Saturday, 12/5/10: I am driving up the Turnpike between Muskogee and Tulsa. Outside I can see the South give way to the West as the landscape begins to flatten, the purple sky opens wide and a deepening orange sun starts to fall behind black silhouetted trees and brush growing along undulating fencelines. A moment-to-moment drama of changing light, changing sky, over an unfamiliar landscape; it ain’t ever the same river twice. I am going 80 mph and I have my iphone in my left hand, obsessed with taking photos of the scene to the west. Pulling over would be a better idea, but there’s not time for that, after getting tangled in the Ft. Smith AR Christmas parade, the second parade in the last month to block my path.
When I got home last night, I downloaded those photos to my computer, and was, for the most part, underwhelmed. Predictable lack of focus caused by the one-handed grab on the phone, and, a more elusive failure of the camera itself to “get” what I was seeing in all that pastoral ecstasy (can we put those two words together?). Pixels just can’t catch it all. Sunsets are cheeseball territory for photography, I know that. I’m just attracted to them, and the rapid changes caused by our place on the planet’s rolling away from the sun again. But it’s not the subject that’s the problem, right? There is always a new way to see the same-old, same-old. So I hear. Maybe that’s what I’m looking for.