A moment seized
by Chris Clark
A continent away and years ago I went walking
With my camera, seeking a singular image
And I found myself in Stanley Park.
Sometimes I chance on a visual treasure,
But have no gear or can’t react quick enough.
Sometimes I actively decline, avoiding failure.
Other times life is too hypnotic and I am obliged to try.
The result is often less that perfect – too bright or too dark,
The colors are wrong, it’s fuzzy, or something is cut off.
Nevertheless, once in a great while I see the shot, take it in time,
There are no slip-ups and what emerges it just what I hoped.
At that moment the lagoon was a graceful mix of soft colors.
Light streaming through foliage on one side.
The remains of a morning mist hanging in the air.
No one crossing the bridge or sitting on the bench below.
Still water reflecting the peace of the morning,
Like a landscape by Thomas Cole.
I pointed the little Olympus and pressed the button.
“Maybe this time,” I muttered … and continued walking.
I snapped diversionary shots on the hike back, to stay calm,
But back at the hotel I rushed to marry camera to laptop
And in a few moments I was viewing the morning’s catch.
Not bad, good, blurred, too dark, excellent, very good…
And then there was the lagoon, exactly as I had seen it.
It was extraordinary – perfect colors, focus, and contrast.
My eyes shut in disbelief and opened again – yes!
I breathed in sharply and my throat tightened.
A tear brimmed on the edge of my vision.
Other images that morning were nearly as special,
As if the photographer’s muse had accompanied me.
But there was no question as to which was the prize.
Every now and then a new wonder confronts me.
I begin to compose the image, reach for the shutter,
And remember the lagoon in Vancouver.