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Pausing a Moment To See.

by George Murphy on May 16, 2011

The weather has been unsettled of late. This morning, predawn rain showers gave way to dazzling early morning sunlight piercing through the glistening wet branches of the backyard trees. Taking a moment before plunging headlong into the day’s tasks, I allowed myself the luxury of simply noticing the light as it played across the damp, rich textures of rocks, flowers and the mossy, weathered wood of a backyard garden bridge.

It was the kind of morning in which you become aware of little things; like the way the sunlight glints off the flat heads of the nails on that very same bridge, forming a line like a celestial pointer back to the sun…which itself was busy darting in and out of fast moving clouds–not the grey and gloomy kind of clouds, but bright and luminous clouds that seemed to light up the air. At my feet, large droplets of water shimmered everywhere, fresh from the night’s rain, caught up in every leaf and branch, as the light dimmed and brightened, dancing in the brisk, unsettled air. It was a beautiful way to start a new week.

Photography Notes: All images were shot hand-held with a Canon 1Ds Mark III camera using a Canon 24-70mm lens, often at closest focus (about 1.25 ft.). Getting down for low angles was aided by using a right-angle finder attachment. This way I could compose shots without having to lay on my belly in the wet dirt. Sometimes that’s the best way, but not what I had in mind this morning. ISO was set to 160 and while my shutter speeds were fairly safe (1/80th and up), at these close distances body motion can be a big factor in causing an image to be blurry, or even to drift your focus point off the intended part of the subject–especially if you’re contorted down to some awkward low angle point of view–so,  I generally shot several identical exposures just to ensure that one was sharp and on target enough enough to work with. Sure, a tripod is ideal for this kind of shooting, but tends to take the spontaneity out of exploring compositions.



One response to “Pausing a Moment To See.”

  1. Jan Grokett says:

    Hey George,

    Thanks for sharing your lovely words and photos with us. Have a look at my recent photos and Russ’s photos on FB. We went by where you had your bicycle accident so long ago on the Blueridge Parkway. We rented a cabin in Chimney Rock, NC. Had a great time at the Biltmore estate and it’s beautiful spring gardens. We would love to hear from you more often. We will be going to New Zealand for 18 days in late october to through early November. Can’t wait.
    Love, Jan

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