Paul Vitko is an artist, and has shared some of the work from his own back yard. If you would like to see more of Paul’s work go to: paulvitko.com.
The challenge is being present in the moment, seeing, translating, and using your heart to create. Paul Vitko
Creating photographic images can challenge one very deeply. Nature responds to an inner respect for life forms, finding working boundaries, and learning to be ‘non-threatening’. These are all aspects, besides a camera, that require developing a second nature so you can be free and feeling in the moment.
Creating images with a camera is my passion. Traveling around the world fueled my passion, but soon the photography journey would come closer to home, like right in my backyard. By realizing what an incredible world is in the immediate environment, I learned to ‘see’ what I wasn’t noticing
An early image of a bee and flower, was my entrance into starting to grow a wildflower garden for continuous opportunities to create images about bees, insects, and flowers. The first garden was very simple, scratched a patch of dirt, scattered seeds, and then in the summer, photographed whatever showed up.
I started using a film camera in my late teens; a degree in fine arts (painting & photography); and took many thousands of images. Now when I create images, it is with my experiences, innate feelings, & knowingness. All this is present when I enter a “zone” where linear time no longer exists. In this space, I feel ‘one’ with the environment, like I am just another life form, being present in the moment. This is where my best work takes place.
Hummingbirds bring me great joy, just to be with those moments, sitting, watching and enjoying their movements. The additional enjoyment is creating images during those moments. Yellow jackets and hummingbirds get very competitive around the feeders, especially late summer and fall, very entertaining.
Just being present in life exposes one to moments not typically noticed, like an eagle landing in a tree in my backyard. About 4 years ago, around the winter solstice, while preparing dinner, this beautiful eagle with a dead squirrel in its talons, landed on a branch that was visible out my kitchen window. My camera was nearby, I went out back to photograph it, but unfortunately while attempting to get closer, (broke the boundary issue), the distraction was too much and it flew away.
In my opinion, one can have the fanciest or the simplest equipment, but it gets down to the eye of the person behind the camera. As with most things, there is a timing involved. Will you be present to notice, compose and create the image? It is important, to know how to use your tools, so you can let go of figuring it out. The challenge is being present in the moment, seeing, translating, and using your heart to create.
I have never been stung or bit by an insect in all my years of photographing.