It’s All About Being Outside.

View of the Nash Stream valley from Sugarloaf Mountain in New Hampshire's Nash Stream State Forest.
View of the Nash Stream valley from Sugarloaf Mountain in New Hampshire's Nash Stream State Forest.

I've been fortunate enough to be out shooting more often than not over the last few months. Most days after I wrap up shooting and get back in the car to drive back to wherever I'm sleeping that night, I find myself singing a little louder to the radio with a goofy grin on my face and feeling a real sense of euphoria. I've recognized this change in mood many times over the years, and I've always assumed it was due to a sense of accomplishment, that I felt good for a job well done, whether it was an assigned project or something I was shooting just for fun. However, I recently realized that I get this way even if I didn't get the shot I was looking for, whether it be my own inability to capture nature's beauty, bad weather or just mediocre scenery.

High voltage direct current transmission lines in Hebron, New Hampshire.
High voltage direct current transmission lines in Hebron, New Hampshire.

After (a little) introspection, I've decided I feel good after a shoot simply because I spent a good chunk of time outside, away from the office and my computer. It doesn't matter if I hiked 5 miles to shoot a landscape in nice light like the opening photo in this post, wandered around a hay field for a few hours, or tramped along a power line corridor like I've been doing lately for a conservation project here in New Hampshire. All that fresh air, combined with feeling the sun or rain on my face, and getting some mud on my boots, go a long way towards clearing my head and resetting all those switches in my brain that get gunked up from dealing with the everyday chores of life. So let's all take a minute to be grateful for the fact that we have the outdoor photo bug, and are blessed with the urge to get outside on a regular basis with our cameras and enjoy the big and little wonders that are all around us in nature.

6 Comments

    Jerry makes a good observation. For many of us, the love of being outdoors is why we thrive on photography outdoors. Which is why we feel really good, even if we are frozen and tired.. Think of it like a runner’s endorphin high..

    A “high” for sure. I go for long periods to remote places in an RV so I get fully immersed in the outdoors. Each day we go for long, on or off-road drives to see the countryside. We stay until we’ve seen it all, then move on. We just returned from a 5 week trip to Yellowstone and the Tetons; last summer it was 5 months to/from Alaska. Mother Nature is the best!!

    Outside Magazine recently did a story about the writer Jim Harrison. He talked about turning down a cushy university teaching offer by telling them that “Somebody’s got to stay outside”. The circumstances were different, but he also recognized, as you do, its importance to the soul…

    Totally agree, Jerry. I can honesly say that just being out there is foremost for me. Capturing the “perfect” image is secondary, but it sure feels good when you get THAT shot, doesn’t it?

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