Impressionist Autumn

Impressionist Autumn

Impression of Autumn © 2008 Bo Mackison

I spend much of my photography time working to get detail-sharp photographs. But Saturday we were driving in the country when we came upon eight sandhill cranes strutting about in a just-harvested cornfield, feeding on the leftovers. I had my camera in my lap, but wasn’t planning on taking any shots, so though I clicked away, I didn’t have enough time to change the manual settings.

When I checked the photos, sure enough, all the cranes were a bit out of focus. Even though I had focused on the birds, they weren’t exactly posing still for me. They were busy fluttering, and pecking corn from the ground, and nudging each other. But I noticed the trees in the background and was drawn to their impressionist style. So I did a rather drastic crop.

Couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share, even though my husband, now a Photo Sherpa with a year of experience behind him, informed me that the photo wasn’t in focus.

I know.

I still like it.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. I like it, too. It really does have an impressionist sensibility. I’m glad you posted it.

    We’ve only recently started to see the sandhill cranes. It’s still early for them.

  2. I like it too, what I need is a Photoshop Sherpa, I quite like to be alone when I am in photo mode

  3. It does rather look like a painting, which is precisely why I’m drawn into it. Sometimes the best shots are those unplanned “accidents.” I love it, Bo.

  4. Richard Lovison says:

    The image has a dreamlike “Monet” quality about it. You probably would have enjoyed Dewitt Jones’ latest article in Outdoor Photographer.

  5. It is a pretty pattern with pleasing tones.

  6. I’ve never been a big fan of ‘perfect’ focus. Love the soft color and blur that this out-of-focus image is. Very painterly.

  7. It’s a very interesting shot, but i’d have to agree with the photo sherpa. While beautiful, it is definitely not in focus. 🙂

  8. Love it, Bo! I’d frame this one. 🙂

  9. Hey! You tell your husband life isn’t always about coloring in the lines!

  10. suehenryphotography says:

    This is one of the first images I choose to open, view, and read about. And, I’m so glad I chose this one! Sounds like this is a perfect example of what I can a “happy accident.” Such a cool image.

  11. Heck…this is what I see without my glasses! Looks like a beautiful work of nature to me:)

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