Motivation is a photography blog that discusses the creative aspects of photography. The posts will include thoughts about images and their interpretation, photographers and their work, technique, workflow, my ongoing projects, and perhaps even the occasional off topic rant.

A Lesson Learned

Two weekends ago I went out to do some photography in Moraine State Park.  Moraine is one of several parks that are about an hour or so from Pittsburgh and which I go to frequently for photography.  The creative muse was, however, not with me that day and I seemed to be driving around unable to find anything to photograph.  I had turned around and started on my way back home with nothing but a few forced shots on my card when, before I exited the park, I happen to see a small side road that usually had a shut and chained gate saying "Road Closed".  Today, the gate happened to be pulled wide open.  Not really expecting much, I decided to turn onto the road and see what was there. From a road standpoint the answer was 'not much'.  It was actually more of a long driveway to a parking circle than a road.  I suspect it is usually closed because it is only meant for official park vehicles.  But it did run through a field/meadow that had some amazing red grasses growing that gave the field a special feel and appearance.  In the middle of the field was an isolated small tree with leaves that were already turning yellow, despite the fact that it was still August.  I had noticed this tree from the main road but, because the tree was on a small hill,  there was no way to photograph it without a bland grey sky as the background.  From this new vantage point on the road that was usually closed, I could shoot downhill towards a backdrop of green trees, which contrasted nicely with both the yellow leaves and red grasses.

I could have easily left and missed making this photo, which I particularly like.  Sometimes we are given a gift at the last second....this one made the trip worthwhile!

The experience made me recall what my teacher, the late Nancy Rotenberg, used to say.  She would always remind us to "take whatever gift you are given".  It seems fitting that her lesson came back to me on what was approximately the one year anniversary of her passing.

Yellow Tree

Copyright Howard Grill