Once I had made the decision to start this photography project I needed to put a stake in the ground to prove to myself that it was really going to happen. I used my next business trip to carve out a long afternoon outside, despite the fact that it was supposed to be just below freezing and cloudy. I had a park in mind with enough trails to keep me wandering for a while, but not specific destination in mind.
About half way through my hike I had taken many pictures with my phone, several that I thought could be good, but would need to go back and see on the big screen to really know.
The sun had come out and was melting slowly in places. I had just left the banks of a larger river when I started following the path of a little stream back up into the woods. Ice had been a big factor in the hike so far, but had proven difficult to take pictures of. As I came neared to the stream I noticed some incredible patterns in the ice. A layer of ice remained across the narrow width of the stream, but the water below had managed to keep flowing. Cycles of freezing and thawing had created intricate layers of winding lines that reminded me of clouds in a Chinese Ink painting.
One foot on either side of the stream, trying to get low enough that I could capture the image without losing my balance or blurring the image…wonderful. As soon as I saw this, even before taking the picture, I knew that I was on the right path.
This is exactly the sort of image that I had been trying to create in my own art, by hand, but nothing I would ever be able to pull out of my head would ever be able to match the complexity and subtlety of what I was seeing in person. I don’t need to be the one to create the image, but I can be the one to find it and show it to others.