Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Through the Lens of Photography


See the frost reflecting the tree's shadow. It's all that's left from the frozen night. The sun has been blocked by the scraggly branches. Grab it before it disappears.

Turn to see the fog low in the valley. Is that a deer on the hill? What will you see if you are already looking?

My love affair with the camera has given me new eyes. I don't want to miss a thing. I don't want a moment to slip by unnoticed. My eyes are open now.

I see the gray squirrels, almost blue. I have to slow down to see them. I have to be still to frame their portraits. I must barely breathe to make their acquaintance.

Maybe what makes photography addicting is not the end results but the doing.

Here is what I'm learning…

The 99 blahs and 1 Good
I spend hours taking pictures, but keep very few. The ones that don't breathe life, I easily delete. But that doesn't mean they haven't served me well. I have learned from them 99 things that don't work. I have discovered angles that turn out awkward and lighting that it heavy handed. For this, I am grateful.

The Anti-Clock
If I want to capture time in my photo, I need to relax into it. I take off my watch and just wait for the
photograph. This means that, for a little while, my to-do list will be suspended. My chores will have to wait. I will be too busy being still to be worried about minutes. I will be too busy observing to think about wasting time.

The New Perspective
When I'm not finding any magic in my view-finder, I need to move a little. Maybe I need to sit down
in the grass, or lie down on the rock. Maybe I need to reach a little further to the left or stand on my
tip-toes. Maybe I need to climb that hill or crawl under that bush. Maybe from there I'll see something interesting.

The Adventure
When I am stuck in a rut and am feeling uninspired, I try a new place. I go where I've not been before: a new river, new tea shop, new butterfly farm. Each are waiting to show me new leaves, new colors, new patterns of light.

The Close By
I might not be able to travel so far. But all around me are the interesting: the light playing tricks on my bedroom wall, the herbs in the yard, the teacup and saucer I've sat on my books. The simple things can be so eloquent, telling the story of who lives here and how.

The Memory Maker
This mint grows outside the old kitchen house.
To view my gallery, click on the
 photography tab above.
I've noticed that when I slow down to photograph something, I remember more details. Because in the moment I observe with wide eyes, the light, the air, the shadows, are seared in the memory. Even
without a resulting photo, I can easily pull up the experience with details I would have otherwise
missed.

The Always Watching
Driving down the road, I am almost gasping out loud. That would be fun to photograph. Oh, isn't that amazing? Can we stop so I can take a picture? Even if not, my eyes are. They see the things I've not noticed before: broken down barns, patterned bark on a tree. They say as I drive, “Look at me. Look
at me.”

The End of the Day
But there are some moments too precious, too fragile, too dear: the walk in the woods, the watching of stars. And in those moments I need to remember that moments do pass. So, I put down the camera and grab the hand of the person I'm with… and then I glance over and remember that sometimes making a moment is better than capturing it.




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