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Dave Wyman | all galleries >> A Photograph On Occasion > On the Brink - Big Chico Creek, Chico, California
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On the Brink - Big Chico Creek, Chico, California

On the Brink - Big Chico Creek, Chico, California

The meaning of a photograph can be obvious to me before I press the shutter release. Here is the meaning I gleaned after, rather than before, I made this photograph: Aren't our lives like these leaves? Aren't we often, and perhaps always, balanced on the brink of falling into the unknown? Life, whether as complex as that of a human being, or something as simple as a leaf, is changeable, and in the scheme of things, emphemeral.

When I made this photograph, my camera was balanced on the railing of a foot bridge. The leaves in this photograph achieved temporary equilibrium on the edge of the dam at the base of the amazing Sycamore Pool. Filled year-round by the waters of Big Chico Creek, Sycamore Pool is an enormous, concrete, municipal swimming pool in the town of Chico, California. To me, Chico is paradise lost.

I'm not sure anyone else noticed these leaves; they probably caught my attention because I've seen leaves balanced like these on other occasions, in other places. This is the first time, however, that an interior meaning of this kind of scene percolated through my unconsciousness, surfacing to make me think about the symbolism of objects in such precarious balance, enduring, if only for a little while, against a force which will not be denied.

No matter how firmly planted we think we are, our lives are on hold, with only so much time to make what we can of ourselves, to create and understand what in our world gives us meaning. At some point we all have to surrender to a greater force, to discover what will happen when we learn to let go of our own lives, to discover if we will land on our feet.

Nikon D80 , Lens: Nikon 18-200mm VR
1/5s f/14.0 at 200.0mm ISO 100 full exif

other sizes: small medium large original
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Alexander Kazakov07-Aug-2013 03:35
Excellent! V
godro02-Mar-2013 02:07
Nice image,well done!
virginiacoastline11-Apr-2012 21:23
I think "Livin' on the Edge" works well here

Nice one Dave (I'm *just* a touch behind in leaving comments, eh!HA!)

JLK15-Feb-2011 20:23
Beautiful capture!!! I like it!
Debi12-Jul-2008 03:37
So precarious ... wonderful photo and commentary.
H2M19-Aug-2007 10:31
Thank you to share with us this beautiful image and words. Vote. Hélène
Kathy Pedersen23-Jun-2007 01:34
Beautiful fluid image, lovely colors and sweet softness to this shot! V
Iris Maybloom (irislm)09-Jun-2007 20:18
Your words are haunting, Dave. It sounds like you've been doing some serious soul searching
and this image helped provide some focus and meaning to your search. Both your words and your image have given me pause to think.
Dandan08-Jun-2007 03:36
Dave, this is so beautiful and delicate!
Dandan07-Jun-2007 03:25
Dave, this is so beautiful and delicate!
JSWaters06-Jun-2007 18:11
Such a wonderful description of your expanding creativity and thinking, Dave. Congratulations - it will only continue now. The analogy of leaves on the brink to our human lives is apt, giving new meaning to 'going with the flow'.
CJ Burianek04-Jun-2007 23:42
Gorgeous shot and love the commentary on it as well
Guest 04-Jun-2007 20:05
Excellent image and words!
Dan Ng04-Jun-2007 07:20
Exceptional image with amazing lighting in the water. Beautiful words. V.
Phil Douglis04-Jun-2007 06:24
This is the first extended commentary I've seen in your galleries to date, and it offers eloquent context for this image. The longer we look into this image, the more fragile the moment becomes, just as in life itelf. Your photograph of this quiet gush of water is as moving as images of the most forceful of cascades, and because of those leaves, more thoughtful as well.
Guest 04-Jun-2007 02:56
Terrific shot! The exposure shows great drama at an almost standstill. But I love your commentary. :)
Cheryl Hawkins03-Jun-2007 23:03
Oh, I love the shot but your words are even better! So well seen, Dave!
coaster03-Jun-2007 22:00
Good shot.
Bryan Murahashi03-Jun-2007 19:57
Very nicely exposed for this little waterfall. V
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