There is a drinking glass resting before me and if I close one eye and lean a little to the left and... up just a hair... then the ellipse of the glass` rim will line up perfectly with the round table top I can glimpse out on the patio. It is a completely instinctive activity, and something I have done since I was a child. I tend to keep this playfulness to myself and disguise my visual organizing as a casual shifting of position as I try to listen fully focused to a conversation ( with one eye closed!). I do this also on a grander and more complex scale while walking along a trail with my camera in my hand. The whole landscape is a constantly changing 3-D set of relationships which will sometimes marshal itself for me into a meaningful pattern and when it does I take it`s picture. Composition informed by a lifetime of visual organizing.
There is a deeper aspect to this that keeps me reaching past mere visual satisfaction: this is a form of meditation that, like for a patient fisherman, will be rewarded by a momentary removal of the veils that disguise the inner moods of reality. That sparkle beneath the overhanging arbutus tree where the gentle ripples of the ocean pass into the shadows: - just there, where light meets dark and twines together. Click! Further down the coast, two fir and arbutus trees line-up into relationship - a triangular composition that balances precariously but perfectly with the ripples on the sea`s surface. I move forward, a little to the right, hold my breath and... click! Oh, splendid world!
In March the pond is still frozen; the overhanging willow tree is delicately frosted in fresh snow. I am working beside it slashing out some brush from the roadside. A last thin beam of late afternoon sunlight filters through the alders and picks out one branch of the willow. Spectacular, but nothing stirs in my mind until I see the dark cross of cracked ice below the tree. I run for my camera but the sunbeam is gone by the time I get back but I don`t care because I have felt the subtle relationship between tree form and the dark slashed negative in the ice speak to me. It is even more obvious without the distraction of gaudy sunlight into this solemn shady place. I practically bow before I reverently take the picture. Click! - a thousand times, yes!.