I’m not sure I really had much of a plan of attack when I left my house last Saturday morning. I had all the camera gear I thought I might need, something that actually ‘fit’ me that would blow in the wind and be a sharp contrast to the world around me… I don’t even think I brushed my hair although I did brush my teeth that morning. This was a spur of the moment idea having discovered the appearance of the wind, stronger than usual wind.
I had explored this stream when there was plenty of snow and ice and I suspected that the ground might still be somewhat frozen. Not sure really how I came to that realization when the entire week previous the weather had been double digit above zero amazing. I returned excited to see what it all looked like in a new perspective.
Initially I thought maybe I would just shoot a few landscapes and just be happy with being outside and exploring. I climbed about over fallen branches, deadwood, tried to avoid that prickly thorns of the wild roses and soon discovered that the landscapes didn’t quite captivate me. As I walked along I found myself drawn to the huge cottonwood trees and as I approached I could see the grandeur and crooked shape. My first thought was whether I could climb up into some of the big branches but the thought of safety brought me back to my senses. I took an iPhone shot at first to see what framed up and I loved that so I took one with my camera and I could realize the scale and with the wind an idea was beginning to formulate in my brain. I absolutely LOVED this big tree.
So after fumbling to get into the dress, setting up my tripod, framing my photo… I remembered a piece of advice given to me about another photo… ‘next time create space between your subject and the tree’. So I thought about that when I worked with the wind and the foreground branches. With a timer, this was the beginning of the creative exploration.
No make up, wind blown hair, bare feet… authentically me.
I packed up and wandered along the stream looking for inspiration and the thought had crossed my mind whether I had it in me to wander into that cold water. I kept my shoes on for these next images, I thought I would stay dry and warmer but after the first few shots I discovered that the ground was not frozen enough in the reeds and swampy area to hold my weight. Once my feet were wet I knew I would brave the frigid water temperature to some degree.
I quickly discovered the stream floor to be soft and incredibly muddy… I was sinking. After trying not to lose my shoes I decided to venture back towards my car. My feet were cold, and the stench of muddy stream water had me looking for a rock area where I could ‘rinse’ before climbing back into my car to head home and warm up.
The deadwood and uprooted and fallen trees along this wider area of the stream called to me… just one more scene before packing it up. The bottom of the dress was tinged a blue black from the mud, it would be good to wander in the water to try and rinse some of that out anyway. After setting up my tripod again I immersed myself back into the cold water, snapped a few.
I sat down on the bank, my feet and calves were now tingling with numbness, and I rinsed what I could. Feeling as though I was being watched I looked around, behind me and over my shoulder I noticed in the nearest tree I spotted a beautiful bald eagle watching my crazy antics. My heart was warmed.
‘In learning to attack your personal fear of the unknown, the wings of your soul will be supported by the ever present breezes which are the breath of Great Spirit. Feed your body, but more importantly feed your soul. Within the realm of Mother Earth and Father Sky, the dance that leads to flight involves the conquering of fear and the willingness to join in the adventure that you are co-creating with the Divine.’ ~ Jamie Sams and David Carson
I am loving this bit of self discovery.