I have a book that I’ve read a few times by the author Stuart Wilde. Somewhere within it he explains that we have to find that thing we love, we have to do it, and we have to trust in it. Not in such easy terms but that’s the general idea. Even now I still find myself trying to micro manage my own days. If not manage, constantly analyze. Always wondering if I’m making the best use of my fuel, my time, my light, what I should shoot and where.
Yesterday was another fine example of just being in the moment and dealing with what comes. I had a “ghost town” marked in my GPS that was fairly close. The plan was to find it, shoot there then move on and head east a bit. Well because I had a rough idea of where I was going I just started out looking for things to shoot along the way. I started down the main road and quickly found some abandoned stone ruins, making a mental note that thes could make for some cool night shots too. Then I got to the turn where I knew I needed to head west a short bit. Westbound I came to a road and turned North as planned, not knowing that I turned too early I headed down a township road that soon turned to gravel but I kept going.
All of a sudden this massive body of water appeared on my left yet the GPS showed no lake, it turns out it was a reservoir. As I drove along I started to see rusty relics along the edge where the field meets the water. As I slowed down a homestead appeared, abandoned with a house, a shed, and two old trucks. I was going to be here awhile and I was. As I shot photos and video I soon discovered that many of the old rusty relics were slowly falling into the water due to the wind and water eroding the field. It made for even more interesting imagery. I was eventually approached by the land “leasee” Bob who was simply curious as to what I was doing. I told him and gave him a card. He didn’t say much other than cool and that one day they should get around to removing all the old machinery and cars and knock down the house. Of course I didn’t agree with that but I understood.
After that stop I wandered more, trying to find my way back to the original plan. Lost, I dialed up the marker in the GPS and it started directing the way. That way lead me down some pretty remote “roads”. Roads that show up as Range Roads on the GPS but in reality are nothing more than two dirt ruts along a fence line. It was fun!
Coming to a T in the road there were some trees and shrubs on the right and through them I saw find number 3 of the day. A whole abandoned ranch with a house, small barn and all the fences and coralls for herding and storing cattle. As I approached the house with my camera a beautiful huge white owl flew out. I spent some more time there wandering with nothing more than the sound of the days hefty wind in my ears.
After leaving there I did eventually find what is left of Sheerness Alberta. Not much more than a few occupied residence and a boarded up schoolhouse.
Simply going with the flow provided me with way more exciting photographic opportunities than I would have had if I’d simply followed the script. This seems to happen more often than not lately which is why I’m slowly learning to let go of the illusion of control I think I have. The journey was way better than the destination this day.