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Coming to America.

Many of you have experienced immigration/emigration in life's journey. I'm sure it affects all of us in different ways, and we all have different ways of expressing it's impact. For me, a photo I took and processed today sums it up. It's not the best photo I've ever taken, but it's an expression of what I've experienced moving to the USA. I'll step you though it.

To set the scene, I was out walking our new family member Arlo (puppy) with my son Felix, in a foreign country that feels like home...there are so many similarities with Australia. Scratch the surface, and there are vast differences everywhere!

The photo isn't of something extraordinary or something especially's a waterway close to home; a nice part of typical Kansas. It's general but something that I really value, appreciate and am grateful for; first element captured. This place and community has it's own natural beauty and one that I have taken to very quickly, appreciate, and feel grateful for.

The slow shutter speed (10 stop ND filter allowed me to get down to 10 seconds), allowed me to capture the moment of the leaves in the wind and creates a subtle dream like appearance. Second element captured - for me, there has been an ever so slight dreamy experience to moving here....everything seems so similar to home, but isn't quite home. It's similar to daja vu I find.

Next was post processing. The thing that says 'Midwest USA' the loudest for me is the vibrancy of the environment. My home town in central Victoria would struggle to get a week's worth of Kansas City rainfall in a year....I've been totally floored by the rapid growth and lushness of the vegetation here. To bring that out in the photo below, I upped the vibrancy of the colors, enhanced the luminosity of the greens and yellows, and brought down the blues to give the sky a bit more clarity. A bit of local exposure adjustment draws the eye down the creek through the subtle increase in brightness. This brought out another couple of elements - flow/change and opportunity.

I've spent a lot of time around rivers and have always thought they're a great metaphor of our lives....flowing through the world, ever changing conditions and scenery, occasional rapids, calm patches, needing of care, and the ability to change the character of the environment it flows through. The luminosity modifications I made are trying to draw the eye into the image and increase a sense of flow.

Say what you will about the USA, but one thing it does have is opportunity. You can really make a go of it here - emphasising the vibrancy of the vegetation, I'm trying to enhance that feeling of fertility and opportunity that is quite prevalent here.

So that's how I like to see it most of the time. There are still aspects of the USA that make me far less optimistic. They shouldn't be ignored, but I prefer to tackle them with a positive outlook. I can make my small contribution to making a world where we can all have a trip down a river in our own way which is bright, colourful, has abundance of beauty, and is always extraordinary :)

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