I’ve been out and about on a regular basis lately attempting to do justice to the lands that move me namely the Flint Hills. It’s a wonderful time to enjoy this unique landscape. The annual burns have been taking place at a feverish pace due to the mild winter and recent very warm weather, I suspect they will be wrapping up in the next couple of weeks. I shared some of my finds the last few weeks on my facebook page if you not a fan of the page yet please do so I seem to get much more work put there on a regular basis.

I worked up an image this morning that I took while waiting on top of a hill surrounded by the smoke filled air wondering which way to go. I seem to do that a lot (wonder that is.) I’m finding it more enjoyable to slow down and many times just stop and look around. It easy at least for me to think I need to hurry around and find everything thinking I’m going to miss something if I don’t get there immediately. I know over the years I have missed many opportunities due to my lack of patience. The juices seem to get flowing and feel the need to move, what I have found is this can lead to big waste of time and energy and leads to lack of focus of my main objective, enjoying nature around me.

I made this image during one of these running around periods but started to become frustrated with this process. I stopped and started walking in this case along the country road that I had been driving, there were nice views off to the distance highlighting the haze in the air and finally something just told me to stop and start looking at where I was. Nothing specific grabbed my attention it was the whole area in general. It was an area that had been burned maybe a couple of weeks prior and had began to green up nicely, the ever present limestone was still visible the hills provided some nice sloping lines and there was a pond off in the distance, seemed to be a nice set up for picture. The sky was still very bright and even more so due to the smoke in the air as the sun brightened it up. I have felt the need lately to focus more of my attention to shots that have more distinct land features without the need for the horizon and sky to be included. This is easier said than done at least for me the skies can add such drama that when they present themselves I will almost always compose a shot with it included. This time it was different the sky was just a bright white space lingering above the rolling land.

It’s important to not only look at the over all scene one is in but to be able to focus in on what specifically is the main subject of the scene. It can be anything from a single blooming wildflower to in this case sweeping lines dotted with rocks and a small pond. That’s what done it for me at that moment. Maybe no big dramatic view but possibly a more intimate subtle drama that seems to take place when we allow ourselves to stop and find out just what it is we are looking at.

© Brad Mangas