Putting down the camera


There is something magical about photography to me. I find it is a way to freeze time almost. Photographs show a glimpse of a present moment, bringing it into the future.

Photography has also been a factor in my appreciation of life. As a walk around, I notice more. I see tiny details. I appreciate textures. I study natural light. It is though there is a constant lens on my eyes that filters out all the world’s bad so that I can only see the good.

Yet, this constant lens can also be a way to detach from the moment.

Recently, I went on vacation with my love. We went off to an island to relax. I was surrounded by topical wonders: beaches, waterfalls, flowers and so much more. On our first day, we were walking around checking out the resort, and I noticed my mental lens was in overdrive. I was thinking, oh, that would make a nice picture... Then it dawned on me, by looking at everything as a future picture, I was not completely in the moment. I was thinking about photographs and not the man standing beside me.

In that moment, I had to remove the lens from my eyes. I had to stop capturing the moment for later so that I could embrace it then. I still noticed the wonder around me, but this time, I tried to focus on what is was and not the photo it could be.

I also made a conscious decision to not carry a camera around constantly. I took photos of course, but I limited it to a couple of hours during the week.

It was hard, I admit. Here I was in a tropical resort and no camera in hand. Isn’t that a photographer’s worst nightmare? I survived though. As a matter of fact, I had fun.

Without a big camera to worry about or lug around, my boyfriend and I were able to just be. We held hands on the beach. We hiked up a waterfall. We danced on a catamaran. It was exciting, and yet relaxing…and truly beautiful.

This beauty may not have all been captured in photos, but it was captured in my heart nonetheless. Ironically, as I looked for a quote on details to accompany my macro submission to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge, I came across a quote by Susan Sontag that said what I felt that week.

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I would have to agree with her. Many times, my travel somewhere is defined by the photographs I harvest. In fact, when I left for the vacation, I was thinking about what iPhone photos I could take for Sally D’s Challenge. I planned on making a post there at the resort.

That plan changed though as life took over and fun was embraced…and I don’t regret it one bit (and I knew Sally would understand).

So in lieu of a macro shots from my vacation, I am sharing some iPhone close ups that I had intended on posting earlier.

And since Sally D has introduced me to Pixlr, I played around with one of them to make it more “arty.”

As I started this post I was going to write a poem or talk about details that connected to my iPhone shots above. However, when I found the Susan Sontag quote above, my thoughts all turned. And when I looked up a bit more Sontag, I found another quote that really resounded with me.

Photographs have increased our access to knowledge and experiences of history and faraway places, but the images may replace direct experience and limit reality.

I find that statement very profound because when I look at my shots above, I can only recall the pictures. I don’t recall where I was or what I was doing, which I generally do. I don’t remember anything about the moment I took those pictures at all. I just have the photos. Though I like them, I now wonder, what did I miss?

Perhaps putting down the camera last week was the best decision for my vacation.

I am not saying that I am hanging up my camera for good. Oh no, I wouldn’t be me without one. But maybe just maybe, I can try to look at the world and enjoy it and those around me without a constant lens on my eyes. I figure, if I put down the the camera from time to time, I can not only see the details and textures in life, but I can feel them as well.

So in honor of embracing all that life can offer, here is one of the few iPhone shots we took while on the island. Now go put away your phone or computer and go hug those you love:)

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For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge ~ Macro.

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Unrequited


I drink in your lies

Swallowing them with pain

The longer I stay with you

The more I feel insane

 ~

My words do not matter

They fall to the floor in waste

I stand before you trembling

Waiting, in timid haste

 ~

I want you to love me

Like I loved you in the start

But you continue to stab

Every damn bit of my heart

~

But I don’t really quit

And I continue to wait

For I hope and I dream

That maybe, just maybe…

it is not too late

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For all those who lived a one-sided love at one point in their lives.

Mirage of life


As a writer and photographer, I feel like I see more than some people. Sometimes it is a little thing that a busy person would ignore. Other times, it is something magical created by my own imagination. Either way, I know of no other way to live.

Well, let me rephrase that. I KNOW how to live a hectic, busy life that makes you miss the small treasures in life. I also REMEMBER what it was like to not dream, hope or create. Neither of the lifeless outlooks appeal to me anymore. I am too tired to do that now; so I am consciously choosing to see the wonder and hope in the world.

I WANT to see the grace of a bird in flight. I NEED to feel the breeze on my skin. I YEARN for more mindfulness in my days. Our lives here on Earth are limited, and none of us know when that time will end. So I want to enjoy what I have left.

Yes, the world if full of hateful, angry, and stupid people. There are countless piles of red tape and minutia to get tangled up in. And, there can be drama in nearly every facet in life. I know people who thrive off this drama, this anger, this red tape. They spin in circles and weave webs of confusion. I just can’t do it….anymore.

Not that I am ignoring the ills of reality and living in a Pollyanna world, but I am TRYING to keep all of that stress and drama outside of my door to limit its impact on my life.  Sometimes, this is easier said than done of course. But when these times come, I try to give the problem a time limit.

I remember I watched some horror movie a few years back. I wish I could remember the name of it so that I could quote it properly, but I can’t. Regardless, in the movie there was a conversation that resonated with me. In the scene, there were two characters who were preparing to face some evil entity or power, and they were discussing fear. One of them told the other, they gave fear the power over them, but only for a few seconds. They would soak in the moment, the terror, the realization. But after addressing those feelings, they chose to act. They said something to the extent that the fear had to be felt because the situation was real. They had to process that emotion, but that feeling was also what fueled them into action.

This really stuck with me. It made sense. You can’t solve a problem if it immobilizes you. You also can’t solve it if you ignore it. This mentality has morphed into my life. I refuse to let problems paralyze me. I will find a way to solve them. And if I can’t solve them, I will find another way to change, cope or accommodate the situation that works for me. I also make a conscious choice on the battles I chose. Let’s face, not all things need to be addressed, at least by me. So I shuffle my priorities to acknowledge pressing issues as needed. They too, are given a time limit and perhaps, revisited later if needed.

This juggling of energy has allowed me to open my eyes to the world around me. It permits me to not get overwhelmed with the ugliness of the world. It reminds me of the good that is indeed out there. This daily awareness has brought me more joy and hope than I ever thought were possible. And let’s face it, the world could use a little bit more joy and hope on a daily basis.

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Note on the photo: the photo above is an iPhone shot I took of a bird flying over a pond in Florida. Just a simple shot that really wasn’t all that powerful due to the resolution and focus of trying to capture a bird in flight on camera.

But, I saw more. I saw grace and power and magic. So, I played around and created the montage in Pixlr by adding a border and an overlay. Then, poof – there is the magic I saw and felt as I watched this bird fly.

~~~~~~~~~~~

For Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge