Valley oak in the Spring-the forgotten art of getting lost in the moment

Back in the beginning of the Spring, I set out with my camera just for the fun of it. There were clouds in the sky, a reason to celebrate around here. I had worked all day in the office, as I usually do, and heading out for the sunset felt liberating. 

The two old oak trees I’ve known for the last 15 years were still naked of leaves, and the mustard flowers, yellow and white, were out. The air was cold and fresh. Everything seemed to fall perfectly into place, and I had several minutes of joy photographing the renewed landscape. No tripod, no obsession with settings or composition, no preoccupation with projects, series, or technical excellence. Just being there with the camera. 

I’m posting here two photos from that day, one in black and white (featured photo), and one in color. Most of us embrace photography for the sake of moments when we can get “lost in the present” with the camera. And the fact that we often tend to forget to let go, only makes those rare moments of awareness more precious, when they happen.

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Published by Alessandra Chaves

Photographer with a preference for nature photography in black and white and other abstractions.

24 thoughts on “Valley oak in the Spring-the forgotten art of getting lost in the moment

  1. I assume many or even most nature photographers (and other kinds of photographers, for that matter) often find themselves getting lost in the moment. On the other hand, some critics have argued that taking a photograph detracts from experiencing the subject directly. I don’t see any reason why we can’t do both.

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  2. Oh I love the black and white ! Such a gorgeous tree. Trees are awesome subjects to photograph and you really made for a gorgeous photo here. My favorite photographer of all time was a nanny as her day job but you could tell she just loved taking photos in her free time. Unfortunately she wasn’t discovered until after her death. She is my favorite because when I look at her photos it is clear as day that she just enjoyed taking photos and wasn’t trying for anything more. Vivian Maier

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    1. I’ve read about her, on the internet and I saw the photos. Very nice indeed, and I wish I could see the film prints. Yes, trees are very appealing subjects to photograph! Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  3. Those are two beautiful trees and well presented considering you were not obsessed with making photographs but were there to enjoy the time out in nature. I will admit that although the reason I do go out is my love of nature I pretty much always desire to capture and share the experience.

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  4. Oh I love that mono shot with the branches reaching across the frame! I probably wouldn’t go out exploring and experiencing as much as I do and the sweet moments I find myself in if it weren’t for photography.

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  5. I find, and I suspect that you do too, that when I start photographing something it becomes a very meditative and all-encompassing experience. Getting lost in the moment for sure. I think it’s healthy!

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  6. It’s inevitable; when I go out with my camera, time seems to stand still, or even disappear. I can go out to walk an area and barely get past the trailhead before it’s time to go home. There’s just so much to see! But sometimes the same thing happens when I’m only hiking or exploring. Occasionally, I’ll even walk a trail twice: once with the camera, and once without.

    Annie Dillard has a wonderful way of viewing that kind of experience. In Pilgrim at Tinker Creek she says, “When I walk with a camera, I walk from shot to shot, reading the light on a calibrated meter. When I walk without a camera, my own shutter opens, and the moment’s light prints on my own silver gut. When I see this second way I am above all an unscrupulous observer.”

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