It has been necessary for Sandra and me to be in Kansas City for several days. It is almost strange to see all the traffic and busy urgency of the urban environment sprawl around everything as we go about our business.
My natural inclination is to seek out open space and a clear view of something (usually birds and wildlife) pretty or interesting to watch or photograph.
It is easy to just “take a pass” when you are out of your element. I was pretty much in that frame of mind when it became necessary for us to be in the city for a while.
My friend Randy Akings is one of those people who thinks “outside the box” and has a very palpable sense of curiosity and energy for DOING – not just “thinking or reading about” projects that require effort and attention to complete. I think he would have been a terrific educator at any level. He is another one of those successful people who have matriculated through Great Bend and gone on to make a mark and a difference in the lives of lots of folks. His business moved him to the city, but his mind still lives in the open freedom of central Kansas. He is also a master photographer and can navigate a golf course with enviable ability. I admire him a lot!
Randy suggested that we do some night photography. He went to the Plaza and experimented with his camera on a tripod and a cable shutter release and teased me with a beautiful picture of a fountain. I was hooked like a large mouth bass on a purple plastic worm!!! I have to admit that the colors of the night in the city are pretty spectacular. We shot the Plaza, sky line, and Union Station. We also got some fun shots of night traffic. It was a great evening, and we ended up at a 24 hour burger joint downtown at 1:00 in the morning. We now have new skills that give us new ways to expand our photographic horizons and possibilities.
My take-away message is to be alert and recognize people who inspire you and join with them as much as possible. It is also necessary to engage your own brain and create new or different ideas that can be shared to make someone else happy or better. We can’t make much progress yakking it up on Facebook or Twitter – but social media certainly is one way to share images and ideas. Use it carefully.
As for Randy and me – he is exploring panorama and the process of stitching several images together in Lightroom or Photoshop. We both have some experience with this process and I can already see in my mind the beautiful sunrise or sunset over the Cheyenne Bottoms that will result from our collaboration. I’m not sure if it will be his shot or mine – but it will be our BEST shot and it will make us both better!
The migration is progressing – go see the Phalaropes!!!
Doctor Dan Witt is a retired physician and nature enthusiast.