The Road Not Taken

Dan Jurak, landscape, fine art, fineart, minimalist, black and white, Alberta, prairie, rural, clouds, dark sky,
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
-Robert Frost

It’s a familiar poem by Robert Frost. Especially the last four lines.

There are two kinds of people in this world I think. Those that lead and those that follow. Those that need to be a part of the group and those that need to be apart. Those that conform and those that rebel.

I don’t think that you choose to be in one group or another. Why do caribou herd together while the wolverine is a solitary animal? We are probably born that way for better or worse. You only need realize where you fit in to find your happiness.

Why do we choose the path that we take in life, in art or in relationships? That is something that I will never understand but as I get older I understand enough to accept how I am and how those are around me. I have no need to be part of a group aside from my family. No need to lead people anywhere or to preach and teach to them that they should feel, think and act the way that I do. Famous? Heh. Fame is for those who love to look in the mirror at themselves all day.

We are all different but yet the same. Connected to one another somehow but not connected.

The path that I have taken with my photography in no small way reflects how I feel about life in general. Photography has become about exploration. It’s a journey that has no end. Where it leads who knows? Who cares?

The picture at the top of this post sat on my hard drive for a few weeks while I processed other images. Not sure what to do with it or how to treat it I left it in all of it’s brilliant colors full of hues of purple, and blue and magenta. It was taken on a beautiful autumn morning. The whole sky was awash with brilliant color but yet the final image is in black and white.

Creativity works at times in strange and unexplainable ways. With no final idea mind I lightened, darkened, burned, dodged and cropped. This went on and off for a couple of days. I would leave it for a few hours and come back to it with a fresh view and would change it again until I was able to open it up and leave it as is.  It becomes less of an intellectual exercise and more of a spiritual one. The final image was hidden in the RAW color image waiting to be released in the same way that a stone sculpture has hidden inside a block of stone the work of art that will be revealed. It was always there only waiting to set free.

I think that all of us need to take the lesser traveled road at one time or another. Just as the road in the photo leads to the horizon and what lies beyond it you might be pleasantly surprised to see what lies over the next hill.

Happy shooting,



~ by Dan Jurak on October 28, 2014.

9 Responses to “The Road Not Taken”

  1. Dan, your posts never cease to sooth my soul.

  2. Is that a good thing? I dunno. LOL

    Thank you for visiting and commenting,

  3. Beautiful, Dan. Yes, hidden in plain sight.

  4. Thank you Colleen.

  5. well said, dan
    thanks for your sharing of the journey you are on…


  6. Wow Dan that was a short hiatus! Which is a good thing on our collective part. Looks like you took a northern road less traveled like Cole Thompson! Equally a good thing in my humble opinion. Looking forward to the journey.

  7. @ Bob, I think what happened is that I was bored of shooting the same way that I have been for the past several years. I will continue to shoot color but my emphasis will be on these black and whites. There is something alluring about learning new things or how to do things differently. Right now these long exposure or minimalist black and whites fit the bill.

    I will have to google Cole Thompson. The name is familiar but nothing comes to mind.

    Thanks as always for visiting and commenting,

    ps. Quick edit… I googled Thomspon and WOW! he has some beautiful images that I immediately identify with. Thank you for the heads up!

  8. I love that poem…always makes me think.And it even gives me some courage. Yes, I am enjoying the black and white series.

  9. @ Jane, that Robert Frost poem is one of the earliest that I remember from grade school. Timeless isn’t it?

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