Still Learning To See

A photo or a jigsaw puzzle

The group of photographers I’ve enjoyed working with recently had the challenge theme of “jigsaw puzzles.” These are a few I shared that I think would make dandy ones, though I also like them as one-piece photographs.

This literally was a puzzle that Mother Nature made, broke apart and never put back together. Ice. Big chunks of it on Lake Erie as seen from the window of my commercial flight. Fun to imagine the time lapse of this as it froze, broke apart, refroze, and so forth. By the way, the next time the flight attendant asks you to “please lower your window shade,” don’t do it! You might miss a puzzle like this.
From ice to water, this on the canals of Amsterdam where the tightly rippled water reflects the blue sky, and the white and brick-colored buildings in a way that even Picasso might have enjoyed. Honestly, I had a few looks when I was photographing the water rather than the sights of the lovely city but I could not resist. Life is puzzling, right?!
Hard to imagine a solid wall being a good jigsaw puzzle, until is is all just subtle shades of orange. The crack might make it easier to solve but my bet is, if this were an actual jigsaw puzzle, it might not be completed in a week. The crack might be done but the rest would probably still be in lots of orange pieces.
Oh the web we weave just to have a little fun! Looks easy. What do you think? Part of a simple web—if we can call weaving a web simple—with the flowers behind out of focus to give some clues. Maybe not so simple or easy, unless you are a spider.

This is one of my favorites, and that was before I even thought of it being a jigsaw puzzle. These swirls of colors are courtesy of a small stream north of here where, on a perfect Fall day, if the water is just right, and the sun is shining, the sky is blue with big white clouds, and the mix of tall hardwoods on the opposite bank is at peak, then the whole thing gets mixed and reflected with a bit of magic in the water. It is a “puzzle” that is constantly changing as the current changes or the wind blows or the sun comes and goes. For the hour or two I was there, standing in deliciously cold water, I made over four hundred images, many of them as stunning as this. I was more lost in the magic of these reflections than I have ever been putting together any jigsaw puzzle.

Winter brings more wonderful puzzles like this Red Oak covered in new snow. The tree grows near a tall stone tower in Hubbard Park and from the top of the tower you have this closeup view anytime of year. It is the next best thing to climbing the tree or being a bird. Hard to believe three simple elements: branches, leaves and snow, can create a puzzle that would clearly be not so simple.

The image at the top (and below) is one of many that Vermont delivers during Fall Foliage season, as we call it, and the confusion of colors is just a delight. I often just drive the small back roads, gawking at the colors and stopping where I want. Getting lost is not a problem—I know I will and also know there will be no phone service in many places to help me with my phone map. Who cares! Getting home is not too hard as long as I’m willing to get lost again once or twice. Typically I just follow Rob’s Rule: when I have a choice, go downhill and eventually I will reach a river and the road will follow the river to a bigger river and road…at least most of the time. But when I am looking for photographs for the perfect jigsaw puzzle, or just driving around enjoying life, it really doesn’t matter if I know where I am, where I’m going, or when I’ll get home.

I hope you enjoy seeing some puzzles in life today and maybe having a go at solving them.

This entry was published on March 28, 2022 at 9:02 pm and is filed under Abstract, Fall colors, Hubbard Park, Ice, John Snell, John Snell Photographer, Leaves, Patterns, Photograph, Reflections, Snow, Vermont, Water, Winter, Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

5 thoughts on “A photo or a jigsaw puzzle

  1. These would be impossible but fun to do. Beautiful.

  2. Thank you for sharing!

  3. Marti Snell on said:

    Oh this is another amazing entry in the big book of photos! Thanks John, Marti

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: