A Slipping-by Surface

There is a path of crepe paper leaves that brings you here to this creek. The air is filled with the sound of small waterfalls and the earthy smell of an autumn afternoon.

As I am watching the water ripple by, several things cross my mind.

I am reminded of a recurring childhood dream where images slide by at a slowed-down-film-strip pace, a pace that seems to match this water.

Slow undercurrents and a slipping-by surface.

As I make small adjustments in the lens the surface shifts in and out of focus. I think of a very old book on my shelf that is covered in time-worn marbled paper, marbled somewhat like the reflections the trees are drawing on the water.

Where you focus changes everything.

I pass by a small child, he has just crossed the creek by way of a big log and he warns me of the dangers. He is bright-eyed and grinning broadly.

It is always good to meet a kindred spirit.


ยฉ Karen McRae, 2012

67 thoughts on “A Slipping-by Surface

  1. I am awed each time I see your images. I cannot get over the use of line and color that you exhibit in your work. I am simply amazed that you can find so many variations on a theme using so many different subjects. I do hope that you have a show or a book planned that will allow an even greater number of viewers to see your skill and vision with your camera. It is always wonderful to see your posts; they are inspiring as well as beautiful. Please keep them coming.

    1. Nick, I sometimes worry that I am a bit boring with all my repetition, but this is my process of working, and it makes me exceptionally happy that you enjoy it as much as I do!
      Sincere thanks!

      1. I am reading the book “Art and Fear” at the moment and this is fear of repeating ourselves is something they talk a lot about. This is a universal concern of many of us as artists and art makers. We are so focused on our own growth and our art that we worry what “they” will think we are trying to show or say.

        I think the best thing to do is follow your own instincts and go down the path that bring you the most joy. This is what I attempt each time I frame a photo or process the final image but I admit that there is often a voice in the back of my mind that questions my decisions.

        I worry that somehow I will be pigeonholed as the guy who shoots nothing but landscapes, motorcycles, rusted automobiles, etc, the list goes on. The reality is that I am using my photography to express my vision of the world in the hopes that some of my images will resonate with my viewers and that they may see in my work a connection to their own feelings about the subject.

      2. You are absolutely right, it’s following your own instinct and intuition that makes your work your own.
        I haven’t read that book, I’ll look it up!

  2. If you observe in this way, you can see it in this way = may be the General Theory
    of Relativity —— from surface of water to far-away reflected image of tree.
    It must be the privileged view to the person who actually be there. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. It is always a privilege to be out in nature, I think. It’s quite meditative – there are times when I am watching the surface of the ripples where it seems a bit like watching a lava lamp!

  3. These reflection ones are just so beautiful. They’re so peaceful. And yes, focus accounts for so much.

  4. beautiful, Karen!! … and to share a smile: reg. reflection i found this quote (or quote of a quote maybe…) on the internet: “There are three methods to gaining wisdom. The first is reflection, which is the highest. The second is limitation ๐Ÿ™‚ , which is the easiest. The third is experience, which is the bitterest.” Confucius (well… sort of… ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

  5. Your work is absolutely exquisite. This series – in particular – reminds me of Japanese rice paper. Love what you do!

  6. Oh, BEAUTIFUL Karen! I could see you there and then a brief meeting with a kindred spirit. What a sense of place and yet no place, time and still no-time. So romantic as well! beautiful! ๐Ÿ™‚ xo

    1. Helen, it’s nice to know you wanted to come back for another look! They do seem rather silky, I have some others I may post that give that sense also. Thanks for your comments. ๐Ÿ™‚

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