Atlanta weather has been beautiful the last few days. Mother nature has given us a slight abatement in the mornings from the brutal heat that has been our daily companion the last few weeks. And, if you happen to have access to a park where there is shade, the early evening has been a great time to get outdoors as well. A good, long walk is the best way to start and end a day lately.
Most of my friends and family know that my exercise of choice is walking and hiking in the woods at my nearby state park. Confession: I am not one of those who love to exercise. All it takes to know this about me is to look at me! I don't have a six-pack, I don't have guns, I don't haven't anything that is contoured or chiseled on my body. I exercise because it is healthy for me and I don't do it nearly enough. But I do love to walk and that's exercising I can do. But one thing about walking is that I am a self-professed fair-weather walker. I have absolutely no trouble walking when the weather is perfect. I know this probably constitutes someone who would not be considered a serious walker, but I promise you I am serious when it comes to walking -- most of the time. But I simply cannot walk in weather that is above 85 degrees with 90 percent humidity. I will walk in freezing temperatures hands down before I will walk when the heat is extreme. In fact, winter is one of my fave times to walk, when the earth is cold, cracked, and desolate. Plus, I can put on layers to stay warm. But in the heat of summer, the only way to be cool enough is to be indoors in the A/C or buck naked in a cool shower! Never have understood those who take really hot showers in summer or drink really hot coffee all day long in the middle of summer either. I also do not like walking indoors because it is extremely boring. I am easily bored and lap after lap around a gym is a snoozer for me. Get me outdoors and I am happy.
I do have one issue that distracts me however when I'm walking and it sometimes keeps me from getting the fullness of the benefit of my walk. I am a photographer. Being a photographer means that I stop every several hundred steps to photograph something that catches my eye. In my neighborhood, it's the pond and wildlife that inhabits the pond, hence my 10-million images I post of the pond. At the park, it's the lake, the woods, the natural habitat, the cabins, the campers, the canoes -- there's a huge number of things I consider photo-worthy to capture at the park when you're alone with nature and your camera. Sometimes I even photograph the signs, ha! Hence the other 10-million images of nature-inspired pics I post from my hikes at the park. I tell my walking partners (usually the hubster) to walk on ahead and I'll catch up, which I do. But I'm sure it's annoying at times to be my walking partner since I stop so much to take pictures. Oh, well, I am a photographer, you know.
I have gone to great lengths to capture the perfect picture. I have stepped into rushing water (with my shoes on), walked deep into the woods for an engagement session, laid on my stomach, crouched in the tall grass, stood on rickety items for a better view, braved wind and freezing temperatures, and various other things just to ensure that the image I want I am able to get. If you are a photographer -- professional, amateur, or just have a heart for photography -- you understand exactly what I'm talking about. Sometimes you have one opportunity to get a shot and that opportunity is gone in a flash (no pun intended!), so you gotta do what you gotta do when you gotta do it. Another thing you photographers out there will agree on is that sometimes you will take a picture of the same thing over and over until you get an image you really, really love. I have taken pictures of the pond behind my house many, many times because it always looks different -- the morning light on it, the evening light on it, the moon over it, the late summer grasses around it, the dry winter grasses around it, the geese in it, the geese waddling around it...if it has one look, it has a hundred looks. I tell the parents whose children I photograph that we may take a hundred pictures only to end up with 30 that are really exceptional. I guess you could call me a photo snob because I have thrown out hundreds of images that in my opinion were not perfect. What makes it perfect in my opinion? The right angle, the right lighting, the right expression, the right anomaly -- a hundred different things! When it comes to the perfect picture, "perfect" is totally subjective and beauty is truly in the eye of the beholder -- or the photographer in this case.
So here's to many more interrupted walks and hikes to get the perfect picture of Lord-only-knows what. Walking maybe shouldn't be interrupted, but walking can definitely be put on hold when it comes to capturing the perfect image. And the truth of the matter is I probably enjoy the photography opportunities that walking outside in nature affords more than the walking itself.
Yes, I think I definitely do. Way more. Absolutely more. A zillion times more. After all, I am a photographer first and a walker second. Or third...or fourth...or -- well, you know what I mean.
Posted by CC
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