morton arboretum and the lovely people i got to share it with

DSC_0592_photo walk

it began with an idea that came after i kept seeing the most beautiful nature photos taken by a friend... amy. when she would post her photos to facebook, i'd comment on how beautiful they were and think to myself, "i really need to get out to the arboretum in the winter while there's snow on the ground and see what it's like at this time... how different it is from when i was there on a photo walk one spring.

amy had posted so many shots taken at this park that i thought maybe she worked there. i even asked if that was the case in a comment on one of her albums. she responded telling me that she did not work there, but had been going often because of her two-year admission pass.

she also told me she could have any guest accompany her there for a mere $5 for as long as her pass is valid. then she invited me to tag along any time i wanted.

that got me thinking... a photo walk with her would be so much fun! and since i know she is every bit as much a photography enthusiast, i suggested the idea to her! we chatted back and forth and decided it was a must... as soon as we got another fresh snowfall, we'd make a spontaneous trip.

so when last week's forecast called for snow, amy e-mailed and suggested we go the first sunday after the snowfall.

right around that time, i had been noticing more and more great photography posted on facebook by a friend and former college-mate... also a budding photographer. she often posts pics of her two sweet girls and, like me, she loves to practice her photography on them. i had been noticing the improvement in her photos, and i thought it would be nice to invite her along... the more the merrier.

when you love photography, you love to be around others who do as well... or at least that is what i've found to be true. that's the best part about photo walks... like-mindedness. you get them. they get you.

they are also such a great way to learn from your peers and get inspired in ways you can't be when by yourself. i've always loved the idea of photo walks, and if it weren't for isaac, i'd be planning them a whole lot more.

anyway, my friend carrie wrote back and said she was in. a little apprehensive at first... 'cause, well... it's just plain cold out there! but we met for warm drinks ahead of time and bundled up for the hike.

i'm so glad we did! it was very beautiful there... so full of a beauty that was just waiting to be seen and captured.

and get this!... when we got there, we found out all guests of members were admitted for free during the entire month of february!... happy valentines to us!

it was a lot of fun to be together... three girls with three different camera brands, three different lenses, three different skill levels, three different stories to tell and three different perspectives. by the time our toes were near ready to fall off and the sun was setting, we talked about how we'd all love to do it again... maybe somewhere new, like the city... maybe some time when it's warmer.

i learned a lot from this recent photo walk... a lot about what i enjoy most as a photographer. a lot about where i'd like to learn and grow in areas of photography where i'm not a natural.

i'll share a bit more about that toward the end.

but first... the photos. these were my favorites of the day. be prepared... long walks = several photos. here are my several photos. =)

{i'd almost rather do this photo walk post in a slide show format, because i felt many of these photos are not all that great and they take away from the shots that i thought turned out really well... shots that might seem more-so if they stood on their own uncluttered by the not-so-great shots. but i decided i would do it this way... mostly because i'm not sure how to make a good high-resolution slide show! instead, i'll just put an asterisk above the pics that were my absolute super-duper-uper-schmuper favorites! {{oh, sheesh, i've been watching too many cartoons with isaac!}} and don't foget... if you happen to want to see any of my favorites on its own page and a bit larger, just click on the photo. or you can click on the asterisk to see it even larger on a black background.}
































































so... i've come to a pretty concrete conclusion when it comes to nature photography and myself. i'm a lot more comfortable with zeroing in on the details of things... the little, often-unnoticed intricacies that can be found throughout. when it comes to the bigger picture... panoramic, scenic shots and such? not so much. i think that is mostly due to the fact that i don't yet know my camera well enough for such photos. and i'm not all that comfortable with composition in scenery photos. so i admit that, although i've included some favorite "big picture" nature photos from that day, they were no more than the best of my worst. part of me wants to get better in that area. but part of me is okay with the way things are, because most of me doesn't really have a desire to learn that kind of photography... it's not where my passion lies.

and that brings me to my next point... people. people are where my passion for photography is at. i love to photograph people, and i could never tire of it... not in a million years.

so, even on a nature photo walk... i just had to photograph people. there is little that lasts forever. not the stones in the photos above. not the stream where those stone could be found. not those leaves that somehow hung on to tree branches all winter. not even that big giant rock that we came across on our walk... even that will weather away with time.

but a smile or expression on someone's face will last forever. the memory of a person and how you spent your time with them will too... especially aided by documenting through photos.

and even those memories start to fade. i see faces and am reminded of friendship and relationships. it's not the beautiful snow that i will remember for all of my days. it's the walking and talking i had with friends. one old {from college days}, one new {within the past couple years}. the laughter we shared. the parts of our lives we found in common, though all from different backgrounds and in various places right now. the snow won't make me remember. but their faces will.







truth be told, it was the real reason i wanted to go on a photo walk... for the friendship and camaraderie. there will be another snow and another year in which to photograph it. but people will not be around forever... only for a season. it was who i was with more than where i was at that made this time so memorable and fun.

before we even reached the car to leave for the day, we began talking about the possibility of meeting up again for future photo walks as we walked away from that final picturesque spot. and i have to say... i am looking forward to going down that path again.




beth said...

winter can be beautiful.....but i agree, faces/portraits are what excites me the most :)

georgia b. said...

yes... good way of putting it, beth. i was thinking about it after i read your comment... i think for me, it's knowing that i could always get a certain nature shot at any time, and so could many others, even if they would take it a slightly different way. but when it comes to people and their perpetually changing faces and postures and actions, there is only the one chance to get the shot you do. and i like to capture those moments that would otherwise be fleeting. and so much more life is contained in each image. but i do have to hand it to people who have a real knack for scenery photography. if i wanted it to be my main pursuit, i'd take pictures more often in hopes of practicing.

Janet Kay Goettsch said...

I stay away from people shots because my nature shots are much better...so, that means I better start practicing!
These are all lovely and makes me wish I had a day off during the week to get out and shoot someone, hahahaha, that was sooo bad.

georgia b. said...

hahaha... yes, janet... it's something we've all said at one time or another, sometimes unintentionally, right? i know i've said it a time or too... and then added "photo" to it so no one took it the wrong way... especially in this day and age. =)

thanks for your comment. as much as i like people pics better, i wasn't out there thinking i would be taking people pics, so i wasn't really prepared to do so. i sort of took them off the cuff. in retrospect, i wish i had taken more time with the people pics, because they are what i love to do most. the people in my pics are lovely. i just don't think i did them enough justice, and now wish i had taken more time with them.

Carrie C. said...

Not only a photographer....but a writer as well! :) I love it! You captured the day with words so beautifully. Loved seeing your other photos from the spring walk there!

I agree about photographing people....I love capturing emotions and telling a story in a photograph of a person.

So fun Georgia, this has been a great re-connection!

georgia b. said...

thanks, carrie!! i agree. i hope it's only the beginning! =)