When there's Nothing to Photograph...

... open your eyes in order to see... a bit of trite advice that is more easily written than it is to follow. 

Having traveled extensively to make images, it can be difficult to find inspiration when we work close to home. Shooting in Costa Rica is like painting a giant mural with an infinite palette, so much potential and so many choices. As I readied myself for a pre-dawn walk into my Minnesota woods, I felt disappointed with my options. 

No,... there are not any bromeliads to find here.
No,... we don’t have blue morpho butterflies in the forests.
No,... probably can’t find any monkeys or sloths today.
No,... the ocean is a 3,000 mile walk... no time for that.

The sun was breaking through the clouds, and I did not want to lose the good light. Tamarack Nature Center is an “oasis” lying within Minnesota’s suburban sprawl. The acreage of land includes restored tall-grass prairies, oak savanna, and mid-successional forests. On any given morning, a hiker might see deer, fox, turkey, owl or the occasional raccoon. Today I saw smattering of wildlife as I tried to force some photographic inspiration. At first my mind wasn’t into it, but as I lost interest and I remembered why I do this photography thing.

It’s about nature and being there. Photography is my way of “experiencing” nature. The pressure was off, I opened my eyes, and I began to see.

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