Sunday, October 15, 2006
Beauty in a forgotten place
I went on a walkabout yesterday around lunchtime. The new camera gives me many built-in excuses to try it out, to grab snippets of the world around me in the name of learning my way around this strangely magical black piece of glass, plastic and technology. My wife, thankfully, is highly understanding.
My goal this time: A ravine near my house that's chock full of trees. My intent was to capture some brilliant colors before the whole works came tumbling down. I left the house with visions of coming home with scenes of spectacular yellows, oranges and reds.
As I meandered through the mucky path in search of my colorful prey, I couldn't help but notice the depth of leaves already on the ground. Unlike a city-owned park or a private lawn, this wasn't some pristinely cared-for, sprayed and raked stretch of grass. It was nature as it existed long before we came along.
In the end, I brought home some images that scored off the color charts. But it was this one that stuck with me; a forlorn leaf, sitting forgotten amid layers of other forlorn leaves, ignored by everyone who passes by in search of the more glamorous ones. An analogy of life, perhaps.
I snapped this one quickly. The light was iffy due to the still-thick canopy above and the thick cloud cover that occasionally and unpredictably gave way to brilliant sunshine. I didn't even bother with the tripod: I just stooped down, composed and shot. The image shouldn't have even come out. But it did, and I found myself staring at it on the camera's screen as I trudged the last couple of blocks back to my house. The yellows, oranges and reds may get all the headlines, but this is fall to me.
Your turn: Why are the plain janes of our world so much more interesting to contemplate than the debutantes? Why do the debutantes still garner the most attention? What does it say about us that this is so?