I've got a week and a half in upstate New York. I've been looking forward to this time, but I've also been nervous about it. There are a few reasons: being away from my computer (I have a beautiful iMac with a second monitor that I edit all my photos on. I spend more time with my computer than anything else - it's a huge part of the life as a photographer!), being so off the grid with no cell service and minimal wifi, and a little stress about family dynamics. I love my family and I love seeing them! I get nervous because I often become the 14 year old Whitney when we get together and the progress in becoming who I am as an adult goes out the window. It is interesting to step back and observe this! I am now Whitney, a professional photographer, and someone who loves learning, people, nature, and arts.
I’ve been here before, but I don’t feel like I’ve ever really SEEN it. My goal in photography is to show people what a beautiful world is out there and how to open their eyes to it. Well I’ve been here 3 times in the last 10 years and this week, I finally finally opened my eyes and saw it. We drove in at 4 am and I was exhausted. But I saw the room, the view of the lake, and the super moon that night, and I was so inspired that I couldn’t sleep, so I started hiking around with my camera. This photo above is the very first photo I took here. That's part of the magic in it for me. I enjoy looking through 100 photos and finding the best ones (I have 500 photos from this night, and others that I think are prettier) but when it is the very first exposure, it feels different. I often debate whether to post the photos that I connect most to or the photos I believe that you will connect most to. Today, this one is impactful to me and I wanted to share.
I stayed out for 4 hours running around the lake, finding reflections, in awe of the fog, and taking photos the whole time. It felt like a sacred space for me. For miles and miles, I was the only one awake. Except for a few animals - there were squirrels or chipmunks or something in the trees literally throwing pine cones at me. The grass was wet from the dew, and the moon was so bright. I lifted a beautiful old wooden canoe, much too heavy for one person, but somehow managed it and saw the sunrise from the water. It’s a large lake with a couple little islands, but I was there in complete solitude.
I watched the sunrise from the middle of the lake on a beautiful old canoe with fog surrounding me. Yes, I was brave and took my camera with me, just trusting that that the canoe wouldn’t tip. :) And it was worth it - The lake was golden, and I have never seen anything like it.
I feel I am finding a piece of myself out here. The beauty, the connection with nature, the lack of connection to technology. It's almost like a creative retreat. I have much to be grateful for today.