The creative process is a funny thing. One of the things that I struggle with is the uncoupling of my engineer brain from my photography. Don’t get me wrong, having a strong grasp of the technical details is important but it can cloud your vision.
I ventured down a small hillside to this setting because something about it grabbed me. My initial focus was the small cascade in the top left corner so I set my tripod right next to the tree with two legs on the fallen tree in front of me and started shooting. From that vantage I worked several compositions but it felt very uninspired. I shrugged and stepped away from the tree, meaning to climb the hill and be on my way. Gary was somewhere behind me and I wanted to catch up with the other members of the group that were already near the top of the trail.
As I turned around my eye caught a flash of yellow. I scanned the area for what ever it was that had caught my eye then I saw it. The tree, with it’s sprawling roots clinging to the side of the stream with the single yellow leaf in contrast. This was obviously what had drawn me to this spot but I nearly let my brain keep me from seeing it. The details are important but it’s as equally important to forget about them occasionally and just let yourself “see.”