You might notice that in my photographs I often take pictures of a small portion of something much larger. I lift the “details” out of the context of a larger subject which allows me to accomplish a number of goals for my photography… and my life!
I’m a high energy kind of person. It is not a slam-dunk for me to be thoughtful and still. I am doing, moving, taking action, setting goals, and checking off boxes on my to-do list all day. I doubt if anyone would argue with the idea that there is benefit to slowing down and reflecting. Some folks do it by meditating. I find that taking photographs is a way to slow down and let go of the clamors of life. And I seem to step out of time when I look at the details that surround me.
When I zoom in on what is here right now, close at hand, in my environment… I see the amazingly ordered, the impossibly complex, the deceptively simple, and the highly purposed arrangements of the natural world. I can’t help but be reminded of a higher intelligence, a creative spirit in the universe. My life’s ups and downs start to get right-sized. I gain perspective, and humility about humankind’s influence. I reconnect to my ideas about God. I can do this anywhere, anytime I want to.
This feeling that “life is good” sneaks up on me whenever I slow down and look around. Seeing, feeling and thinking about what attracts me to a scene and making decisions about how to capture the image all work together to lift me into a calm, pleasant, introspective zone. Thoughts about puzzling or troublesome life events or situations recede. I don’t even remotely think that I can represent reality, the total experience of being present to what surrounds me, through a photograph. But I want to try.
When I look at the results of my best efforts, I have a grateful heart and that prompts me to share. If just one person looks at my photograph and is uplifted, then I feel like the work I did was totally worth it. I have given back a little bit of the experience!
When I am overwhelmed with information, with too much to do and too many commitments, the beauty of the colors, the shapes and patterns, the textures, and the interactions of nature and humankind and time to be found in the world immediately around me are relaxing and inspiring. Writing about this reminds me to: Slow down. Smell the roses. Be grateful. Look at the clouds. Savor the flavor. Feel the texture. See the rainbow. Keep it simple. Pass it on.