One of my favorite things about taking photos is that even without my camera in hand, the act of photography helps me pay attention to moments. I find myself looking for light, looking for expressions, looking for color…and that moment of time that the click of the shutter freezes.
Not every photo comes out as an amazing work of art, but even the “failed” images teach me something. Sometimes I learn about photography, sometimes about light and shadow, and frequently I learn about patience…and about seizing the moment when I have the chance.
Last weekend my husband ran in the Carlsbad 5000, a race of a bit over three miles through the streets of the village of Carlsbad. It’s a beautiful setting, not far front the sea. There were lots of runners, very early in the morning, going through their own pre-race routines. As the start neared, I walked to the front where the fastest runners were poised for the start, the morning sunshine pouring in behind them.
After watching my husband go by (not near the front…he’s a recreational runner, not a racer), I walked toward the finish line where I could watch runners as they had completed the course. It was fun to watch the fastest of the runners who seemed to have sprinted from start to finish (this was the over 40 men’s race), finishing in just over 15 minutes. And I think it’s fun that racers get to take home a medal for their participation, a reminder of the moments of the race. (My husband had a respectable finish, one that he was pleased with, and that’s a fun moment too!)
Sometimes when my week is busy, I forget to appreciate the little things, blaming no time as my excuse. But I took time on Tuesday to stop to watch the sun set. I guess my late meeting was a bit of a blessing, bringing me near home as the sun was dipping into the ocean. I pulled off the freeway and found a parking spot near Torrey Pines State Beach just in time to watch the sun as it set behind the lifeguard tower. The colors were pretty, the wind cool on my cheeks, and the white noise of the waves washed worries to the side. I did enhance the colors with a filter, bringing the vibrance and energy of the sunset to the forefront of the image.
And on the day that going anywhere other than straight home just seemed too much of a chore, I remembered that I needed to turn the sprinklers on in the back yard. I ducked in for my camera and when I came back out I noticed the bees around the lavender. I crouched, patiently waiting for the bees to come into my shot. I love the way the light sits in the background while the flower and bee are more shaded. I also love the moment of action, the bee frozen midair.
Somedays I’m glad to have a bit of sunshine indoors…like these yellow tulips in a vase on my dining room table. Trader Joe’s offers such a nice assortment of not-too-pricy cut flowers that I feel like I can splurge and bring into the house pretty regularly. On this day I was able to catch the moment when the afternoon sun shined on the table, illuminating the sturdy yellow blossoms.
What moments will you catch as you slow down with your camera in hand? Look carefully, perhaps even staying still for a few minutes to notice all that is happening in your view.
You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #moments for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.
Set off in search of some moments…and share them with the rest of us!