There is a certain magic to black and white photography. Don’t get me wrong, I love color-lots of bold and bright colors to be specific. However, a good black is white holds mystery and elegance. It is though the black and white image reveals another dimension, showing something we tend to overlook.
Take these simple iPhone shots of some succulents that were sitting on a cart in the isle at a home improvement store. I was waiting for my dad to find what he wanted, so I was wandering. I noticed the cart of little plants. As I approached, I was drawn in. I noticed their details, shapes and elegance. I am sure I must have looked silly standing there staring at the 2-inch pots like I was discovering the wheel for the first time. But I was so interested in them that I broke out my phone. I needed to record their glory.
“To photograph truthfully and effectively
is to see beneath the surfaces
and record the qualities of nature and humanity
which live or are latent in all things.”
~ Ansel Adams ~
Years ago, I would have just walked right by these plants and paid them no mind, unless of course I was on a plant shopping trip. Then, I would have been looking for them. But as I was stumbling through the vicissitudes of my life, I was blind to beauty in the world. Back then, if I put on a happy face and accomplished tasks, I succeeded. There was no time or energy to notice the splendor of trivial plants on a cart. It would have been silly to even think of it.
But now, my life is different. No, I am not an over-the-top, Birkenstock-wearing, save-the-ants person now. (Not that there is anything wrong with that per se. I would not know honestly. I have never owned Birkenstocks nor founds ants in need of saving. I was just trying to set the scene.) I am merely more present and aware in my life. Now, I can appreciate the little moments around me and the nature before me. I pay more attention to people’s actions and body language than their scripted words. I pause to watch the sunset instead of speeding along with my endless tasks. Bottom line, I finally realized that I have no more time to waste. Life is not getting longer. It is getting shorter. Therefore, I must really live now. I need to make memories today and stop pushing them off for tomorrow. I already tried that, and tomorrow always got further away.
Today is my tomorrow. So if that means I stand in the isle of a big-box hardware store and photograph 99-cent succulents, so be it. There are worse things to be accused of. Some may say it’s odd or silly. I call it living with passion and being more aware of this glorious world we live in.