“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be,” has sadly become trite, warm fuzzy, greeting card mush. The very powerful rest of the Robert Browning stanza from Rabbi Ben Ezra is usually ignored. It reads:
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in His hand
Who saith “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!”
Despite dealing with chronic pain (from moderate to severe depending on the day), I have found my latter years to be the best. I am able to celebrate me, be at peace with the world, enjoy life, and not give a d#%# what others think. Those I love have grown more dear. My senses have been heightened to the grandeur of creation. My trust in God is deeper. In short, my dotage is a delight.
What has this to do with my photography? When I first look at my pictures I delete the ones I dislike for technical or composition reasons. I print or publish the ones with which I am satisfied to have my name connected. There are often some pictures in the middle; I don’t hate them, but I am also not quite satisfied with them . . . yet. I often “grow old” with these photos and go back to view them again and again. Some I delete with the passage of time. Others I grow to understand, discover anew and “see all” (or at least what I find meaningful to me).
Here are a few images that I have grown into with a brief explanation of what finally captured my pleasure.
Amish Harvest captured my delight when I converted it to a black and white image. Thirty years ago I only shot black and white and sometimes I return to that love. I think black and white both honors the simplicity of Amish life and brings a healthy contrast to the picture,
This picture also jumped out at me more in the contrast of black and white. The picture was shot at a rather slow shutter speed due to low lighting conditions. Because of that the white extensions from the seed have a glimmering quality that I like.
This was a nice, but “not yet” picture until I saw it in black and white. The detail in the concrete wall along a bridge over a pond contrasted with the water and water images in a way I liked.
This picture grew on me as I became happier and happier with the composition. What I liked (and appreciated) more and more were the diagonal lines that drew attention to the unseen.
Hope you enjoyed my musings and the photos. I also hope you are growing old well.