Reaching into Reality

Tree Light

There are moments in our lives … when we seem to see beyond the usual – become clairvoyant.  We reach then into reality.  Such are the moments of our greatest happiness.  Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom.  …

At such times there is a song going on within us, a song to which we listen.  It fills us with surprise.  It fills us with purpose.  We marvel at it.  …  These moments are the pinnacles of our experience, and it is the desire to express these intimate sensations, this song from within, which motivates the masters of all art.

~~ Robert Henri, The Art Spirit

 

Anza-Borrego Desert

Cherish Your Own Emotions

fonts-point-iv

“Fonts Point IV” at Anza Borrego Desert, California

“You have to make up your mind to be alone in many ways. We like sympathy and we like to be in company. It is easier than going it alone. But alone one gets acquainted with himself, grows up and on, not stopping with the crowd. It costs to do this. If you succeed somewhat you may have to pay for it as well as enjoy it all your life.

Cherish your own emotions and never undervalue them.

We are not here to do what has already been done.”

— from “The Art Spirit” by Robert Henri

Denali National Park

Having returned from a trip to photograph the majesty of Denali National Park, I sat down to write a piece to go along with the posting of a photograph.

Yes, I have photographed Denali, but how can I possibly write about it?

I could take the angle of humor.

About how my wife imagined that our ride into and out of the park for 12 hours and 185 miles round trip was going to be on a luxury tour bus with huge windows and a glass rooftop and on-board restroom and a gourmet lunch and hors d’oeuvres, when it was actually only a repainted school bus.

About how the bus driver, who was also the tour commentator, kept repeating himself and constantly telling us to buckle our seat belts.

About the 15 or so stops where someone on the bus would shout “STOP!” when they thought they saw a bear, actually showed up as a slightly moving brown dot some ¾ mile from the road.

About how when we got to Reflection Lake, the water was rippled and the top half of the mountain was hidden by clouds, and the bus driver said, ”This is called Reflection Lake, but today it is just ‘Lake’”.

Vast and High

“Vast and High” – Denali National Park

But instead of humor, I want to write about the beauty, and yet how can mere words do it justice?

My puny photographs try to do it some justice in this pitifully limited thing we do with our cameras and software.

I try by taking several images and merging them together into a wide panorama, with the only way of indicating the scale of the scene is by including a small bit of road in the corner of the frame.

Nearing Denali

“Nearing Denali” – Denali National Park

I am perplexed knowing that my making a photograph takes what I love and have seen in person, and shrinks it.  I have made the beauty smaller.

But also, I have made it possible for me to see it again, here on my phone or my computer or in a print on my wall.

By creating a photograph, I have made it possible to be reminded of that day and that sight by my image of it.  And, I have made it possible, in some small way, to let the viewers of my art in on something they may never see in person.

Come on Up and See Me Sometime

“Come on Up and See Me Sometime” – Denali National Park

And not seeing it in person is a fact of life.

We cannot go and see everything because of the limits of time, money, health, access.

Someday, there will be fully developed VE (virtual experience) technology that enables one to visit almost anywhere in the world, by simply driving over to a VE Realitorium and buying a ticket.  VE will allow us to “feel” like we are climbing around the hills beneath the mountains of Denali, “feel” the gentle breezes of walking through low-lying clouds, “smell” the scent of pine trees.

All without having to ride a school bus on a one lane road 92 miles in, 6 hours in and 6 hours out, driving 2 hours from Fairbanks to the Denali Park entrance, flying 12 hours from Chicago to Seattle to Fairbanks, fiddling and searching the internet to make airline reservations and bus reservations and hotel reservations, and spending  the money to pay for all this.

So yes, God bless technology and the artists and creators of it.  If they can create a VE Denali Trip — the views and smells and sounds of this beautiful place – and I can have it by simply hopping over to our local VE Realitorium, I would definitely do it!

Until then, I will enjoy my humble photographs, and those of other photographers, bringing me the beauty of these wondrous places.

Enjoy more images of Denali in the North America Portfolio.

Denali Fall Color

“Denali Fall Color” – Denali National Park

Tree-riffic!

Light Swept

Light Swept

If you’d like to experience a Magic Kingdom, but don’t have the time, money, or patience to fly to Disney World, then this is for you — the TREE ILLUMINATION display at Morton Arboretum in Lisle IL.  See their website to order tickets online.

For sharp photos, I’d recommend using a tripod, especially since your shutter speeds will be longer than usual.

And no need for “light painting” — the arboretum supplies all the lighting and music!

Click on the thumbnails below to see full-size images from this enchanting photo shoot.