The art of deleting

_MG_7199The snow is getting deeper and squeezing its way into my boots. I am seriously regretting leaving my ski pants in the truck but thankful my wife wore hers. She kindly makes a partial path in the snow. I’m concentrating on aligning my steps with her tracks while carefully scanning the forest around us. Neither is working particularly well.

I don’t know what I’m looking for but confident I’ll know when I see it. Photography can be a journey into the unknown – a search for elusive beauty. It’s a bit ironic that I now spend considerable time on this artistic side of life. It wasn’t always so.

Going way back to grade five, my art interest was negligible. I tried drawing horses but they somehow ended up looking strangely like pigs. With no satisfaction after a few attempts, I abandoned all hope and interest in what I knew to be art.

The rule in art class was that I had to draw one picture before I could read a book. I learned to quickly slap something together and get back to the wonderful world of fiction.

Suddenly my mind snaps back to the forest. I see the sun peek through the trees and hit the snowy forest floor. I found it! My wife wanders off as I raise my camera and try to determine the best composition. I have started the process of deleting.

Nature photographers start with a finished canvas and keep deleting until only the photo remains. I only need to see the beauty around me. That’s good because I’m pretty lousy at creating it. The problem with my grade five art class was that we started with a blank piece of paper.

I’m still learning the art of seeing. Sometimes that means not getting distracted by things like the cool feeling of snow melting in my boots.

I start heading back with a smile on my face. That was a beautiful spot. Now back to the truck and the safely stowed ski pants.


Latest Comments

  1. Inspired and pretty says:

    Two really beautiful photos. I love how you captured the sparkling snowflakes 🙂


  2. Scott Marshall says:

    top shot is wicked light and right moody lyle


  3. rachel bar says:

    What a great writer you are!


  4. artsifrtsy says:

    I really like that idea of “deleting” I studied drawing in college – the blank page takes more of out of you to fill with something good or worth looking at – with a camera all we need to do is put something inside the rectangle that is interesting to look at – it’s so right-brained that it’s almost instinctive. Nice post!


  5. Mandy says:

    Stunning photo; one of my favourites.


  6. Deb W. Trotter says:

    I relate to your thoughts on seeing rather than creating beauty. But what you cause your camera to see creates beauty for the rest of us. Thanks!


  7. Phil Lanoue says:

    At a quick first glance at your post title I thought it was going to be about deleting images. I guess it’s because I’m in that frame of mind I have three external hard drives that are getting full and I have to make room.
    I do agree with and appreciate your approach, I feel I often do the same out there in nature.


  8. melodylowes says:

    Incredibly real description of the process – ‘I’ll know it when I see it…’ The hunt for beauty takes so many forms – but it seems to satisfy a heart-hunger somewhere deep, and it drives us to create and capture or record what our soul finds beautiful – the Arts in a nutshell. Great post. (Now, can you delete the snow?) 🙂


  9. Kodiak My Little Grizzly says:

    Worth the wait… Looks wonderful!


  10. Audie Jean says:

    How true! We do not choose without rejecting what we haven’t chosen.


  11. Janet says:

    I like your description of “seeing” and “creating”. Years ago, when learning to see a potential image, I would always know right away what I DIDN’T want it to look like. I didn’t always know what I wanted right away, but by weeding out what I DIDN’T want, it became easier to identify what made it special. Thank you for sharing. As always you inspire me to think about creating images that stand out from the rest.


  12. vanbraman says:

    A good description of the process. Sometimes you have to really focus on your subject and let the surroundings be what they are. I sometimes visualize the background as a blank canvas so that I only see my subject and then worry about the whole picture later.


  13. LizzieJoy says:

    Lovely photo with gorgeous lighting. Thank you dear friend. Well worth getting damp feet for. Like you, I tried to draw horses when I was very young and then gave up trying to be creative, convinced I was no good. All these years later, and like you, I am enjoying the emergence of hidden talents. I wonder how many more of us there are? I also always wanted to be able to write, so that’s my next project. Bless you for lighting the way for me.


    • lylekrahn says:

      Thanks. I didn’t expect a fellow traveller on that indirect journey – perhaps there are others. All the best with your desire to add writing to the quiver!


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