contemplative photography

A Walk in the Park

I went back to Dreher Island State Park this afternoon to walk with the camera. I’m still working through that post-winter funk. Although the morning was rather gray and cloudy, by lunch time, the sky was blue and there was gorgeous sunshine. I couldn’t help myself. I packed the camera and checked my playlist on my now obsolete Zune player. I added a couple of upbeat tunes, “Uptown Funk,” “Sugar,” and “Rock Bottom Blues.”


I had to give the playllist a name, so I’m calling it the “Fun Walking Playlist.” The selections do change according to my mood and my current “likes.”

I am a voracious reader. I have experimented with Amazon Unlimited, which allows the subscriber to download and read up to ten books at a time for free. I have to admit that I was a little disappointed that not every author that I enjoy reading is not part of the Unlimited program. Then I started seeing ads for Oyster Books, marketed as “Netflix for Books.” I signed up for the two-trial, and discovered more books that I wanted to read than I did on the Amazon plan. So, I cancelled Amazon Unlimited. I confess rather sheepishly that I love Barbara Cartland historical novels. And Oyster Books has them! I’ve already read/reread three of them.

But back to the topic—the walk in the park—I also found Susan Tuttle’s books, The Art of Everyday Photography and The Art of Everyday Photography Companion. I skimmed the first chapter, which has her tips for better photographs. The first tip is to shoot from the gut. She says to take the camera for a walk and take photographs of whatever strikes the photographer’s fancy, to take the picture without judgment. And that’s what I did. It’s like last week’s assignment: walk in a familiar place and take fifty images.  These assignments tie in with the idea of contemplative photography and looking at the world through a softer gaze.

Because it was a  beautiful day, I went looking for the emergence of spring. Now, I’ve grown up with southern pine trees all my life, and it’s not one of my favorite trees in the spring. Pine pollen is everywhere! But for the first time, I noticed the beginnings of the pine cones!


Some of those little cones are pink! I’ve never noticed that before.

The jasmine is beginning to bloom as well.


And the dogwood as well.


There were other things that caught my eye: the odd red leave on the ground—a spot of bright color,


last year’s pine cones,


and lichens growing on the side of the trees. Don’t you think this looks like the profile of an old gentleman overseeing the coming of spring?


I think I need to seek more opportunities to shoot from the gut.

By Olivia Fulmer

I am the OliviaIrene of OliviaIrene Photography. I am a photographer, a teacher, a story teller. I use this space to tell stories of life, family, and faith through words and images. I'd love to share your stories as well. Join me in this journey.

One reply on “A Walk in the Park”

I love conversation, the close, intimate kind amongst friends. Won't you join me? I look forward to a good coze.

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