Observations in Photography or the self..

Arches National Park UT

Journals from the Road – Utah 2016

As a novice in photography, I feel like a child.  In a state of growth, emulation, and excitement. We rush through the landscapes, our senses flooded by the beauty that unfolds before us (if we are conscious enough to pay attention). Seduced by the beauty and desperate to capture the moment clumsily.  Typical boy brain; most attempts are forcing the shot.  As if I have the power to will it into being.  It ceases to be about force and is accomplished only through surrender.  I’m starting to sense that good photography (and life) is about patience and study.  A patient lover, to be more exact, but not in the physical sense of the term, but in the spiritual.  In essence, patience and love allow us to become silent enough to understand how to realign our perspective.  Love is not about us but works through us; we become a vessel filled and overflowing. The overflow allows us to share for the benefit of others.

Photography is a study of the art of composition and, more importantly, the integration of the whole. The technical applications of the equipment are merely training to adapt to any given situation, but the art of photography is about the willingness to observe and become a witness. Our perspective is a limitation, and we must humbly accept this constraint for the moment to reveal itself to us. We can only do this effectively when achieving an inner silence to hear the whispers and murmurs of her beauty.

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” – Rumi.

It is in the art of observation and understanding how the light engages in a playful dance with the landscape around you. Photography becomes the medium to document the moment.  A snapshot of how the heavens kiss the seen.. and realize we are just witnesses to the beauty of this creative moment unfolding.  This realization becomes an integral part of me and changes me.  A subtle merger and an impression that I carry with me always.  Perhaps this is how it has always worked, so it is crucial to be conscious of the words we use, the images we view, our created interactions, and our environment.  No now matter how small or large, it all matters…

If our visual “reality” is just our perception of the light’s reflection in its many variations, we have to witness the play, the dance, and how it acts to serve as a teacher in the most subtle ways. It pours over the landscape and all of life for celebration, discovery, and renewal. It is consistent in beauty, intensity, and severity yet always patient and highlights the truth that is forever present.

We keep pushing and seeking, yet she always sends us the same message. When will we listen? More importantly, when will I?

Perhaps this is a life-long practice and an opportunity to become a humble student and immerse myself… to experience how it unfolds and blossoms. In the end, it is the unfolding of senses that help us reclaim our sense of awe and wonder, as she seeks to teach us every day.


About the author

Born in Texas, I'm presently living in the northwest.

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