Still Learning To See

This Amazing World

This old world of ours, for all the problems we seem to find ourselves stuck with is one amazing place. Seeing the world through the lens of my camera allows me to focus on the amazing parts and leave some of the rest behind. I just hung a show at the Central Vermont Medical Center Art Gallery with twenty-one images showing some of what I find amazing about our world. Over the next week, I’ll post three images each day so anyone, whether you go to the Medical Center or not, can see the show!

This is the introduction to the show, followed by three images:

In these very challenging times I’ve been tempted often to just stay inside and forget the world exists, clearly a reaction to the pain so many are enduring at the moment.

Then I turn off my computer, take a deep breath, and open the door to a world that remains wonderfully and easily within reach…when I open my eyes to look. You know what? The world is not just about survival of the fittest. It is a world powered by the sun, functioning to perfection, and overflowing with diversity and interdependency. It is, in short, absolutely amazing!

Flowers, leaves, reflections on water, dazzling sunlight, things large and small—all have long been a part of this world we live in.  While days and dates seem to have recently lost so much meaning, the natural world—growing and changing every day—inspires me to keep wondering and wandering and seeing more. The Morning Glory blossom spends weeks growing until—voila—it opens in its full glory. Day after day, throughout the year, the beautiful impossibility of life unfolds.

Looking through the lens of a camera is an easy way to isolate small enough pieces of the immensity of life for me to be able to appreciate it more fully. And the invitation is always there to dive in more deeply, to better see and understand. On most days I am able to find a balance that refreshes my soul, not ignoring the news but remembering it is not all that exists. I am then able to return, inspired to take actions that can help us better find our real place in this amazing world.

I’ve been looking through the lens of a camera for over fifty years and find I’m still learning to see.



Reflections in a Stream

There are times when I look through my viewfinder at the reflections on water and am simply transported to another dimension. Making this photo on a small stream in Stowe was such a time. The reflections of the dark, nearby branches with the brightly colored fall foliage at a distance provided an amazing contrast.

Technical notes: Sony @6000 digital camera with a zoom lens at 260mm (ISO200 @ 1/250 sec and f8.0).



Reflections at Cady’s Falls #1

I made this photograph in September 2005 on a little stream west of Morrisville, VT. It was only the third time I’d visited this spot, just below Cady’s Falls, and the day was magical. The water in part of the stream is broad and moves slowly with varied textures. A number of different species of hardwood trees overhang it, and it is their fall foliage—in an astonishing mix of colors—as well as the blue sky that is being reflected in the water in this image, all with remarkable results. This is just one of a series of stunning images I was fortunate to make that day. What you see is exactly what I saw with only very minor digital manipulations were made to the original file.

Technical notes: Pentax *istDS digital camera, 55mm, ISO200, 1/15 sec and f5.6.



Stones in Water #1

One of my definitions of heaven is standing in shallow water making photographs of what’s there. These are rocks along the shore of Lake Michigan in crystal clear water and gentle waves. When I enlarged this into four separate but interwoven images I felt like the scene took on an even more magical quality, comparable to what it felt like being there.

Technical notes: Pentax *istDS digital camera , 40mm, ISO1600, 1/250 sec and f8.0.

This entry was published on August 22, 2020 at 8:17 pm and is filed under John Snell, John Snell Photographer, Photograph, Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

7 thoughts on “This Amazing World

  1. Congratulations on the show, John! I look forward to seeing it! Elliot

    On Sat, Aug 22, 2020 at 8:17 PM Still Learning To See wrote:

    > John Snell posted: “This old world of ours, for all the problems we seem > to find ourselves stuck with is one amazing place. Seeing the world through > the lens of my camera allows me to focus on the amazing parts and leave > some of the rest behind. I just hung a show at the Cen” >

  2. “Reflections in a Stream” is magical! When you write (about “Stones in Water”) that you enlarged and made 4 images, did you simply use the 4 quadrants or select 4, sometimes overlapping, images? Maybe the answer is at your CVMC exhibit?

  3. Love those reflections!! Sandy


  4. What a gift your photography is, especially in these hard times. I tried going to the CVMC Art Gallery, but their website is out of date, only posting a show that ended in March. I emailed Maureen O’Connor Burgess with my concern–hope the website can be updated to show THIS AMAZING WORLD. For those of us out of state, I’m looking forward to having a way to take a virtual tour of the collection! 🙂

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