This morning I had to go to battle with the US Postal System and lost. I won’t bore you with details but to say that it cost us about $250 to have our mail forwarded for 4 months last year – and none of that was for postage. I was ready to explode when I hung up. I have a lot of self control but I got nasty with the supervisor I was speaking with – and apologized. I was so angry that I was afraid to open my mouth to answer her questions.
I don’t like being that angry – it uses up a lot of energy and it isn’t a feel-good emotion. Anger tells us we have been hurt and can motivate us to action. I was hurt but there is nothing more I can do so remaining angry only hurts my mind and body.
To dissipate this anger I decided to take a walk with my camera. I felt so foul I couldn’t even respond to the “good mornings” from other walkers. It wasn’t a good morning. My foul mood kept me from seeing anything of beauty to photograph. I found a few things but didn’t feel much joy as I clicked the shutter.
Then I saw it.
A small golden leaf hanging from a tree on a gossamer-fine spider web. I could see in my mind what I wanted my image to look like but I soon discovered that photographing this simple leaf was very difficult.
It moved in the slightest breeze.
Sometimes it swung so high I lost it against the tree background. It moved so quickly and was so small that the auto focus always hit on background so I couldn’t see the leaf in the viewfinder – I switched to manual focus. It worked better but this little piece of nature tended to moved out of the frame between focus and click. It also moved in and out of the light, and moved away from the best backgrounds.
I became very focused. I had to focus all my energy away from my anger and into capturing a little yellow leaf floating in space. I took lots of photos and most were really easy to delete – permanently. These three make me happy, especially the middle one. They aren’t as focused as I would like but I learned a whole lot about myself as a photographer and how I use my camera. Next time the images will be even better.