Misty Autumn Creek, Washington State

“I became conscious of what I desire. I am still conscious of what I desire. And I shall continue to be conscious of what I desire until that which I am consciously desiring is perfectly manifested.”

– Neville Goddard

After many years of experiencing and relating to the landscape through the lens of a camera, I gradually over time developed an operational protocol that is asking myself a few simple questions: ”Why am I taking this picture? Of all the things I’ve seen today and all the potential subject matter I’ve passed up, why here, why this? What is it here that attracts me . . . the colors, shapes, textures, the mysterious or unknown, the grandeur, a metaphor of one expression or another?” Thus, my approach to photographing any subject matter is simple: when I understand why I want to take a particular picture, the ”how do I take this picture?” becomes clear.

I came upon this scene along a mountain pass highway and found it deliciously ripe with metaphoric content. After considering the various positions along the creek from which to photograph, I chose this position with a medium wide-angle lens setting, which brings the viewer immediately into it by virtue of the large grouping of colorful vine maple branches on the left side, hanging out over the creek. The trees and bushes on the far side lead the eyes across the creek, and the flowing water moving from right to left between the narrow gap of the foliage, along with the subdued and misty light, create a sense of moving forward into the future with uncertainty.

In so many ways, I see this approach to my photography as a metaphor of how we can live our lives with more awareness. When we ask ourselves why we are doing something, it can reveal our underlying intent, and in recognizing the underlying intent and the desire it represents, it unveils that which we truly seek. So, just as determining what visual and technical considerations to capture the most expressive image leads to how to take that picture, likewise, when we consciously consider a deeper awareness of what we desire and seek in life, the path to their fulfillment may show itself to us in the form of events, people, and circumstances all converging toward the manifestation of that desire. As such, awareness, desire, and intent may become the tools and techniques we employ to create the masterpiece that is our life.