My photo blog… visual thoughts around me.

“When is a place not just a place.”

I had planned on going back to this place for what seemed like a very long time. It is a place that I shared with my late wife and everyone in my family. For me it was -not just a place, but to others it was Ricketts Glenn. How do you shoot a place that is wrapped up with so much emotional history. It took me a year to even pick up my camera because the viewfinder has a way of isolating and intensifying what we see through its lens, and what I saw were images of a lost life. I came upon an ad from the Adirondack Photo Institute, giving a two-day workshop there. I had never shot this beautiful gorge with it’s all encompassing waterfalls from a photographers viewpoint.

So with these thoughts, emotions and undying visuals I met our group leaders Mark Bowie and Joe LeFeve. They were two of the most visually attached to a place people I had met in a while. I took it slow and separated from our group as I did not know what emotion would come over me. Pictures started to appear all around me but to my surprise not the sadness or depression from the past. As the day progressed I interacted more with our group. I was pulled in by what they saw and felt. We talked and shot as we made our way down through the Glenn. Exhausted both mentally and especially physically our day ended with dinner when we sat down and shared our experiences.

Remember to find your place, visit it often and share that experience. It is one thing I have found that can not be taken from you.


15 responses

  1. Beautiful place…


    August 28, 2012 at 4:46 am

  2. What a beautiful place. It’s tragic that you no longer have your wife, but you always have that place to go and be close to her. But still, losing a loved one after so long together is heart breaking. I’m sorry life did that to you.


    January 3, 2012 at 1:01 pm

  3. Hello Mike.

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My heart is with you.
    Last winter, I lost my father due to cancer (leukemia) and know how certain places
    can bring up strong emotions and memories that at times can be unbearable and painful.

    Though I haven`t any specific outdoor places that bring up my own personal memories,
    I do know that to keep oneself busy (not stressed) or active is very important to find our paths into the future, to feel that the life goes on. Sometimes, one can feel that it is wrong
    to keep on living “like nothing happened”, but such thoughts is based on guilt and fear and not love. Our lost ones will never leave our hearts and minds and they highest wish would be to see us love them, but continue to seek peace, continue to seek happiness.
    I was very happy to read that you took the courage to return to this place and that you had a great time!

    Photography, is more of an inner process and less about the subjects; it`s an active practice because one interprets what one sees rather than just take it in.
    The more one uses the imagination, creativity and personal references, the more
    photography becomes a process that to an extent removes us from the physical place and
    takes us into a creative world that is quite different from our everyday emotional and practical world. I believe that by becoming less attached to something, or someone, the more one is able to see and understand. Well, that`s just my two cents, Mike.
    I am sorry to leave so many words in this comment…your post inspired me.

    By the way, I really enjoyed your photographs in this post, especially Ricketts Glenn 3!

    Wish you peace and happiness in every breath, in every single heartbeat
    Seung Kye


    July 27, 2011 at 2:25 am

  4. Your photography is absolutely beautiful. I am so glad that your experience was a good one.


    July 19, 2011 at 8:55 am

  5. Barbara

    The photos from Philly were great. I think these from Rickets Glenn are my favorite.


    June 30, 2011 at 7:15 pm

  6. Mike Pillows

    Hey everyone… a big “thank you” to all who commented on this post. A tough subject on so many levels but a beautiful place…. share it.


    June 14, 2011 at 10:13 pm

  7. Joanna Patterson

    Mike, I was taken by the very first image. You left just the right amount of reflected light on the water to high light the eddies in the foreground. All of your images in this series capture a mystical or dreamlike quality. Beautiful.
    i also was not aware of your loss. I think that you are very courageous to have openly shared not only your loss but also to have faced your unknown reactions. Only if we are willing to walk through the pain can we come out on the other side.
    I am so glad that you picked up your camera again, because you have so much express and to share with the world. Keep up the great work!
    I have found that taking my camera out into nature and getting lost there for a while has been a wonderful healing tool.


    June 14, 2011 at 9:51 pm

  8. Skip

    A really nice post. I particularly liked the wide angle portrait of the falls and eddys. Slip V.


    June 14, 2011 at 11:38 am

  9. Jack Mroz

    Mike, great blog of your wonderful vision of photography. I was not aware of your loss, but I can only say that photgraphy brings me into sacred space and I know and can see from your photography that it’s doing the same for you. You’re gifted with a vision that can draw others into a place of healing and comfort in knowing that this temporary life will lead to the eternal where we’re all reunited in love.
    Never put down the camera my friend, unless it needs a sensor cleaning. Continue to visit those places that draw you in, especially up here in the Poconos. You know you’re always welcome to visit anytime.

    You and “D” are getting me interested in creating my own blog. Maybe soon. Regards.


    June 14, 2011 at 9:25 am

  10. Barbara

    Beautiful photos, I can see your emotion in your photography.


    June 12, 2011 at 4:59 pm

  11. Linda Kamholz

    Great collection of images, Mike! I’ll have to visit Ricketts Glenn vicariously through your photos though, ’cause my knees would definitely balk at being put through the paces of that particular venue.
    Shooting waterfalls is quite a challenge on so many levels. You’ve managed to capture “the big picture” in your first shot. While there’s a lot going on, it works well together. I also like a number of your smaller detail shots which have an intimacy about them.

    BTW, I admire the design of your blog — clean lines, good contrast. The background color, while dark, is less harsh than black would be and so enhances your nature photos. Bravo, Mike!


    June 12, 2011 at 4:38 pm

  12. Excellent work, Mike. I particularly liked the leafy shrub branches in front of the waterfall, and the stream between the V-trees. I need to get out there, too.


    June 12, 2011 at 9:20 am

  13. Wow, awesome photography Mike!! I also need to get to Ricketts Glenn.


    June 12, 2011 at 8:25 am

  14. denisebushphoto



    June 12, 2011 at 7:47 am

  15. Bonnie Rovere

    Beautiful photos Mike. This looks like a place I need to put on my list!


    June 11, 2011 at 9:45 pm

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