Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

F-4 Phantom

F-4 Phantom
F-4 Phantom

Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Transition of Seasons

Over the years I have spent a great deal of time exploring and photographing natures best offerings through every season. Unfortunately, there are times I allow moments to drift away becoming potential moments of discovery that are allowed to go undiscovered, lost for inexcusable reasons.

There is a campfire-like flame constantly glowing within me seeking to discover what is new photographically and in life. Circumstances and events will at times cause that flame to grown dim almost like the dying embers of a campfire as they cool in the wee hours of the morning. Even so, it is a spark that has never grown completely cold and only requires the gentle puff of encouragment and a fresh feeding of kindling from life to fan itself into a burning flame again.

Some of my finest photographic moments have played out after a rekindling of that flame. Maybe that is why I love it so much when a change is in the air as it seems to regenerate a yearning to get out again. The most enduring opportunities seem to always materialize during those transitional moments when the old tapers away to blend into the new. Life is also full of transitional seasons, seasons where change engulfs us, molds us, and offers to lift and carry us a bit farther down an uncertain road. Uncertainty, the catalyst driving so many decisions, yet somehow we manage. Photography in so many ways parallels life in negative and positive ways. Photography is not like life where mechanics and well established settings and techniques render good results. Photography is like life where constant adjustments to fit the ever changing situations that face us are required and applied. Unfortunantly, life does not have an AUTO setting which is probably a good thing, but it does have PRIORITY settings. Once we learn how to apply Priorities, well things tend to fall into place most of the time, at least until the next crisis arrives. But, having gone through it before tends to moderate the negative effects.

Even so, there are times I need to walk into a field near sundown to simply stand and absorb the sky, the breeze, the warmth of the sun, and most of all, the feeling of belonging as natures grandest canvas is painted in slow motion around me. Doing so tends to create a rejuvenated measure of anticipation and excitement. As I walk away from those moments I am compelled to wonder how often it is when everyday the veil of a changing daily seasons unfold, and we simply let it happen without ever noticing. Too often I would imagine.

Maybe too, that is why I so often point my camera in the direction of those approaching and ending seasons, to capture how the impact of their arrival and exit affects my vision of natures beauty and lifes challenges. New seasons arrive full of bluster and bravado. It is a change where at first it feels great, yet somehow as the last days of the previous one struggle to transition into the next, we're ready to move on tempered with anticipation for something new. The Good Lord understood exactly why we need to experience a change of daily and yearly seasons and he provided ample merging opportunities to add variety and enchantment to our lives.

I am encouraged even by the decline and death of a previous season for I know what follows is the renewal and birth of a new one. Photographing those transitional times through the year is like capturing random moments of a life with all its hopes and dreams intact, still to be fullfilled, still to find a path toward another new yet to be discovered revelation.

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