Still Learning To See

Amazing things are nearby

I have always enjoyed travelling near and far. For years many of my days “in the office” were spent enjoying the view out an airplane window of some amazing part of our Planet. But even then, I recognized that the life nearby was equally amazing—when I just took the time to see it. A roadside rock ledge, a fern leaf, and a single tulip flower—each offers enough amazement to last me the rest of what I hope will be a long life.

These three images are part of a new show I recently hung at Central Vermont Medical Center’s Art Gallery—if you can visit, I promise you it will contribute to your health! If you cannot, I understand and hope you’ll follow this thread for the week as I’ll publish all 21 images, 3 per day, so you can enjoy them here.


Root path in road cut rock, North Street, East Montpelier, Vermont

One of the gifts of the many road cuts in Vermont that comes along road improvements is being able to see the insides of rocks, places never seen before or only “seen” by water and roots moving through cracks. How beautiful is the chemistry of this road cut rock—rusty irons, blue slates, small beds that once held garnets—all now so clearly visible when I slowed down to see?

Technical details: Sony @7 at 79mm and 1/160 at f/5.0 and ISO320



Leaf of Interrupted Fern

All summer long I can step outside my back door and see on the hillside a large stand of Interrupted Ferns growing. I never tire of see the light play on and through them. I’ve made hundreds of photographs of them over the years and this shows the elements I love the most: shades of greenness, backlighting, and the geometric detail of these remarkable plants. I’m so fortunate to have these visitors nearby.

Technical notes: Pentax K100D digital camera with a Sigma zoom lens at 300mm (ISO200 @ 1/60 sec and f5.6).



Parrot Tulip Petal

I made this photograph in March 2005 sitting at my kitchen table enjoying the last of a bouquet of parrot tulips I’d bought, thinking about when Spring would arrive in Vermont. Over the course of the week that I had enjoyed them, the flowers had opened and ripened and finally drooped heavily. It was this downward reaching bloom—with weak sunlight coming through it and more reflecting off it—I found totally enchanting. It is, I think, a good example of how we can get something fixed in our minds, e.g. flowers are upright, and how a change can open up so many possibilities for seeing life differently.

Technical notes: Pentax DiMAGE 7i digital camera with a 50mm lens (ISO200 @ 1/60 sec and f9.5).

This entry was published on August 26, 2020 at 9:29 am. It’s filed under Ferns, Flowers, John Snell, John Snell Photographer, Photograph, Rocks, Stone and rocks, Vermont, and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

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