just like it is! In fact, I woke up this morning thinking of your photo post of yesterday, and, like magic, here it is again today. I wanted to ask you: what was the season and the time of day, and was there a change in weather that precipitated these marvelous clouds? What was it like to BE there? The simplicity of the landscape below, to me, only accentuates the magnificant and unusual clouds you captured. If Camel’s Hump were in the photo, would that not be a distraction to the eye? Thanks again, John, for sharing your passion and your thoughts.

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