Simple Nature

Submitted to Traditions
Uploaded 6 Apr 2010 — 3 favorites
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© Joshua Ball
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More of Joshua Ball’s Photos

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Submitted to Traditions

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Photo Info
UploadedApril 7, 2010
TakenApril 1, 2010
MakeCanon
ModelCanon EOS DIGITAL REBEL XSi
Exposure1/160 sec at f/10
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length100 mm
ISO100
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

It’s Walleye season in Northwest Ohio. Every year, thousands of fishermen line the banks of the Maumee River in an attempt to catch this large fish. The combination of rising waters from the spring run off and a rocky bottom make the Maumee river an excellent location for the fish to spawn. The walleye is well known in Northwest Ohio and Toledo recently named their new hockey team after the species.

While I am certainly not a fisherman, the pure chaos that results from so many people trying to catch “the big one” is well worth watching. Last week my brother Jeff (JeffBallPhotography.com) and I drove to a park in Perrysburg, OH and walked down to the river bank with our photography equipment. The sun was fast setting and we figured that the scores of fisherman might make for a good photo opportunity. I was actually a little surprised that there weren’t more people on the bank but it was getting late and I imagine that most of the “hard-core” fisherman had started early in the morning and were probably already home gutting their catch.

After 30 minutes of taking in the scene, Jeff noticed a young couple wading in the river away from the larger group of anglers. The sun began to go down over the horizon and the brilliant colors of the day’s last light were reflecting off the water. As the sun began to disappear, the couple’s profiles turned into dark silhouettes and we both began to try and capture an image that would do the scene justice.

As a developing photographer, I often try and use bracketed exposures to generate high dynamic range (HDR) images. This technique is evident in much of my work. While I love the images this technique produces, it cannot be applied to all of life’s photo opportunities. With that in mind, when I look at this image, I am reminded of the simplicity of it. When I took this photo, I simply adjusted my camera’s settings, knelt down and snapped a few shots. There was no need for bracketed exposures, fancy tripods, heavy digital editing or even an expensive lens.

It’s in our nature to over-think things, which often leads to unnecessary complication. Sometimes our inability to take things for what they are lead us to completely lose those things altogether. We essentially destroy the very things that we fight to preserve. There is a certain beauty in simplicity and a general acceptance in minimalism. I’ve ruined several photo opportunities by approaching them incorrectly and over-thinking the entire process. In our increasingly fast paced world, I think it’s important to periodically slow ourselves down and make a conscience effort to appreciate simplicity for what it is. Some of the most poignant moments in life are unscheduled, unsolicited, and undeniably simple in nature.

4 responses

  • William Moore

    William Moore gave props (9 May 2010):

    Wonderfully written and terrific photo of a great and good eating tradition

  • William Moore

    William Moore said (14 May 2010):

    back to vote

  • Shirley Valencia

    Shirley Valencia   gave props (29 Aug 2010):

    great shot

  • Devin Hayes

    Devin Hayes gave props (10 Sep 2010):

    brilliant. fantastic. great writing.

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