A Pic is Worth Many 1000s

by Christopher Lovejoy on March 2, 2019

Where I live, the snow fell for an entire day. The next day, on the last day of February 2019, at 5 in the morning, I snapped some pics of the snow around the house where I live before spending about 75 minutes shovelling through a layer of snow eight inches deep (more or less).

After the shovelling, I snapped some more pics.

Ever since November 1991, when I composed my first black ‘n white shot of a bridge in the woods with a Minolta X-700 on a Manfrotto tripod, I’ve had a fondness for composing abstracts of nature. During that time, I noticed that I had a keen eye for composition, and these days, as I walk about in the natural fields of play, the compositions come rather quickly, oftentimes within seconds of tapping into a potential pic.

For my latest walkabout, I used a simple Canon point-and-shoot ~ no tripod, no extra lenses, no fancy filters ~ and felt inspired to find objects and subjects that could be framed in unusual or interesting ways and then presented in a blog post with some sort of cohesive narrative.

In post-production, very slight cropping was applied to the first two images and a slight auto correction for brightness and/or color was applied to almost all. All of these images were digitally compressed for viewing on the Web. The following is a selection of 8 images out of 44 taken.

These patio stones were calling out for a portrayal ~ “don’t forget about us!”, they enthused ~ I know, sounds weird, right? But there it is, and here I am giving you a taste of their earthy selves, all tightly bound together in the dead of winter, mixing it up with a coating of snow.

Here are their companions from a wider angle. Please note: none of this was staged; I didn’t throw any snow on the bricks and I didn’t arrange any of the snow to be this way or that. To me, that would be cheating. I just like to go with the flow, you know? And so I did; quickly, too.

The upshot of these comps: they are simple reminders not to get tunnel vision, not to hold on to a blinkered point of view, not to fall into the tendency to have it this way or that or to take it this way or that; it is almost always prudent to pull back and take it from a larger view.

This way we don’t fall prey to the biases of conviction and confirmation.


The next three images are what I call intersectional images. When I combine elements of nature and manufacture, I am always, almost without exception, looking for harmony as well as beauty. It’s my way of reminding myself to live and love in harmony with the natural flow of things.

I snapped this pic a little after 5 o’clock in the morning before the dawning of the light. The sparkles are reflections from the porch light behind me. Here, I felt quite taken by the striking if understated contrast between nature and manufacture, owing to the total absence of colour.

I was rather surprised to see this drift of snow overhanging the eves trough. I had never seen anything like it. At this point, the light of dawn is becoming evident in the appearance of a (slightly) blue sky.

This next image was taken in the porch light before I started to shovel the snow. This dynamic depiction of a portion of the fence seems to be pointing to the future and taking Mother nature along with it.


The following abstract of nature stands on its own. I composed this abstract of trees just before dawn, pushing the subject to the edge of abstraction. You might say I have a photographic taste for being sensitively attuned to subtlety and delicacy, even in the dark of night.

In viewing this image, I am reminded to be ever aware of subtlety below the surface of things and to beware the tendency to judge or discern only what is ever apparent to the eye or ear.


Now here’s where I think things get really interesting.

With the two abstract images that follow, I was not aware that they would turn out as well as they did in terms of shading; with point-and-shoot, I am more intent on bringing out a balanced composition.

With the first image, I pushed the subject to the edge of abstraction, which is something I tend to do in the midst of nature. With this one, I like that it has a cosmic flavor, with its points of light embedded in a cloud-like ambience, giving the impression of a scene in the depths of space.

The following abstract of a snow drift gives the impression of being a terrestrial landscape ~ a snowy white dune in a desert. At this point, the day was dawning, offering up some of its natural light.

These latter two images are my favorites in this series. Where the first shot speaks to our connection to the cosmos, the second shot speaks to our connection to earth in relation to the cosmos.


In my photo shoot, as I remained submissively attuned and transmissively aligned with my inspiration to “compose subtle, striking images in the abstract,” I stayed in the flow, in awe and wonder ~ emotionally, mentally, and spiritually ~ meeting little if any resistance from start to finish.

I wonder: what if we all lived the bulk of our lives like this?

I must say it would be a very fulfilling way to live and love.

In posing this question and in making this statement, I recall my favorite proverb, a Spanish proverb that reminds us all of the value of flow: how beautiful it is to do nothing, and then rest afterward.


A preview of my published work can be found here.

An outline of my masterwork in progress can be found here.

A listing of my posts on this site can be found here.

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