This month has glided by so quickly, that I find myself thinking what have I done? My pace in taking photographs and processing them was definitely slower, and it was done purposefully to change up my day to day. While I can’t resist running and getting my camera for the splendid scenes of nature that come my way, I’ve also been trying to focus on finding a new way to get my work out there.
I’ve joined an artist collective that has a gallery down in Eugene, Oregon, called the New Zone Gallery. It’s great to be able to print out my work and see it hanging someplace and know that others are viewing it full size, the way it was meant to be seen, as opposed to 2-3 inches wide. It’s also wonderful, although a bit out of my comfort zone, to be able to meet new people and see how they are expressing themselves. There are many talented artists, including painters, ceramicists, basket weavers and sculptors, and you can see some of their work here: NewZoneGallery.org. The gallery has First Fridays and they are quite well attended. I’ve been there since early August, and just this last weekend was happy to hear that a framed and matted print of Feldspar and Ohanzee had been sold.
I’ve also been trying to get out and get more exercise. I find I’ve been taking far fewer hikes that tend to be shorter than in years past with the unpleasant but expected results of a weight gain and stiffer joints. Part of the reason is that I was getting tired of my usual haunts that are drier than usual due to the drought we’ve been having. One day I drove out to the coast and took the Hobbit Trail down to a beach. It wasn’t that long a trail, but it has a bit of charm and my dog, Maisie, got to play with a couple of other dogs whose paths we crossed. Afterwards, I also stopped by the Heceta Head Beach Area.
Two unexpected opportunities then arose back to back mid-month. The first was an invitation to join a fellow photographer on a trip to Glacier National Park at the end of this month as circumstances had required that her husband stay at home. My initial instinct, given the short notice, was to say no, as I would need to make arrangements for my dog, make my travel arrangements, find a way to budget the expenses. But It was so enticing and a trip I had wanted to make this year, but had put on the back burner since I went to the Grand Tetons again in March. Since I am trying to change my more cautious and shy nature, and live life in the moment, I decided to say Yes and figure out a way to make this happen. I am looking forward to sharing a photographic adventure with another photographer whose work I admire and experience the beauty of the park.
The upcoming trip, however, precipitated a desperate attempt to get into shape as some of the hiking opportunities in GNP seem to require that. I decided to hike up to Tamolitch Falls since I hadn’t been there in a few years. Although this is listed as easy, I find the trail to have uneven footing due to rocks and can be narrow in parts, especially when you have a dog and there is traffic on the trail. The hike was about six miles, and shared by hikers and bikers. I did fine, with my one heavy lens, a tripod and having to keep my dog on the leash (probably the hardest part since the trail was pretty busy that day). The forest is beautiful, but I have to say, I enjoy it more when there are fewer people.
The second unexpected opportunity was the chance to be interviewed by Jay Gaulard of IndustryDev.com. He had seen my Twitter feed and asked to interview me. His website explores web design and development as well photography. I enjoyed being interviewed and if you are interested, you can find the interview here: Interview.
All in all, this has been a month where my usual habits have been broken up, and that is probably a good thing, since I can sometimes get chained to my habits. Although I feel a bit “less productive” not sticking to my normal process, the slowdown has given me time to review some past archived raw material and find some gems (maybe I’ll show some in a future post); make time for some much needed exercise; and leave myself open to opportunities, both looked for (artist collective) and unexpected (GNP trip and interview).
I’ll leave you with two unexpected photographic finds: the first is a painted lady butterfly (I hadn’t seen one before and didn’t know they were in my area) and this raptor, either a Merlin Falcon or a juvenile Red Shouldered Hawk.
One evening my dog went to investigate a rustling in the bushes and a bird flew out and perched overhead. At first I thought it was a crow flying towards me because of its size, but the coloring confused me as did the dark eyes. My phone app suggested a Peregrine, but a twitter follower of mine didn’t think that was right. After sending the image to the Lane County Audubon society, the helpful members were also unsure except that it’s not a Peregrine. However, whatever it is, it was to me an example of one of life’s treasures that catches you off guard and gives you one of those special moments not to be forgotten.