Rebecca Wilks

Rebecca Wilks; Photographer, Teacher, Yarnellian, Do-Gooder

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sharpening the Saw

Sunset Over Cathedral Rock
The older I get, it seems, the more severe my wanderlust.

Going to breathtaking places and translating the emotional experience to others with photographic images really floats my boat.

Sometimes, though, all that “doing” needs to be balanced with some thinking.  In Chinese medicine we talk about the equilibrium of the Yin (quiet, pensive, receptive) and the Yang (active, aggressive, energetic). Stephen Covey called this “sharpening the saw.”

Oak Creek Canyon
I’d generally rather be shooting, but I also recognize the value of nurturing the Yin.  I got to thinking about this last week, when I went with a friend to see Paul Nicklen (a prominent wildlife photographer and activist) speak in a lecture series called National Geographic Live. I found so much to be inspired by; his images, commitment to his values, work ethic (diving in the Antarctic??!?), and self-deprecating sense of humor.

There are plenty of other ways to pursue balance.  Good outdoor photographers are constantly learning new technical and philosophical concepts.  We do a huge amount of research about locations, weather, and lighting conditions.  The truth is that an awful lot of time “on a shoot” is spent waiting for conditions, a Yin pursuit.

Sometimes I’m impatient to get out there and DO IT, but all of this saw sharpening is indispensable for the creation of excellent images.

Slide Rock State Park
This topic doesn’t lend itself particularly well to illustration, but I’ve included some images form a recent trip to Sedona just because.

Check me out if you like at the Skyline Images website.

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