When I read a description that included the words old iron gates, columns and foundation remains, I had to visit Wormsloe Plantation near Savannah, Georgia. Arched stonework , hand-forged gates, and a live oak-lined drive didn’t disappoint. Standing over the foundation of the house, I barely heard the interpreter as I shot in lawn-sprinkler mode: turn, shoot pause, turn, shoot, pause….I had the rhythm but not the engagement. So I wandered off down a path toward the river. No tourists, no interrupted thoughts as I stood admiring the river. It had provided for those who had lived on the land for generations and vowed silently to continue.As I took notice of my surroundings I realized the still life in front of me , calm in the afternoon light , would recall the afternoon in a way that none of my automatic shooting could. I accepted the gift and made one shot.
Lately, as I have been reading about contemplative photography, which talks about receiving rather than making photographs, I have the example of that December afternoon to remind me.