San Juan Capistrano

Do you wonder where the lines on the map go?  What happens in those towns whose names dot the map?  What can be seen in the national and state parks that show up as green blocks on the roadmap or brown signs on the side of the highway?

Ever catch yourself looking at the horizon or a ridge line and thinking, “what’s beyond there?”

For some it’s a craving that’s hard to shake, wanderlust that gets under your skin and propels your feet in a direction that’s unknown to you.  People content to stay in one place with a solid connection to their community probably look at you and shake their head, puzzled that you’d find “over there” more satisfying than “right here.”

Probably doesn’t even have to be some exotic locale, right?  Simply needs to be somewhere else, some place new, a change of scenery (or for Buffett fans, a change of latitudes….) that compels action on your part.

I think a lot of photographers have this condition, even the ones who think they would rather work in a studio and never photograph a landscape.  Looking through that viewfinder somehow energizes us to move in the direction it’s pointing, reach to the extent of our vision in that scene and then take one more step.  Wrap our camera around a scene different from our norm, a scene that urges us to capture it, interpret it, share it.

Scratching that itch can be as simple as getting in the car and driving in a new direction, putting a macro lens on and crawling around in your backyard, or wandering through a new part of town looking at people and buildings.  Different is all around us; our minds merge it with what we see all the time and convince us it’s all the same.

Artists see alternate perspectives.  Angles we’d never think to view from or textures we pass over with our sight as uniform.  For some people an artistic perspective is second nature; for others a learned experience.  Regardless of which you feel is your ability, express it right now, this summer, this year.  Follow the lines on the map around the block, across the country or around the world.

Oh, and bring something back to share with us.


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