Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Every Fifteen Steps

I began the story of my trip to Garvan Woodland Gardens in last week's post. I went to the gardens with a list of intentions: things to photograph for four classes I am taking.

Mission #2

This exercise was for a class I'm taking called A Year With My Camera. It started with the basics of taking your camera off automatic and then moved forward into light and composition. Most of those first lessons were things I knew, but it never hurts to review. The lesson for this past week was a creative one. She gave us several options to pick from. I chose to go on a photo walk taking a picture every fifteen steps. 

As you can imagine a photo walk through a garden would bring endless possibilities of photos every fifteen feet. Knowing that, I chose to take a woodland path where there weren't many flowers blooming.

Sometimes as I stopped I had to look very closely to find something interesting to photograph. This lesson was not about taking amazing photos. It was not about learning our camera. It was about looking closely, what I call seeing. It was teaching us to let our eyes slowly scan the area instead of taking a quick look and snapping the shutter at the first pretty view.

I took a total of sixteen pictures for this exercise. My last steps brought me back to a paved path that led to the welcome center. And who was there to welcome me back? George, the peacock greeter! He's been at the gardens for several years. Last year he was alone, but this year he has two peahens to keep him company and oh, how he loved to show off his feathers for them! He was the perfect ending to my photo walk!

"We look at the world and see what we have learned to believe is there.
We have been conditioned to expect . . .
but, as photographers, we must learn to relax our beliefs."
~ Aaron Siskind


  1. I love the idea of taking a photograph every 15 steps. It would really make me look for interesting things, instead of just the big obvious things.

  2. I so enjoy your posts, Cathy! If we just slow our lives down a bit, just imagine all the beauty we would see around us. Wonderful photos from the simplest fern fronds to that glorious peacock :)

  3. I think you found some great things to photograph. I love the fuzzy caterpillar, the fish and George.

  4. Fabulous photos Cathy! I especially like the ones with shadows but they are all wonderful. A great lesson to learn too - see what you are looking at!

  5. That first photograph is just beautiful, Cathy. I like the way you have gone about this exercise of noticing something particular every fifteen steps. I love the shadows of the ferns on the rock and how you've zoomed in with your attention and camera to the tiniest of lovely details, like the furry caterpillar and the pine cone in its little nook! George, of course is the perfect ending to your lovely walk!!

  6. All of your photos were so revealing. I liked the idea of 15 steps because you did have to look seeing all that was there.

  7. This is a lovely post, and how funny... I have just been at Garvan Woodland Gardens not very long ago. We have a house in the vicinity of that . It is such a beautiful place to visit and you are right, the photo ops are unlimited. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos and hope you enjoy your class!

  8. WoW!!! what a great exercise!! your first and last images are outstanding!!!

    and i must add how brave i think you are. i never take my camera off auto and i never push myself to learn more. i so admire that you do!!!

  9. Yours is the second reference I've seen to A Year With My Camera, so out of curiosity I googled it. I was surprised to learn the weekly lessons are available free! Nothing like jumping into the middle, but I signed up anyway and I can't wait to get started. Thanks for the inspiration, as well as for your beautiful photos.


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