It was very windy here today. The pelicans took a break from their fishing and just seemed content to soar in place. I swear they were just playing around. One pelican soared in the same place for almost a full minute, then circled around and did it again and again and again. He was 200 feet up in the air. He wasn’t even soaring over the beach. He was just hanging out – literally.
I found myself studying this behavior and in an uncharacteristic zen mood today. I was trying to draw some conclusions from the bird’s behavior. More importantly I was trying to decide if there were any lessons for me as a photographer as I watched the bird joyfully soaring.
And yes I decided there was a lesson. Sometimes, you just need to let go and relax. Sometimes, you need to just let your camera go where it wants to go without over-thinking everything. It’s good to have a goal and a plan. It’s good to practice and hone your craft but sometimes, you can just play. I think the pelican was trying to tell me something. I think I don’t just play around enough. I tend to concentrate too much on my business.
The pelican could have been looking for food. After all, that’s pretty much what pelicans do all day. But for just a few minutes he kicked back and hung out in the air having fun.
Maybe it’s a good idea for us to just kick back sometimes too. Perhaps if we photograph like the pelican soared, effortlessly, without much on our minds other than the fun of it, there will come that time when we’re refreshed enough to go back to work with improved vision, commitment and excitement about our photography.