It is 11:30 am and 9 degrees F. I am studying my coursework, but I glance out the window and know it will have to wait for a moment.
Clouds paint the sky gray and snow falls ever so lightly as I write – a mix of large and tiny flakes. A last hurrah. A dying gasp of winter. Most of the flakes fall oddly, indecisively, hovering midair and altering their courses in a slight breeze as though they are confused and unable to find a pathway downward. Then out of nowhere comes a solitary flake with its mind made up, bulleting its way through his fellows straight for the ground. How did it do that?!? The spruce bend for a moment, then go still. Bend some more and go still again. The light cannot make up its mind, either, and I sense it rising and falling as I write. I look up and judge it to be f/5.6. I continue typing until a moment later I sense the light increase – f/8. Then down again to a half stop under f/5.6. It finally comes to rest exactly where it started.
The shifting light takes me back to my childhood, learning photography under my father’s tutelage. He taught me to always be aware of the light and to judge its intensity without a meter. A valuable skill at the time as I shot with a Leica M3 – it had no built in meter. My memory drifts and I remember sunny sixteen and all the other little exposure tricks of the trade that Dad taught me. After all these years I can still sense the light. I’m proud of that, even more proud that I am the son of my father.
A raven calls outside my window, our ever present friend.