Finding Our Way

1 Jul
Smugglers Notch Trail

Smugglers Notch Trail

I wondered, just now, how people come up with titles for their images and posts and such.  I mean, occasionally, I dream up a title to something that just feels right.  Same way with the rare poem that comes to mind, or the every-now-and-again piece of writing I turn out.  Those words are easy.  They just flow from my brain to my pen (or in this case, keyboard) without effort, already formed into a cohesive and succinct thought.  In those cases, I dare say, they were just born eloquent.  No struggling, no writer’s block, no searching for hidden meanings or words that do an image justice…  Just an outpouring of creativity.

Those are wonderful moments in any creative’s life.  You have an itch.  A desire.  A need to produce…something.  And it happens, until you’ve satisfied your craving (may I use the word obssession?  Because it seems accurate.) and can move on to the next thing in your day.

But then there is the rest of the time.  You feel an urge to create, but it is more of a vague, somewhat frustrating itch that you can neither reach nor scratch.  You know you WANT to draw from the well of your imagination, but for whatever reason, it eludes you.

I had one of those moments the other day, when I was posting this photo on 500px.  I believe the title I came up with (after 3 tries) was “Mountain Path”.  That’s like naming your black and white cat Oreo (no offense to all of the Oreo’s out there!  And as a side note, while I’ve dropped my filters and let my fingers run wild on the keyboard…what about naming a black and white cat “Monochrome”?  Huh, photo-fans?  Super-genius, right?)

Where was I?  Oh…yeah…Mountain Path.  Definitely does not do the photo any justice, however true the words may be.  My inner poet was sleeping that day, to be sure.  Something inside of me wanted to give it a name that was inspiring, and transferred the sense of peace I felt in the woods that day to the viewer.

“The Path to Enlightenment”? Nah.  It was the path to a very cold, beautiful pond at the top of a New England mountain…but enlightenment would be over-stating.

“A Walk in the Woods”? True…but not very inspiring.  A title is like Twitter…only so many characters available to convey our feelings.

“Dang, 4 Miles of Hiking Is Tiring”? As honest as it gets…but an obvious latch ditch effort. haha

So, I thought a bit more about the day, the hike, my life and what the memories meant to me.  2013 has been, simply put, the year of change for me.  I’m not the sort to generally spill a whole lot of personal details about my life, but suffice it to say, there has been a lot of self-reflection, a lot of accepting things I cannot change and resolving to improve the things I can.  One of those changes involved transitioning out of a 13 year relationship where we were both unhappy towards the end.

Since growing enough courage to make an amicable break, and finding a place of peace about the decision, I have been blessed with a fresh start.  I’ve promised myself that in this new relationship, I will try not to make the same mistakes, and to hold tight to the lessons I’ve learned.  I’m more honest, a better communicator, and more inclined to put my energy into something positive, less inclined to bury my head in the sand.

(A good course of action not just for our interactions with others, but for life in general, no?)

This day…this photo…was a great hike I took with the new guy, a day full of smiles and laughs.  It was easy, and full of promise.  To me, this photo was representative of my journey, of me finding my own way through life.  Sure, its full of twists and turns, its full of steps that made my ruined knee ache (ohh…I mean some pain) but it’s life and as long as I stay on the (blue marker) trail, I know I’ll make it.  My journey, my path, my life with all of its mistakes and lessons.  My photo.

Hey…guess I found that creative well after all.  This image is called “Finding Our Way”.

A quick technical note:  This is a pano stitch taken with my nifty-50 lens for a project being hosted by my friend Will.  This scene was suggested as a photo by the new guy, Sean.  Gotta give credit where credit is due. 🙂

13 Responses to “Finding Our Way”

  1. Mr Bunny Chow July 1, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    awesome shot Shannon, not sure if you have ever submitted a shot to PhotoBoto’s before but you should definitely consider this one

  2. infraredrobert July 1, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    I find that usually pictures/posts “tell” me their titles – it is never much of a struggle – when I’m at a loss, I just give the location and be done with it…

  3. Noeline Smith July 1, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    I love the way this image draws you in – and great title!
    Sometimes titles just happen – and, in my experience, they tend to be the best. Others struggle and get there eventually – and some just end up being settled on because nothing better came to mind …. they are the most disappointing!

  4. Jonathan Caswell July 9, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    This reminds me of the trail up Mount Marcy, in New York State…except it isn’t quite a vertical or rocky or muddy! A comparative CAKEWALK!!!!

    • seeingspotsphoto July 29, 2013 at 5:52 pm #

      Ooooh, I’ll google it. Sounds like a weekend trip in the works to me! haha

  5. Jonathan Caswell July 9, 2013 at 12:02 am #

    Reblogged this on By the Mighty Mumford and commented:

  6. Shakti Ghosal July 14, 2013 at 12:12 pm #

    I am intrigued that though you considered “Walk in the woods” a possibility but do not consider it inspiring.

    What is the outcome we are looking for out of inspiration? If we are looking for something tangible, would an esoteric inspiration serve? To me ” walking in the woods” , specially the kind of wood you have photographed can open up the mind like nothing else.


    • seeingspotsphoto July 29, 2013 at 5:54 pm #

      That is a good point. I suppose like anything else, inspiration is particular to each individual and their experiences. Thank you for a strong arguement for “A Walk in the Woods”. 🙂

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