I’m not going to lie. The past two weeks have amounted to hell on earth for me. Everything I’ve done of late has turned into a big steaming pile of manure. It’s almost as if I can’t get out of my own way.
It’s Sunday afternoon. I’m still in a miserable mental funk. And I have to break out of it somehow. Any way possible.
Well, it’s either sit and watch a Bar Rescue marathon… or grab my camera gear and go take some pictures.
The sun is shining… the temperature is warm…
Sorry, Jon Taffer, unless you’re doing a makeover on the Elbo Room or the Ruck, you’re going to have to curse some tavern owner without me watching. I grabbed the Nikon Df camera and went for a drive.
Along the Sacandaga Lake.
There’s some snow on the ground. Even though it feels like 55 degrees outside, the roads are bordered with snow drifts.
Gotta keep driving. Galway. Providence. Edinburg.
Yeah. The Copeland covered bridge in Edinburg. And if I hurry, there might be some good sunlight to shoot with.
And just as I crossed the bridge that spans the Great Sacandaga Lake…
The sun started dipping behind the trees.
Well, the first time I ever saw this bridge was two years ago, and I tried photographing it with my newly-purchased Hoya ND400 neutral-density filter. Those pictures didn’t turn out so well, but the photos did lead to one of my award-winners, Poestenkill Cascade.
So let’s see what this bridge looks like with an ND filter blurring the water.
Fantastic. This is just what I’m looking for. Okay, time to drive home and –
Forget that. I’ve got the ND filter on the camera, and this is my Nikon Df weapon. It’s time for me to get that long-exposure shot I’ve been dreaming about.
I set up the camera and tripod inside the covered bridge, aiming through the one window that gives a great view of Beecher Creek Falls. If I can frame this the right way… I can get…
Did I just get this photograph?
I can’t stop now. No way can I stop now.
How about a few shots outside of the covered bridge? Maybe a shot like this…
That’s what I’m talking about. Yeah. Fist pump.
I looked around the creek shore. There were a couple of sheets of ice bordering the water. If I could get close enough to the falls’ cascade…
Okay, Chuck. Remember a few things. You and shorelines aren’t always compatible. So far in the four-plus years of this blog, I’ve almost fallen into the Atlantic Ocean, I’ve frozen my feet in subzero weather, and I nearly sailed out with the tide at the Bay of Fundy. In all those moments, however, I’ve put together award-winning pictures.
I stepped onto the ice sheet. I felt some crackle under my sneakers. You know something? My past few days have been more scrambled than six eggs in a blender. I can’t be timid now.
Take the picture, Chuck. Stop yapping and start snapping.
Damn. Damn that feels good. That ND filter is perfect for blurred waterfall effects. Yeah yeah yeah!!!
Okay… I’m on this ice sheet that’s probably about five minutes away from melting or breaking. It’s me, my camera and a tripod.
And at that moment in time, I had three options. I could either:
(A) Get off the ice sheet before I fall to my death.
(B) Get off the ice sheet before I fall to my death.
(C) Get off the ice sheet before I fall to my death.
And in the end…
I chose Option D.
And Option D was to get off the ice sheet before I fall to my death… but not before at least getting one swank panorama photo.
And I got the swank panorama photo.
That’s the way it’s done. Even in my darkest moments, when I think that everything in my world has come crashing down…
I can still find salvation in these photographs.
And even in these chilly moments, I can recall Scripture. Specifically, Proverbs 25:13, with the verse: “As the cold of snow in the time of harvest, so is a faithful messenger to them that send him: for he refresheth the soul of his masters.”
This is what it took. A proverb from King Solomon. My weary soul needed a cool change. This is what it took to get me out of this nasty, depressing, hurtful feeling. A change of attitude, a change in temperature, a drive somewhere with nothing more than trying to find a way to believe in myself once again.
You know at least one of these pictures is headed toward competition season. And if it doesn’t win a ribbon, then –
Um… did someone hear something cracking, like maybe…
Oh, I don’t know…
Okay, Miller. Slowly… steadily… get back to the side of the road.
It took a few moments… but I made it back safely to the road. So did my camera and my tripod.
And, as you can see from the photos that are attached to this blog post…
So did my self-worth.
Yeah, I still have demons to fight. I will fight them until my last breath is inhaled.
But I’m not fighting with the opinion that I’m already losing.