Breathe. Focus. Just look through the lens. Don’t let them get away. Click! Yes! Cool deer shot.

Okay, just take the picture. You’ll get it. It’s fine. Click! Dammit. Well, that proves it: there’s no way to capture a picture of birds. Damn speed racers, that’s what they are…

Ah… This is a nice change of pace. Don’t have to worry about shutter speeds when none of the subjects move. Okay, I can do this. Landscape photography is where it’s at! Click! Click! Click!!!

 

 

 

 

Every time I look into the lens of my camera and see a landscape or nature shot looking back at me, I breathe a lot easier. There’s a whole stretch of land that isn’t going anywhere. Those trees? They won’t just pick up and move. Sure, the wind might rattle their branches a little, but that’s a far cry from uncooperative birds who move at the slightest sound. In landscape and nature photography, I can use my camera and my body (as opposed to someone else’s) as instruments to change the shot in any way I want. It’s therapeutic, really.

Most of the landscape/nature shots I’ve included in this post were taken at local parks. I walked around and just did my thing for a while – took pictures, sipped coffee, etc. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more grounded than when I was exploring these places. Even when it was only 40 degrees outside when I was walking around one of the parks, I felt like I could stay there forever.

The people who are close to me have been noticing that lately I’ve been going through more periods of emotional stress. I’ve been really happy most days, but there are days that I just feel so strung out and weighed down. These kinds of emotional twists and turns have been plaguing me since I was a teenager in the early years of high school. I can get pretty good at hiding them (which I know isn’t a skill I should necessarily be proud of).

But I don’t have to hide my emotions when I step into the world of parks and nature and animals. I can be myself – stress and all. It might sound depressing – a single person traveling around the woods reflecting on all of the things that make them feel sad or hurt or emotional. But oftentimes, the process of reflecting on those things and being able to do what I love at the same time will help balance me out. I come back from those explorations and photography journeys feeling refreshed and mellow and much happier in general.

I guess what I’m saying is that, yea, I have my days. But photography is a medium that requires you to get closer to yourself – to walk through your locations alone and give yourself time to think through life. It’s a beautiful feeling – one I hope to maintain through practicing what I love.

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