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Beyond beliefs

“We look at the world and see what we have learned to believe is there. We have been conditioned to expect… but, as photographers, we must learn to relax our beliefs.” – Aaron Siskind

Earl Moore Photography

Five Pelicans - Southward Bound, Kitty Hawk, NC


Relaxing my beliefs is not an easy task for me but I’m trying to be open and non-assuming when viewing things. I’m trying to find/see the beauty in both the complex and the simple and allow myself to be inspired in the moment. It’s a work in progress — with much work yet to be done. :-)

I watched these five pelican flying south along the Atlantic Ocean shore each morning and back northward the following evenings. I have no idea what laid at either end of their flight paths but there seemed a regular schedule and I made it a point to have a camera ready for a morning pass, shot from our hotel balcony. If you look at the pelicans from left to right their wing stroke positions look much like time lapsed photography — pure luck and only noticed after the shot was made.

With selective focusing during post-processing I tried to give a bit of a tilt-shift look to this image.


22 Comments on Beyond beliefs

  1. That quote is a great reminder of why I’m such an admirer of Aaron Siskind.

    Love the photo Earl. It would be a good one even without the wing positions being what they are. Sometimes Lady Luck is our best friend.

    • PJ, thanks and that quote gets to the heart of how we much go beyond “ourselves” in photography, doesn’t it? I’m always happy when Lady Luck pays a visit. :-)

  2. Interesting pelicans, commuting ones supposedly.
    That’s a great quote of how we are and what we need to do, from time to time. I do think we all have something to learn here, to step outside the frame, so to say.

    • Ove, they certainly seemed to be commuting. It’s often hard stepping outside the frame when the frame is so intertwined into who we are and is practically invisible to us. But that’s one of the beauties of photography it provides us opportunity and tools to achieve a heightened awareness. Thanks!

  3. We are, indeed, creatures of habit and simply doing what we have always done is always easier than trying to find a fresh approach. I find that I am constantly struggling to remain “conscious”. Some times when I view photos I wonder what I was looking at rather than what was in front of me.

    • Anita, I certainly struggle with this as well. Sometimes I’ll catch myself falling victim to my preconceptions but I’m sure there are many times it happens and I’m not even aware of it.

  4. The selective focus adds to the drama in this shot, Earl. And it really does have the time-lapsed, multi-exposure look. The dark wave at the bottom gives it a little tension.

    • Thanks, Ken. I struggled trying to keep the viewers eyes following the horizontal line of the pelicans and not wandering off to the top or bottom of the frame. Making those areas out of focus, much like many tilt-shift shots, seems to work.

  5. Very cool shot, Earl, and good observation about the pelicans.

    • Hi Paul, thanks. The observation came of course while I was reviewing the photo(s). In the moment of taking the photo I didn’t notice it at all. As PJ commented above…”Thank-you, Lady Luck!” :-)

  6. I like the time-lapse effect you happened to capture. The learning to “see” with less previous expectation is a difficult thing to do. I’m going to give that idea some thought.

    • Don, yes, it’s a difficult thing to do, especially since much of the time we are unaware of our filters or preconceptions. I’m not sure one can ever be completely free from these things that make us, us — or that one would want to.

  7. For a moment I thought this was time-lapse, nice capture and I like the TS effect, nice addition to the image.

    • Nik, thanks. I just happen by pure luck to push the shutter release at the right moment and wasn’t even aware of it till later — but I’ll take it all the same! ;-)

  8. Yep, commuters for sure. Your observation is an indication of your progress in your work in progress. In fact I’m willing to wager that your work has been improving each time you press the shutter or sit at your work station in the new cave.

    And, I once again want to tell you I enjoy this color scheme.

    • Monte, thanks. I appreciate your mentioning you like this color scheme. I’m very pleased with it as well…it gives good contrast with the photos and the text is still easy to read. It also has an earthen, natural and peaceful feel to it, IMO.

  9. I really like that quote Earl. I am going to add it to my collection!

    I think it is pretty cool to be able to observe wildlife conducting their daily routines.

    • Mark, yes that quote struck a key with me as well.

      You’re right, seeing wildlife in its natural state is the most rewarding. I like to have enough time to began to recognize patterns, such as the daily flights of these pelicans, but I seldom have that luxury of time.

  10. Awesome. You are so right about the wing strokes. What a fantastic catch and I love the cropping. A beautiful intimate landscape. Those pelicans look like they’re skipping across the water.

  11. That is a magnificent photograph! I love your inspiring quote by Aaron Siskind. Great work!

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