That photographic moment…

“A Whimsical Moment.” Bordeaux, FR shopping
“A Whimsical Moment.” Bordeaux, FR shopping. Bob Grytten image

A recent look-in on  Don McGowan’s Image for the Asking, this quote he included prompts a further look at the process or nonprocess of photography. ”

The important thing to hold on to…is the childlike curiosity and enjoyment…that we all experienced when we were young…. Being a beginner is the best thing to be, because as be-ginners we can simply be.” says Wendy Ann Greenhalgh in her Mindfulness and the Art of Drawing. 

Getting back to that moment…

Grasshopper, Withlacoochee forest. Fl-Grytten “I'm hiding”
Grasshopper, Withlacoochee forest. Fl-Grytten “I’m hiding”

Revisiting our most childlike curiosity might just be the ticket. It may be as simple as just wandering around the yard with camera in hand and shooting a lot – getting back in the flow of just looking at things.

  • How close can I get?
  • How does it look from a different angle?
  • How can I isolate the subject better?
  • What happens if I tilt the camera just a bit?
  • What do I have to do to make sharp what I want to be sharp?
  • An insect on something can change the story. What do they do? When are they active?

When doing that, activity shifts from trying to find that special photo composition, to just exploring what is there. What I find is a whole family of little critters. Looking at them with a long lens closeup I’m transported back to a more childhood curiosity. Actually, most of the critters were never part of my childhood.  Having the camera on hand and recording what I’m seeing takes me into their world.

Do non-human things have a personality?

Absolutely, I think. Based on what I have personally witnessed in the field, I am sure they do or are just mimicking a human behavior. Or am I just applying human behavior to things that inhabit the yard?

A University of Texas at Austin psychologist, Dr. Samuel D. Gosling thinks this… Cats, dogs, hyenas and other animals have personality traits in much the same way humans do. He is working toward developing a new field in animal personality.

He also believes the biological mechanisms underlying these behavioral traits are similar across species. “The idea that nonhuman animals have unique personalities stems from the evolutionary continuity that exists between humans and other species,” he said.

“Unfortunately, there is no unified body of research on animal personality. Some of the early pioneers of psychology studied personality in animals, and then the subject disappeared. I suspect that psychologists thought it didn’t sound very scientific,” Gosling said. “Scientists have been reluctant to ascribe personality traits, emotions, and thoughts to animals, even though they readily accept that the anatomy and physiology of humans is similar to animals.”

Columbine and bee, Bob Grytten Image
Columbine and Bumble Bee, Bob Grytten Image


What about this Bumble Bee? Is he having fun or what?

It’s images like this that just happened to occur while I was   setting up my equipment to photograph the bees. I got lucky.



Frog in the pond
Frog in the pond

Another time while wandering around, photographing pond flowers, I kept hearing this solitary “Ribbit.” Finally, I moved some reeds aside and there he was, looking up at me. I moved some more reeds and attached an extension tube to get the lens closer. All the while he kept looking at me, watching me.

Woodland sunflower, helianthus strumosus Bradley fork trail, Great Smoky Mountain Park, August, Bob Grytten Image
Woodland sunflower, helianthus strumosus Bradley fork trail, Great Smoky Mountain Park, August, Bob Grytten Image



This one that seems to shout, “I’ve lost my petal.”


Childlike curiosity and  enjoyment…  Absolutely!

Thanks for looking in.  Comments appreciated. Like, follow and share.


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