Being in the “Now” evokes an appreciation of “Being” itself

Footprints & Tire Tracks in Sand

In this image I observe and celebrate impermanence and the aesthetic of the present moment, happenings that are will never be seen again. Capturing them is one of the unique features of photography. In this instance, the patterns and textures lasted perhaps a day at most before being lost to the incoming tide. Impermanence is the story of risings and fallings, comings and goings, syntropy and entropy, processes that urge us to appreciate what’s given as it was given. What is.

As a document, there’s an abundance of information in this image. It tells a story of two-footed creatures who’ve evolved sufficiently to create a highly patterned, well organized mechanism capable of making a linear imprint in sand. Geologists could derive information about the planet and the time the photograph was made, just from the material, the pattern and the shadows. We can imagine the significance of this image by considering our response if it came from another planet.

Aesthetically, the elements of patterned light and shadow evoke in me a sense of beingness. A person walked or stood there long enough to make an impression in the sand. And a vehicle came along, leaving its imprint as well. Although this is obvious, it’s not the information that moved me to make the photograph. It was an attraction to the quality of light that interrupted my walk on the beach—how it was creating textures and illuminating the pattern of the tire juxtaposed with the footprints. Human and machine. Animate and inanimate. It was only later, when I spent time thinking about the image, that I began to catch the sensibility of being— the wonder of presence and the fleeting precious moment.

And an enigma— the foot impressions don’t conform to a normal human being. How could they have been made? One foot faces the opposite direction of the other.

By letting go of our conceptual beliefs and judgments, by letting go of rules and just being present in the moment, we perhaps gain our true humanity. We see.

George DeWolfe, Fine art photographer



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