When traveling, or even when just wandering in my neighborhood, I like to take my camera with me. I find I use it to guide my responses to what I am seeing: to filter, to focus, to shape my memories. While I enjoy a grand vista as much as any tourist, more often I am attracted to the details in the scene, an oblique or "slant" view of the place where, to reinterpret Emily Dickinson, I can sometimes glimpse a "superb surprise." Often this involves moving closer, to see the interplay of shapes and colors, patterns and textures, shadows and light and reflection. Natural, and human, objects can become dazzling, abstract, mysterious, surprising, when seen from the slant view. But only for an instant; then everything changes again. If I aim the lens in the right direction and open the shutter at the right moment, I may capture a small share of the spirit of a place.