As a novice photographing manually forces me to slow down and be more aware of the world around me. I get lost in the moment just before the shutter opens, a millisecond in which all my attention is focused on a single object.
Somewhat like Google Earth I often imagine zooming out from that small focal point seeing rivers, forests, lakes, and cities , turn into states, countries, and Earth as it is seen from space. Leaving the bounds of our solar system Earth becomes as Charles Sagan so well represented a “Pale Blue Dot“, a speck of dust within an expansive galaxy. In this context I hovered over some of the best preserved footprints of a long past dinosaur. Only the day before Lauren and I stood within a small cave washed out from the rock face of Palo Duro Canyons. Inside were walls of exposed rock strata, said to record a millennia of sediment.
That morning our campground had been visited by a rafter of turkey, which science tells us are the descendents of dinosaur. I couldn’t help but imagine Thanksgiving with a giant Dino-Turkey. Setting up this photo I adjusted the ISO, aperture, shutter, and focus. Yet before the shutter could open my “focus” was broken by a tour group. Packs of small children surrounded us like veracious wolves starving for information, assaulting parents with an endless barrage of questions. Tearing at every answer with a blood thirsty longing for more at the cost of sanity, peace, and all that is quiet and holy. I listened as parents attempted to explain creation and evolution. On a topic so entwined with conviction and religion I would rather share my sleeping bag with a Velociraptor than share my opinion. Some spoke of an earth created 6000 years ago, other an earth born of random explosion formed over hundreds of millions of years. Some assured their children that Dinosaurs had died long before man, others told a story which more resembled the Flintstones.I love the Flintstones, come on who doesn’t want a woolly mammoth dish washer, or a as pterodactyl door bell? Although these children were intrigued by facts regarding these “thunder lizards” they had no problem overlooking the conflicting and contradicting opinions. Sure we could write this off as naivety , but I believe children understand things I at some point forgot, and continue to forget. I often forget how to be amazed. In a world of endless information we categorize and compartmentalize, formulate, and extrapolate until there is nothing amazing. Every living thing can be reduced to carbon and molecular bonds, but that doesn’t negate its wonder. If one believes a divine “God” made the earth from nothing and man from dirt, yet another in “Evolution” does this difference in anyway change our since of amazement and wonder? The shifting hues of a painted sky as the sun sets upon a canyon wall is as music unto the soul. Knowing the refractive index of involved gases, mass of suspended particulate and the optic behavior of sunlight, makes it no less awe inspiring. To one a miracle to another science, but nature is a beautiful ballet of balance and harmony no matter how its categorized. An expanding Universe filled with countless galaxy’s full of stars, each a sun to another solar system surrounded by planets and moons. Yet, here we are upon our little “blue dot” so often focusing upon our differences. Stare out across the endless night sky and remember we have so much more in common than that which separates us.Or imagine a T-Rex making a bed if that doesn’t make you smile… I give up.. I’m going to watch Will Farrel’s “Land of the Lost” and wait on the hate mail…. cause this junk just got too serious for me. Feel free to click on any of these images and scroll through them in full size.