May I walk through the valley with shadows
as gray skies and high noon make flat photos.
But, if cloudy
May I lie down in green pastures
with my close-up lens
and shoot wildflowers, honey bees,
and other creatures great and small.
May I follow in the footsteps of Ansel
and fear no readings,
hardly a problem with digital,
and thus I have no enemies.
My tripod and shutter release
they comfort me
and reduce camera shake
to shoot starry, starry nights
and blue velvety waterfalls.
May I anoint my head
with a good billed cap
as I truly can’t see to focus with sunglasses
neither in the valley with shadows
nor in the purple mountain’s majesty.
I need red-eye correction.
May I remember all I’ve learned
about aperture, depth of field,
white balance, and all that jazz.
My soul is restored
even with Kodachrome away.
I am perhaps a bit self-righteous
when I don’t take the same blessed pictures
hundreds have shot before me.
Yea, my shutter, I shall not want
a new lens every year
but all the days of my life.
Nikon, my Nikon,
I will dwell in thy house forever.
You fit my hand,
I know your body.
I’ve chosen your namesake,
and a new Canon would be too hard to learn.
Nikon, my Nikon,
Beside the still waters,
in sickness and health,
You are my comfort.
You are my song.
This piece was written at a week-long writing workshop at Ghost Ranch. The title of the Workshop was “Singing in the Hard Times.” Mostly we wrote ABOUT the hard times, but I got so mired down in the hardness, I had to think about and write about what gets me through the hard times. It is my photography more than anything else. I can pick up a camera, go out my backdoor to a walking trail, and get lost in looking for the beauty in small details. My apologies to anyone who might be offended by my parody of a serious and beautiful psalm.