October Photo of the Month: A Visual Symphony

© Bruce Heinemann

Photo and Writing by Bruce Heinemann

"Looking is observing something, ‘Seeing’ is experiencing that which is observed at a deeper, more metaphorical and existentially meaningful way." — Abner Prior

A few summers ago, I did a photo shoot in the north-central part of Washington state. I returned to one of my favorite locations, the Grand Coulee, just south of the Grand Coulee Dam. Pulling onto a bluff above Park Lake near Sun Lakes State Park, I found a rather stunning visual below me (Page 105 in upcoming book).

From this high angle, the water presented itself in a marvelous variety of hues of teal and light gold. Reeds, rising up out from below the surface, were scattered about, the water gently undulated amongst them from a very slight breeze.

I set up my camera and began to consider how I was going to capture this scene. After a few moments, I stopped thinking about what I was doing and became completely lost in the moment, mesmerized by this elegant ballet unfolding before my eyes, the waves dancing gracefully with the reeds as they moved them to and fro. Then an impression emerged, the waves were no longer moving water — they were but stands of a hair on a bow, moving across the reeds, like the strings of a violin, exciting them to sing. Music I could see, playing right before my eyes — a "visual symphony.” 

Driving away minutes later, with gratitude in my heart and a smile on my face, I gave it a rave review, thinking that I, too, by virtue of my witness to this moment in time, am a part of this cosmic performance, this dance available only to those who have eyes to see it. For real seeing is far more than just looking at the landscape, it’s "being" part of and consciously participating in the landscape that you — one you have in one way or another — chosen to place yourself in.

Bruce W. Heinemann is a fine art landscape photographer, writer and speaker living in Anacortes. His new coffee table book “Washington The Art of The Landscape” is his fine-art impression of the landscape of his native state. It will be available for pre-order on Amazon and will deliver in early November by Search: ISBN 9780930861025