My sister-in-law, Falguni, and I have been trying to organize some local hikes. We have many nearby trails in our area. We had planned for late October but the timing was not right. Last Saturday it rained most of the day and Sunday we had a family event to attend. The sun eventually came out later in the day but by then the ground was soggy so we postponed to today. Bhavana, my nephew Rohan and his grandfather decided to come along as well.
We decided to walk the Mountain Lakes Nature Preserve. Bhavana and I had walked it before with the kids and had promised to come back. We walked along the red path toward Mountain Lake. My nephew seemed excited to be outside. He asked a lot of questions about where we were going and what he would see.
The park is a 75-acre natural area located just outside Princeton. Access to the park is via Mountain Avenue which is just off Bayard Lane/Van Horne Road when coming via Route 206. The park is a favourite for family walks, birding, and fishing. In the early 1980s, it was purchased by Princeton Township and is preserved as open space. The preserve has two lakes one of which is pictured above.
I brought my Nikon D5100 with me along with my Manfrotto tripod but after a few captures, I realized I preferred snapping images with my iPhone 6. Setting up the tripod and composing the shot took time. It was quick to pull out my iPhone 6, slide up to activate the camera, and snap! Eventually, I just carried the tripod on my shoulder and captured all these images with my iPhone.
When my nephew and his grandfather sat down on the bench to take a break from walking, I immediately thought about what capturing an image that told a story about a boy and his grandfather. It was only later at home while reviewing the images in Lightroom that I realized that my nephew was holding a leaf.
A few weeks ago, when I looked out the window and saw the light fog hanging over the area, I knew I needed to hurry. I quickly assembled my diabetes kit, bolus for my liquid breakfast of Soylent, packed my TimBuk2 messenger bag, grabbed my iPhone 6 and Nikon D5100 and headed out the door. The tripod was already in the car.
Driving along Blue Spring Road I noticed that the colour start to appear in the sky. A sort of reddish-orange. I headed toward Carnegie Lake intending to capture images of the fog over the lake. But as I pulled into the parking area I knew I had to do something else. I mounted the iPhone 6 on the tripod and set about capturing some images.
After a few long exposure shots of the lake with Slow Shutter Cam I tried something new. I put myself in the image. I have only done this one time before. I knew I had to stand still to reduce ghosting since I set the shutter speed to 60 seconds.
But as I stood there counting down the second I forgot about the image. The camera had long ago captured the image but still I stood there. Not moving. Just enjoying the scene before me. The air was crisp. For 60 seconds, no cars passed by on Route 27. For 60 seconds I could hear the sound of the lake water lapping against its bank. For 60 seconds I could hear the birds call out to each other across the lake.
Shinrin-yoku is a Japanese term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere” or “forest bathing.” shinrin-yoku.org
One of the things I enjoy about photography is helpful and encouraging people I have come to know over the years. Some have become good friends and while many more are acquaintances, I always enjoy an opportunity to meet and connect with other photographers. One of my favourite activities is the photo walk.
It’s been almost 9 months since my friend Prasanna and I decided to put together a last-minute photo walk. The weather was changing and the colours of autumn were everywhere. We wanted to catch some fall colour before the leaves all turned brown.
Our plan was simple. Walk until we find moving water.