Posted by: kerryl29 | July 14, 2010

Back in the Saddle

After a long hiatus–roughly six months–I finally all but forced myself to return to the field, camera in tow in April of this year. The spring bloom in the Midwest was a couple of weeks earlier than usual and, fighting inertia, I pushed myself to get out to the Morton Arboretum, which is less than 20 minutes away from my base in DuPage County, Illinois. The weather wasn’t particularly conducive to good photography that day–it was chilly, overcast and, most problematically, windy.

But the day had a kind of now-or-never feel to it; if I didn’t get my behind out and spend some time in nature with my gear that day, I might never do so again.  Or so it seemed to me at the time.


Daffodil Glade, Morton Arboretum, Illinois


I didn’t do much shooting that afternoon; I think I shot something like a half-dozen unique compositions.  (I looked at a number of others but rejected them.)  And I can’t say that I was all that thrilled with anything that I did produce that day.  Some of the images seemed okay to me, but none were special, in my opinion.  (A few of the shots I took that day accompany this entry.)  So it wasn’t a very productive afternoon.


Crowley Marsh, Morton Arboretum, Illinois


And yet…in a sense, this may have been the most important day of my photographic life.  A bit of a paradox, no?

Among the things I learned that day was the fact that nature photography, apparently, is like riding a bike:  though I hadn’t handled the camera in months it was as though I’d been using my gear on a daily basis.  There was no discernible transition.

Less tangibly, but far more importantly, I learned–or, perhaps, reminded myself–that nature photography is more than something I do sometimes; it’s part of who I am.  That was the really consequential part of the day’s lesson.


Flowering Trees, Morton Arboretum, Illinois


As a function of all this, I didn’t have to push myself to return to the field as the spring unfolded.  I wanted to get out there, and did so, as April lapsed into May and continued to do so even as spring morphed into summer–normally a fairly light shooting time for me.

I haven’t traveled for photography at all in a full year, which is unfortunate, but I’ve tried to make the most of the situation with numerous day trips in Illinois and Indiana over the past three months or so.  (I’m hoping to get the chance to take a short photo trip in the fall, but that remains up in the air.)

All that was left to complete the journey back was to update this blog–something I hadn’t done in six months.  With the posting of this entry, that task has been fulfilled.  I can say with certainty that the next blog update won’t be nearly as long in coming.

‘Til next time…



  1. […] Most Prideworthy – Let’s go with the entry that ultimately proved that the blog had staying power (it was my first post in six months at the time):  Back In the Saddle. […]

  2. […] up photography entirely.  I descended into a deep photographic funk for roughly six months before finally extracting myself from it in April of 2010.  So what was the epiphany?  Read […]

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