Yellow Dragonfly and Colourful Friends
It’s not a he or a she, the ‘Photographer’. It’s an id-entity. An entity from the id – the subconscious, constructed out of the need of expression in that form and the experience of it.
The ‘Photographer’ is the one that picks the equipment I will take with me today, according to the prevailing and anticipated conditions for the predictable nature. It decides where to go for the best possibility of something to shoot according to what is known. It’s the one that is always looking out for the elusive Dragonfly, and when one shows up it’s the ‘Photographer’ that checks exposure and tries all sorts of settings and positions to capture the image – beautifully.
The photographer is a part of what I am when I am that but if given too much time or space it stresses about the process, a wanting gets in, and the pure sense of nature gets left out of it. It’s a matter of balance – isn’t it all.
I have found it of great benefit lately to leave the photographer behind when I go walking in the nearby bush. Now I often leave it in the boot of the car and only when I have done being in the purity of nature do I let it out, to keep it in its place – always secondary.
I began this practice in earnest recently and it was lovely not having it sitting on my shoulder looking for the shot. I laughed once more at the simple pleasure simply being in nature is. At the contrast of one to the other, fresh in my experience.
A little way down the track I saw the colourful Dragon I – the photographer – have wanted to get a good shot of. No camera, what a relief. Just the sense of it all.
I stopped to look at the creature where it had perched and it moved a couple of times but came back to a spot I could easily approach. I got down on my hunkers and sat looking at her for a while, seeing the detail of what I could see. Then it occurred to me to offer the working end of my walking stick for a perch. I put it within a few inches of the Dragon and after a few seconds she came and sat on the end of the stick. Amazing.
She sat there a while and slowly I drew her close so I could see better – I had my looking glasses on. I brought her to within five or six inches of my eye and saw her as never before. This beautiful wild life had come to say hello. Hello lady Dragonfly.
That’s what happens when I leave the id-entity behind, nature acknowledges her own – being nature.
What do you call your id-entity? The identity – the form I am attached to – will always try to put an image first – as some thought or emotion. I just leave it in the boot a lot of the time now. And if it climbs out as thought about something I don’t need to think about back in it goes – by focusing on the sense-ation.
When I got back to the car I got the ‘Photographer’ out of the boot and took it for a short walk down another track into the bush. The first thing that happened was three Dragons appeared in the space before me and danced in the air, as they do, chasing one another around. Two of them took off and the third patrolled the area and frequently came to check me out, within two feet of me many times, hovering there, directly facing me.
A faster focusing camera with wing-beat speed and rhythm sensing and good low light performance, programmable for point of focus relative to the beat sensed and dof, could have caught some terrific photos. That’s the ‘Photographer’ talking, a wishful one.
I stood looking at her flying around, and around me, and planted my stick in the soft sandy ground and stepped away from it in case she would land on it as one has done before. She didn’t and I walked on as she went about her business.
Ten metres down the trail she, or another just like her, came and perched on a branch at about head height and just a few feet away. The position was easy on the back but wasn’t the best for lighting so the photographer had to work at it. But what the heck, that’s what ‘Photographers’ are supposed to do.
I left the photographer in the boot again today and came across a lone dragonfly, nothing else in sight. He was perched in the gum bush as the sun was going down and he was a beauty. A larger Dragon than I have seen before this year, looking mature in colour, and robust. His sandy stone-grey eyes unusual in my experience.
I approached with customary care but he didn’t seem to mind me at all. I got within a few inches to admire the magnificent design and reflect on the simple intelligence behind. A perfect Dragon, undamaged and in his prime I would say.
When I reached out with my finger to within an inch he made no move, so I touched his wing and he still didn’t move. The material of the wing was almost invisible to my touch it was that soft and giving. Then he flew away.
Copyright Reserved / Mark Berkery