Saturday, March 28, 2009

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I’ve been fretting a little about only getting out to Garden of the Gods to get some pictures. Then I read this in the latest issue of Outdoor Photographer magazine.

“The diligent photographer should always have the best photos of any nearby area, simply because he or she can scout the area in depth, and time the snowstorms, flowers, fall colors perfectly. It may seem like fun to go to a new area on every trip, but the pros know that it’s often repeat visits to an area that produce the best images.”

This was written by Glenn Randall who photographs exclusively in Colorado and Utah. He says in the article that he goes to the same places again and again and may spend several days backpacking in to a location only to get one shot that he considers “truly compelling.”

Reading this made me feel better about spending so much time shooting local pictures, but it brought to mind another thought. It made me think of the Benedictine characteristic of stability.

We might think of the Benedictine idea of stability as commitment; it includes the idea of remaining committed to a particular community or course of action once the commitment is made. It means not giving up when things turn difficult or boring. It means seeing a job, or a vow, through to the end and trying to fulfill the daily responsibilities that come with it to the best of our ability. As Glenn Randall says, “it may seem like fun to go to a new area on every trip . . .” but the best results often come with dedication and hard work in the place where we find ourselves. I’ve learned, with hard experience, that running away to find something new and interesting and avoiding the challenge at hand, it seldom the best way to go. Even if it seemed the easiest way out at the time.

It may seem like I’m seeing Benedictine ideals in places where they don’t exist, this analogy may seem like a stretch. I prefer to think of it as seeing the truth of something understood and taught 15 centuries ago as apt today as it was then. And, it gives me a good reason to take another trip to the Garden.

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