Stone Preparedness

Submitted to Bloom
Uploaded 7 Jul 2010 — 1 favorite
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© Joshua Ball
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Photo Info
UploadedJuly 7, 2010
TakenMay 30, 2010
Exposure1/100 sec at f/9
FlashNo Flash
Focal Length100 mm
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Photo license: © All rights reserved

As I approached a small garden framed by high hedgerows, I noticed the stone angel in this photograph. The late afternoon sun was casting some interesting shadows across the surface of the sculpture. The stone itself was discolored and pitted from years of exposure to the elements. To me, the angel’s face looked filled with sadness and it made me feel slightly uncomfortable. The discoloration across the cheek resembled tears and I instantly found that the scene moved me in some unexplainable way. When I bent down to take an eye-level shot, I noticed the violet and burgundy flora in the background. It was late May and none of the plant life seemed to be in full bloom. The same can be said for the violet flowers hiding in the background of this image. Since it has been almost a month since this shot was taken, I imagine the scenery has changed dramatically. Nevertheless, I feel that the delicate mixture of muted color in this photograph is just enough to give it some life. The focus is still on the stone angel, but the background color helps to “fill” the photo. If I tried to recreate this shot today, the amount of color in the background might be enough to effectively distract the eye from the sad angel’s expression.

As I began to really look at this photo, the blurred background began to symbolize the insignificance of preparedness as it pertained to the image. I feel that if I went back to the same location and shot this same photo tomorrow, the color contrast in the background would take away from the subject in the foreground, which is the true focus of the photo. As I walked around the garden that day, I kept commenting that we need to come back in the early summer when everything was in full bloom. At the time, I felt that the images that I was attempting to capture did not fully represent the serenity and beauty of the location. I figured I would have to return to the Toledo Botanical Garden and re-shoot everything. However, my perceptions have changed and I have come to realize that I like the image just as it is. While the flora wasn’t prepared to display its full beauty, the setting and the imagery within it was still strikingly beautiful.

We spend much of our lives waiting, watching, building and preparing for a particular moment or event; only to be let down when the moment fades away because it didn’t live up to our expectations.The spontaneous moments in life are often the most enjoyable. This photo further illustrates that reality for me as I learn to appreciate the the moment for what it is, not for what it could be. While there is always value in preparedness, we cannot allow it to take away from take away from the randomness of the present. If we suffocate the beauty of today by focusing on on the horizon, will we ever really find what we’re looking for, or will we constantly be looking beyond the present?

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