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Daryl's Pond, Grand Teton National Park
My Waldon Pond

Deep thoughts by a shallow person
By Daryl L. Hunter

Two moose strolling along the pond

A few years at Waldon Pond brought Henry David Thoreau great clarity, and time to write of his reflections. One of his many observations was: “It is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look?"

Here he is using the metaphor of the artist.  He is explaining the artist can carve and paint a scene to make something look beautiful such as a beautiful painting of a pond and a sunset above. He is comparing that process to humanity and the human perspective, or perspectives possible.  He is saying the way we look at things can be “carved and painted” hence; created by our perception and our attitude.   Things will look beautiful if we look at them with beauty in our mind and heart. An artful; "Is this glass half-full or half-empty" explanation.

Bison, pond, reflection yellowstone
Bison reflecting upon the pond.

Thoreau had Walden Pond and I have the Greater Yellowstone.  I won’t pretend to be as thoughtful and meditative as this giant of literature; however, through nature I believe we came to the same conclusions.    His are his words, mine through photography.

Granted Thoreau went to Walden for purposeful contemplation and discovery, and I merely went to my nature nirvana to capture its light in an effective enough way that someone would want to buy it for a print or advertisement.  Oh and to fish, ride horses and explore. Thoreau purposefully went to think; well maybe also to produce a great work of literature.   Could it be, deep thoughts aside; might Thoreau’s intentions have been as shallow as mine?

Reflecting Grizzly Bears as pond

It likely wasn’t until I started teaching photography when I discovered that what I was teaching and speaking was about more than photography; it was about beauty.  Age makes us reflect upon the past, looking upon this past. Driving around one day I realized I was “always” looking for a photo, rectangles near and far to isolate out of the chaos of life.   Not that I was going to take the photo; however, I thought it profound that I was always looking for beauty.  I pondered this.  I then realized our photography lesson of “learning to see” manifests itself not only when we are actually taking photos but also wherever we are. My Walden Pond was enormous.

Not a photo lesson goes by where I don’t drive my epiphany home for those whom I am teaching.  My walking in beauty train of thought evolved from there.


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