POTD: Zen Rocks

POTD: Zen RocksZen Rocks Bozeman, Montana 2013

I was doing a little landscaping around our house a couple of weeks ago, including putting gravel borders around everything so we don’t have to trim when we mow. At the bottom of the stairs down to our garage, the gravel border sort of melds with some natural rock protruding from the ground. (Our house is built on the side of a rocky limestone ridge and we often end up digging in rock when we excavate or otherwise re-contour the grounds.) I must have had some extra time on my hands that day as I ended up sorting through the gravel picking out appropriately sized round pieces of gravel to line all the cracks in the boulders. It was actually kind of a relaxing, meditative exercise.]]>

9 thoughts on “POTD: Zen Rocks”

  1. Nice touch! When I first saw your title, I read “rocks” as a verb and thought it a bit of an oxymoron. Now that I read your explanation, I think I like considering them as a noun much better. This makes a nice composition for a photo. I’m having trouble envisioning the total scale of the “gravel” and the cracks.

    1. Thanks Betty. Like you as I was writing the title I saw the oxymoronic context if rocks is taken as a verb. That little bit of irony made me like the title even better.

  2. I like this photo Larry, except I feel “disappointed” by how the line of rocks is cropped at the top left edge. Maybe that’s intentional, because the kind of stones in the crack change. Maybe there’s other “stuff” in the surroundings you’re trying to eliminate. But the strong line leading to that corner seems weakened by the way the edge is treated. Can you clarify your thinking around that, if there was any! 😉

    1. Kathy, for the most part the cropping was not done particularly critically, certainly it wasn’t because the rocks change except that they get smaller in diameter because the crack width changes. That said, I did have several shots with slightly different composition to choose from and I chose this one as the strongest. One could argue that the tapering off of the rocks from large and sharply in-focus to smaller and blurry (due to depth of field issues), and the eventual gradual cropping that occurs on the edge of the photo makes the image stronger in the sense that it creates a strong depth perspective (much the same way a shot down a railroad track into the distance does) thus creating a nice path for the eye and a sense of movement. Also it could strengthen the image in the same way that a portrait shot of a person doesn’t always have to include all of the top of their head, or all of their ears or whatever.

  3. When I see the word “zen” the first thing that goes through my mind is Jeff “The Dude” Lebowski (The Dude and the Zen Master). This pic, even without the explanation, does him proud.

  4. Larry…thanks for sharing your thinking on why you chose the frame you did, especially after I saw the “overall” shot you posted. I’ve probably spent too much time looking at beginning amateur photographers’ work where little attention is ever paid to edges & cropping. 😉

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