Oct 28 2015

Beyond Seeing

SC 10-15 5Nature is a place rich with beauty and experiences. Recently, I traveled and photographed with Chuck taking a cross section of California on a course from east to west from the Eastern Sierras to the Pacific Ocean. We saw desert, mountain tops, brilliant fall color, snow, heat, small but ancient trees, giant trees, flat farmland, rolling grassland, and ocean. This showed us an amazing sampler of God’s creation.

Eastern Sierras and Alabama Hills, Lone Pine, CaliforniaBefore the trip, I had been reading a book by Patrice Vecchione, Step Into Nature: Nurturing Imagination and Spirit in Everyday Life. I have quite enjoyed reading this book. In the book, the author encourages us to connect deeply with nature in many ways, including through all of our senses.

So I decided to deliberately do this as I photographed. I felt the wood of the ancient bristlecone pine and smelled their needles. I listened to the silence of the mountain where the bristlecone lived. I felt the lichens growing there (I had no idea that they were so rough!).

SC 10-15 2 SC 10-15 4I knelt in snow and felt it’s cold and wet. I sat on a volcanic rock in the desert and felt the huge difference in temperature from sun to shade. I heard the silence of the desert. I knocked on a giant sequoia tree and understood the thick insulation of the bark. I heard the gentle sounds of a morning forest.

SC 10-15 3I felt, smelled, and heard my way across the state while also seeing scenes and subjects to capture with my camera. Connecting with nature in this way may or may not have affected what I photographed, but it definitely affected how and what I saw. Plus it slowed me down and really made me feel part of each location.

God has given us an amazing world to celebrate and connect with. By going beyond the obvious that we see with our eyes, by touching, feeling, smelling, listening, we can encounter a richer experience with God through His Creation.

– Rob