I’ve often wondered what a walk through the gardens would literally mean for me; I mean, I’ve never consciously gone out to go for a walk through the gardens because I usually go primarily to photograph them. When I think of it as that, it sometimes strikes me as a foreign concept because I usually think of it as an English thing to do, not really a North American thing. Why do I think that? I honestly have no idea why, but it just does. When I think of a walking tour, it comes across as an English thing as well, which probably comes from my repeated reading of C.S Lewis’ Out of the Silent Planet…A great book by the way.
The above photograph was taken on one such walk through the gardens; while I usually set out on a walk through these gardens to take photographs of these gardens, this time it was more of a walk through the gardens than just photography. This time around, it was more just focused on walking through the gardens and capturing what caught my eye instead of the usual hunting for images; I did have some ideas of where to walk to find photographs, but I soon discarded those for a more generalized direction, putting aside a plan of where to go. Sometimes I find that a relatively aimless walk allows me to loosen up and let my mind ease into something than forcing it to see something that might not be there; the difference is usually quite minute (like it was this time) and barely noticeable, but it’s there. As for refining the original image, it was the usual contrast (local & image-wide), noise & saturation adjustments done slightly; I’m not one for doing drastic adjustments. In this kind of shooting atmosphere, the vision for each shot isn’t as set as I would usually have it, making it a bit looser, but more centered on feel than usual.
So I’m left wondering what a walk through the gardens really means for me, besides walking through relatively aimless without a planned path. I think, now that I’ve really gone through it, it means that I’m walking through those gardens, enjoying them for what they are, soaking up the entirety of them…And I’m doing it not just to make myself feel like I’m someone great, but doing it to ease my mind. This time, there was a bit of a planned route, but a much less rigid one than I’m usually used to. It’s about letting the gardens themselves inspire me instead of trying to purposefully make, or produce, something that inspires. Sometimes, inspiration works both ways and it can really help us slow down to see that there’s more than our little materialistic world that matters.