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In the Weeds


©Meandering Passage - Earl Moore Photography

“In the weeds” is an interesting saying.  It’s often used to signify being lost, off the known path or being behind or overwhelmed in completing some task.  It’s not normally used in a positive context.

There’s also a little known movie “In the Weeds” with Molly Ringwald which came out in 2000 about the wait staff in a up-scale New York City bistro’s who struggle with  managing concerns about their lives which all seem to be “in the weeds.” Great title, but I can’t say I highly recommend the movie.


In my personal rear-view mirror of experience I’d have to say there’s more to be gained from spending some time “in the weeds” then always keeping to the well beaten trail.

It’s those moments “among the weeds” when assumptions are often dropped and relevant  questions get asked and answered.  It’s those moments when it’s not so important who we think we are or where we’ve been but more about who we want to become and where we’re want to go — direction and purpose.

©Meandering Passage - Earl Moore Photography


These moments in the weeds are often unsettling and it may be only after the fact we come to appreciate the gains we may have found.  This is from my own personal experience so your mileage may vary.

It does seem ironic in some ways that we, mankind, most self-aware of all the creatures on this planet,  spend so much of our relatively short lives “navel gazing” — trying to define who and what we are instead of just being it and doing this thing we call living. The price of admission I guess.

©Meandering Passage - Earl Moore Photography


Photographically I’m at a point where I’m trying to not over define my reasoning behind a photo.  I may not know all the details of why I like something, or why in the moment I took the shot the way I did.  I’m trying to listen to the inner voice and give more time to the being and doing, not thinking too much of what it all means or if others even care for  it.

So, yesterday morning finding myself literally in the weeds exploring an area during a morning walk with Maggie I decided to enjoy the moment and explore the photographic possibilities…instead of immediately looking for a way back to the path again.




16 Comments on In the Weeds

  1. I never have been good at analyzing why I am making a photograph. I may have to fiddle before I see what pleases me in the viewfinder, but if I get caught up in the reasoning part I become genuinely lost in the weeds. Inevitably I do my best work when I do most of the the reasoning before I get to the site, then I let that inner voice have its way. When I shout that voice down, I am usually wrong. Ferric post and beautiful photos to go with it!
    Anita Jesse recently posted… My New, Shiny Toy

    • Anita, what a wonderful surprise when I saw your comment. I hope you and yours are well and enjoying the holiday season.

      I work much as it seems you do. It is best for me to go with it and not think too much else I will be lost in this maze I call my mind. :-)

      Thank-you so much!

  2. Strange, I’ve tried to write something three times but it does not come out right. I resonate with what you say. As you and I think along similar lines I think that is one of the primary reasons I follow your blog. I take images I have clue as to why. I just do what impulsively feels at the moment. If I have to pick a favorite image is would be the last one. It seems like I analyze more in the post processing while letting the whispers guide me with camera in hand.
    Monte Stevens recently posted… Don’t Worry

    • Monte, I don’t believe I’d take hardly any photos if I had to know all the “why” before pressing that shutter release. :-)

      Now, I like all four of these photos or else I wouldn’t have posted them and the good thing is we don’t have to pick a favorite…we can enjoy them all for each of their own individual virtues…or none of them if we so choose.

      I’ve sometimes thought of photos like quotes…we find the one’s that resonate most strongly depending upon the moment we’re in.

  3. I have learned the most in my life when I was walking in a big patch of weeds!
    Steve Skinner recently posted… Thoughts On The Tide

  4. Paul Maxim // 4 Dec ’12 at 2:21 pm // Reply

    I love your comment above about “photos being like quotes”. It’s true, I think. We pick the ones that hit the right note. What amazes me is that some of them always hit the right note while some seem to lose their appeal over time. For me, that’s the mystery. I might like being “in the weeds” photographically today, but what about tomorrow?

    But I suppose that’s the problem with thinking about it, huh?

    • Thanks, Paul. Yeah, we can’t be certain what we’ll like and for what reason we might like it tomorrow.

      It doesn’t much matter if we think about it a great deal or not…change and hopefully growth happens. I’m just not sure how much productive thinking we do.

  5. I gave up self-analysis for Lent many years ago and never went back. It’s much more liberating when you don’t have to ponder unanswerable, philosophical details. Sure, time changes everything, even your opinion of photos you took in the past, but that’s life. There is no mystery, we should accept it for what it is.

    I don’t recall hearing the expression “in the weeds” before but I do understand it. The photos show that we should all spend more time in the weeds.
    ken bello recently posted… evolution or continuous improvement?

    • Ken, I hear that saying around hear quite often. Someone ask you how you’re doing with something might get the reply, “Yeah, I’m really off in the weeds on this one.”

      Your right…don’t worry…be happy! ;-)

  6. That’s a great philosophy, too much introspection definitely leads to doubt. And I’m sure that successful artists of all kinds throughout the ages avoid the need to justify their work to others. What’s the saying? Free your mind and the rest will follow.

    I particularly like your third photograph, the way the plant is illuminated by the warm light of the sun is incredibly beautiful. The soft clouds in the corner really add to the overall composition and your DOF is superb.
    Martina Egli recently posted… London #6

    • Martina, Yeah, but that first part of freeing your mind is the hardest part!

      I like that third photo as well. It was a beautiful morning, early enough so the winter sun was still low, providing softer shadows and lighting. Thanks!

  7. “In the weeds”, good expression, hadn’t heard of it before. I am not much for purposeful analysis of each and every photograph but I couldn’t stop philosophising if I tried. Having said that I would agree that navel-gazing is a waste of time. Introspection is akin to self-delusion but there is much to be said for letting pictures whisper their meaning on those occasions where there might be one. All it takes is a quiet mind. Easy right? ;)
    Cedric Canard recently posted… Reflecting on a pane of glass

    • Cedric, “All it takes is a quiet mind”…I wish it were easy but there is much “noise” in my mind and thoughts on most days.

      However, on those quieter occasions, it comes down to listening…to a appealing photo or my own inner voice.

  8. Great set of images to go along with a great philosophy here Earl. I don’t tend to follow trails often, except in sensitive areas…but do admit sometimes I just find myself wandering with little direction. Sometimes I don’t know if that is a good or a bad thing.

    I hope you kept Maggie away from the plant in the second image. It if it is what I think it is, those big burrs are no friends to a dog’s fur. :-)
    Mark recently posted… Always do that 180

    • Mark, thanks. I think mentally not feeling confined to the paths is a good thing…that willingness to explore.

      Maggie and I both got away with no sticky burrs on this occasion. Maggie goes through the tall stuff like a deer…in leaps and bounds. :-)

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