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Taking the Intuitive Approach

By Jennifer G. Wolcott / June 8, 1995



One waterfall. Many ways to approach it. At first, Monitor photographer Robert Harbison shot from downstream looking upstream, a pretty but predictable view.

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But then he was drawn to a more original perspective. He perched atop a stone wall to look down upon the waterfall. He wanted to capture the feel of it. What resulted is an image that is both powerful and profound.

It wasn't Harbison's intent to create a misty abstraction of swirling currents and erupting steam. The unexpected crept in during the development process and surprised even him. And without even a hint about scale, the composition - a combustion of whirlpools, vapors, and glassy waters - takes on an illusion of grandeur. A serene waterfall becomes a foaming Niagara.

The artist's approach and his dynamic photograph illustrate a deeper concept: Wondrous surprises often result when a task or challenge is looked at from a different perspective.

It isn't always easy to stray from a common perch and step onto new ground. But just as Harbison chose to progress beyond the ubiquitous nature-calendar picture, opening his thought to a fresher, more intuitive view, anyone can rethink an all-too-familiar pattern and change course.