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New Found Lands

August 29, 2013

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Gros Morne, Newfoundland, Canada. All photographs 2013 by Frank Ward.

It is time to fire up The Coruscating Camera blog and begin a semester of photo work. This post is illustrated with pictures from a recent journey to Cape Breton Island and Newfoundland.

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Bedsprings, Viking Trail, Northern Peninsula, Newfoundland.

According to my MacBook dictionary, the word ‘coruscating’ means “sparkling, flashing and brilliant in content or style.” When I am photographing and feeling ‘in the zone’, I recognize the world as coruscating with energy.

ImagePleasant Bay, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

The most immediate energy available to the photographer is light. Recognizing the most favorable light invites us into the realm of coruscation.  This picture and the next were taken in sequence one evening along the Cabot Trail.

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Volunteer Fire Department, Cape Breton.

The first view is just to the left of where I made the second photograph. Actually, there was a very nice picture (below) in between the two pictures above.

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Pleasant Bay, Cape Breton.

The master color photographer Jay Maisel told me to take lots of pictures of the same stuff, and to bracket my camera settings. I never really know what I will be attracted to after the initial exposures.

Jay also says to photograph before 10 AM and after 4 PM. The light is best in the early morning and early evening. I still photograph anytime day or night, but he is right. The light is best when it is low and sweeping across the world.

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Codroy Valley, Newfoundland.

Sunset is a great time to photograph, except that I’m not too interested in sunset pictures. I was attracted to the light reflecting off the white painted surface of this outbuilding along the Cabot Strait.

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Western Brook Pond, Newfoundland.

Here is the morning mist on a former fjord in Gros Morne National Park.

I like inclement weather. The pictures above and below were made just after a rain.

Let’s integrate the conditions of the outer world into our inner world of perceptions and preferences.

Recognize the potential in the world around you, and Allow it to become your perception.

ImageBoat dock, Western Brook Pond.

I am referring to the acronym RAIN, suggested by Tara Brach, a teacher of present moment awareness. Her first step is to Recognize what is going on in any moment. You don’t need a camera to do this. The next step is to Allow what arises to simply happen without judgement.

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Port Saunders, Northern Peninsula, Newfoundland.

Tara then asks us to Investigate, this is where a camera can come in handy. With or without a camera, investigation can lead to insight.

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Port aux-Basques, Newfoundland

The last letter in our acronym is for Non-attachment.  This is the most important factor for both the person and the photographer. Attachment to our current situation leads to any number of contentious issues.  You can get frustrated because you are not getting the results (pictures) you want. Or you can project into the future about the huge rewards you will receive for the brilliant work you are making. My ‘N‘ in RAIN is also for Now. Too many thoughts can get in the way of experiencing what is in front of me and my camera. If thinking takes me away from Recognizing, Allowing and Investigating what is in front of me, I bring awareness back to the Now. A clear mind makes clear pictures.

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