Looking Back Over My Shoulder

Out in the woods near where I live, Ben is waiting more or less patiently while I am photographing.
This morning I got up pretty late considering all I had to do was go out in the woods and take pictures. But the days are pretty overcast recently and today was no exception, so it made no sense at all to go for a sunrise. That one was happening behind the clouds.
So around 8:30 I grabbed my backpack and the tripod and our dog Ben and me went out. Christina and our other dog Leah were gone all day for a seminar with the “dog whisperer of Mallorca” José Arce, so it was just us today.
I was out on an assignment to collect images for a suite of up to a dozen with the theme “woodland”. To go out with a feeling that you “have” to come up with something is a challenge for one’s mindfulness. If I just take the camera and wander around, I might get lost in thought and miss some opportunities and that’s okay. But this time I was really looking for something. So I looked at things in another way.
And I was not only looking for images. I was looking for thoughts, for ideas, for concepts. Walking in nature makes me think differently than say driving in our car or being on a train for example. I can think there too, but in nature, it is still different. Maybe because that’s where we belong.
One thing that stuck with me was “looking back over my shoulder”. Ben and I were walking on a horseback trail and every now and then I was looking up and back and it was there and then that I thought how that applies to everything.
Of course, it should be a habit for every photographer (and anyone out in nature for that matter) to look up and back to not miss out on things we might not see if we just keep pushing forward. And it’s like that with everything in life.
Looking back, seeing the flip side of things, might actually be a good thing. If it is something that happens every now and then. Not so much that you end up living in the past, always looking back and not realizing where you are going. But so you do not forget where you came from because that might mean you’ll eventually get lost.
And the best thing is when you manage to stop every time you feel like it. To look back on your path and up on to where you are headed and realize that that spot you are at right then, that moment, is all that really matters.

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