Which Way?

The idea for a essay based on direction came from Cee’s Which Way photo challenge by way of Bulldog Travels: Dark Hedges.  After hours of reviewing old photos, I had lots to draw from because this is a subject that I am sensitive to as I shoot.

DSC_0953
Steps of the Phra Prang (Wat Arun, Bangkok, Thailand)

I find this fascinating because photographs lead us in so many ways.

DSC_0009
St John’s Parish Church (Barbados)

Straight lines provide a great symmetry in a photograph and can a lead you directly to the end.  They can provide all the answers.  There are no questions about “Where are we going?

Nelson Lakes National Park
Lake Rotoroa (Nelson Lakes NP, New Zealand)

Or they can lead you in but leave you with no path to follow.  The straight lines pull you in and point the way but how you get there is up to you.

DSC_0532
Emigrant Trail (Toiyabe NF, California, USA)

The way may be clear but it might be ephemeral.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
West coast of Barbados
Spring 2012_746
Fort Niagara (New York)

But, what happens when the straight lines offer you other paths?

DSC_0064DSC_0135 - Version 2And when straight lines aren’t really straight?  The way is clear but the path might be a little crazy.  I can only say that the wavy lines in these examples characterized the moments.DSC_0515

DSC_0308

What happens when the straight lines leave you wondering about the future?  They might lead you in but not give you an end.  Do you need the answer?

DSC_0911
Textile market (Bangkok, Thailand)

The straight lines of the architecture might point the way but have no bearing on the path available.

San Simeon_163
Piedras Blancas Lighthouse (San Simeon, California, USA)

Curving lines might lead you down a circuitous path with questions along the way but the answer is there. You know the endpoint, just not the path.

DSC_0772
Grand Canyon NP (Arizona, USA)

Then again, the way may be clear but you don’t want to know more.

DSC_0118
Between the islands of Ko Yao Noi and Ko Yao Yoi (Thailand)

One of the things that I love about boating or flying is that the way is clear but the path is not set.  Sure, there is a course or bearing but we are not necessarily walking in the exact footsteps of others.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Fort Hunter Liggett (California, USA)

When you are fighting a grass fire, the way is clear; you stay on the fire’s edge.  However, the path is ever changing.  One gust of wind and you could be racing in another direction.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Frisco, Colorado

Snowy days are a dogs best friend.  There is no correct way.  They don’t have to stay on the trail.   Their path from smell to smell is as circuitous as ours, picking our way through the forest.

15 thoughts on “Which Way?”

    1. Thanks!! Can you explain that to everyone here? They think that I am just sitting around; The dogs want to go for a run and my wife wants me to finish building the kitchen! The day is young. You know where to find me…in the kitchen (after our run).

      Like

  1. Peter, You have really outdone yourself on this one. The post is very Zen. I was staring at all of your words and photos trying to understand what they mean to you and what they mean to me. I love the choice of photos from all over the world. I have always admired the photo you use as your back drop from Lake Rotoroa. It is seriously spectacular. I love the composition and the foggy sense of mystery. I am also very partial to the front of the boat in Thailand between islands. It is peaceful and bright and gorgeous and makes me want to be right there. I also love the upward angle of the temple. I have been able to visit a good number of temples in Mexico and I always love to try and capture them with unusual perspective. And the dogs…you said it. They hop from smell to smell with priorities different than our own. Really excellent post again Peter. I am proud of you for getting out there and being a bit poetic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you!! And thanks for the inspiration; your photo of the tree lined drive got me started. Much of the meaning to me is capturing the sense of place and whether I can communicate those feelings. I hope I was successful.

    Like

    1. Thank you!! It was a fun theme to work with. The turtles were a slow motion traffic jam that were fun to photograph. As you can tell by my background, the picture of Lake Rotoroa is one of my favorites.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s