Celebrating Spring and Nature go hand in hand. Spring is when nature is at its most glorious so it only stands to reason that now is when we are most anxious to get out and immerse ourselves in its glory and grandeur, taking as many pictures as we can along the way.
[one_half padding=”4px 8px 0 2px”]Kelly Oswalt gets the lion’s share of credit for today’s photo; the concept was hers and she did all the makeup and styling. We even shot in her backyard. Kelly’s concepts often involve nature and she makes those natural elements her subject when she is behind the camera herself. Not everyone understands or appreciates how to work with, in, and around nature, but Kelly does it well.
Bonding with nature is one of those concepts with seasonal appeal. This time of year, I’m drawn to Thoreau’s descriptions of living as close to nature as possible. While there have been many others who have perhaps studied nature more deeply or lived more simply for longer, Thoreau’s gift was relating the connection between nature and life.
“The morning, which is the most memorable season of the day, is the awakening hour. Then there is least somnolence in us; and for an hour, at least, some part of us awakes which slumbers all the rest of the day and night… All memorable events, I should say, transpire in morning time and in a morning atmosphere. The Vedas say, “All intelligences awake with the morning.”
and then later he muses:
“A single gentle rain makes the grass many shades greener. So our prospects brighten on the influx of better thoughts. We should be blessed if we lived in the present always, and took advantage of every accident that befell us, like the grass which confesses the influence of the slightest dew that falls on it; and did not spend our time in atoning for the neglect of past opportunities, which we call doing our duty. We loiter in winter while it is already spring.”
[one_half_last padding=”4px 2px 0 8px”]While few can afford to do as Thoreau did, building a cabin by a pond and then taking two years to live there and write, Spring ignites in most all of us that urge to “get back to nature,” to be outside, explore, and experience. Our desire to be part of the world, to kick off our shoes, dress down next to nothing, to feel nature as though we were born into it, is instinctive. Human evolution has not lost the primal need to connect with that source from which we originate.
As we’ve seen this week, taking pictures outdoors comes with a host of dangers and challenges. When people are involved, especially, one does not just pick up a camera, shoot leisurely, and expect images of any quality or to not endure some difficulty. Yet, for all the issues that might present themselves, for everything that one might need to consider before going out, just the experience of shooting outdoors in nature is worth whatever trouble might be involved. Even if the pictures don’t turn out as planned, one has spent the time surrounded by and hopefully enjoying all that nature has to give.
Again, from Thoreau:
“If the day and the night are such that you greet them with joy, and life emits a fragrance like flowers and sweet-scented herbs, is more elastic, more starry, more immortal- that is your success. All nature is your congratulation, and you have cause momentarily to bless yourself. The greatest gains and values are farthest from being appreciated. We easily come to doubt if they exist. We soon forget them. They are the highest reality. Perhaps the facts most astounding and most real are never communicated by man to man. The true harvest of my daily life is somewhat as intangible and indescribable as the tints of morning or evening. It is a little star-dust caught, a segment of the rainbow which I have clutched.”