Back in October I mentioned on Facebook that I’d had a lightbulb moment inspiring a blog miniseries of sorts. Now that we are past the craziness of busy season and the holidays, I finally have time to sit down and share the thoughts I’ve penned.
From my personal creative journal:
“I’ve always been a bit bemused that I can tell you the surroundings of every photograph I’ve ever taken. Maybe this is normal? Maybe it’s a photographer thing? I’m not sure but I’ve realized this is because they are all little pieces of me that I share with the world. Though it isn’t frequently at the forefront of my mind, this is probably the biggest reason I find photos to be so magical (especially when thought has been placed into it instead of simply snapping the shutter). If eyes are windows to the soul, what does that make a photograph? The photographer is quite literally showing you how they are viewing the world, even the most tiny and mundane moments become beautiful. I’m continually reminded how becoming a photographer has changed me. Light and the way it dances across the details of its subject is one of the most beautiful things on Earth. Not only can it change moods, it can instantly make anything look like it’s kissed by magic. Learning to see the light is the best gift I’ve ever given myself. It’s a bit paradoxical because it can’t be taught. You just have to keep searching for it until one day everything falls into place and you see it. I’ll never forget my absolute frustration with my photos at the beginning of my photographic journey. Dad use to tell me ‘you have to learn to see the light.’ I never understood what he meant and would beg him to elaborate or, better yet, just teach me. If you know him, you’ll understand the intensity of his response… this is a man that is (affectionately) known for giving far more information than is needed. An old family friend used to say ‘If you ask Joe the time, he’ll tell you how to build a clock.’ For him to simply tell me ‘I can’t. You just have to see it for yourself,’ is a huge indicator of the nature of this sort of thing. Now this is my biggest advice to anyone that ever asks me how to take better photos: learn to see the light and everything else will follow. I also think this is a huge indicator in the development of one’s shooting style. Dad doesn’t see light like I do, I don’t see light like you do, and you don’t see light like the man down the street. Once you learn the basics of operating a camera, photography is simply about manipulating the light to be the way you see it in your mind’s eye. ‘Painting with light.’ Anyway, the whole point I was trying to make is that photography has given me the ability to see stunning beauty in the mundane. Something that most would walk on by and not even notice has me stopping and marveling at its beauty… and snapping a photo.”
I wanted to share a couple photos of ordinary every day moments that turned into something magical because of the way the light fell.
This one, my baby was waiting on her lunch. The light in our dining room was so soft and ethereal coming through the sheer curtains. It was one of those moments where I just audibly sighed and ran to grab my camera.
These next two were taken last Summer when we went down to Portland to visit my best friend and her family. We were walking around the Portland Arboretum in the late afternoon and as she stopped to play with her baby, the light just engulfed her and it was a breathtaking sight.
I was recently volunteering in my oldest daughter’s class. I always have my camera with me these days thanks to my 365 project and, again, I couldn’t help but snap a photo. Warm golden light always makes my heart go pitter pat. It’s kind of addicting.
Do you have any stories about seeing the light? Share them in the comments section!