August 04, 2014

Photography

August 4, 2014 Photo (216/365): "Photography"

"A camera teaches you how to see
without a camera." ~ Dorothea Lange

Over the past year and a half as I've worked on this project, I have taken thousands of photographs. I often take multiple shots of the same subject -- sometimes on the same day, sometimes at different times of day (à la Monet), and sometimes days, weeks, months, or even a year later. Studying my photos has taught me so much about focus, composition, color, light, angles, and editing. When I look back on my own progress, I learned so much from the "mistakes" that I've made. Yet Project 365 has also taught me a lot about life.

1. Focus: Be constantly present and observant. Focus on what is beautiful, unusual, the details that make a picture special, uniquely your own. Looking at things from different angles provides new opportunities to witness moments that would be missed if they were only observed from a single point of view. “When you start to change the way you see things, the things you see start to change.” ~ Wayne Dyer

2. Perseverance: Commitment to a project of this magnitude can be challenging. There are days when nothing seems interesting; when it feels like there's nothing to photograph and/or nothing to write. There are nights when it's late and I'm tired, but I don't want to disappoint myself by not posting a photo. There are moments when I know I have the potential to take a great picture, but the light, the camera, or the subject don't seem to be cooperating. I've learned not to give up: Light changes, subjects move, and my own control over angles and focus can make all the difference. "Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained." ~ Marie Curie

3. Acceptance: Sometimes, I can predict what my day will bring and what photos I might take, but even those pictures always look different in my mind than they do on my screen. My iPhone 5S has predictable limitations. Sometimes, I know that I will never get close enough to capture what I see, and regardless of how much I plan, I can't control the weather, the natural light, or movement and will of others. I can only try new perspectives. "Acceptance doesn't mean resignation; it means understanding that something is what it is and that there's got to be a way through it." ~ Michael J. Fox

4. Balance: It is important to strike a balance between photos that are carefully planned, composed, and edited, and those beautiful, unexpected moments that require quick reflexes. So often when I've taken several shots of the same subject, it is my first impression that becomes the photo of the day. As much as I insist on presence and awareness, it is impossible to be fully present if one is constantly viewing life through a camera lens. “Life is a balance of holding on and letting go.” ~ Keith Urban

5. Sharing: Creative expression (art, music, writing, etc.) is meant to be shared. Although I began this project to challenge myself and that continues to be my primary focus, I have rather serendipitously found an audience for my work via social media and word of mouth. The feedback and encouragement that I receive further challenge me to try new things and to continue to improve. Although it is impossible to please everyone, everyday, it is empowering to know that others look forward to my daily offerings (so thank you!). "Art is about sharing. You wouldn't be an artist unless you wanted to share an experience, a thought." ~ David Hockney