Cressman's Woods has been around our area forever and is a loved natural area that runs along the Grand River in Waterloo Region. Over the years, the name was changed to Homer Watson Park, honouring another famous family like the Cressman's.
This park area has over 125km of trails that wind through towering pines and maples over 100 years old and more trails that drop down to the grassy banks of the Grand River.
The lookout here is a favourite place for photographers and painters alike, and I was quite surprised when I arrived here before sunrise to find only one other person around. It was a teenage male, and he was proudly sporting what was obviously a new entry-level camera with a kit lens on it.
Looking at me setting up, he wandered over and asked general questions about what was there to shoot and whether I had ever tried to photograph a sunrise. I took a liking to the youngster and started a conversation as I lined up some shots of the river, oblivious to the sun rising just off to the right. I was more concerned with capturing the light catching the autumnal colors.
He clicked away, and I watched him quietly until he realized I wasn't shooting the hazy sun and asked what I was waiting for. I explained to him that photography is about the light, what it can cause, and how it can change a scene within minutes and pointed to the river below us and the trees, which were now coming alive out of the mist. He stopped, looked at a few images in his viewfinder of the bright blob of the sun, then smiled, turned to the river and started clicking again.
He lasted about 15 minutes before saying he had what he came for. We shook hands, and he hopped on his bike with his camera tossed into a gym bag over his shoulder and rode away.
I stayed another 45min or so, changing angles and settings and watching the world below wake up from the shadows.
I was happy with the photos I saw when I got home- but I was happier thinking that maybe I set a new generation of photographers down a new path of seeing things.
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