Cottonwood Tree, Tanque Verde Ranch, Tucson, Arizona

Learning to see ... and feel.
Sometimes people ask you "what did you see that made you take that photo." It is a valid question and sometimes you answer something like "I liked the light," or the shadows, or the angle, or the clouds, or any other number of things. Consider the question and your answer seriously as it is more often than not, at least for me, an aha! moment. Sure I saw something, that is why I took the photo. But it is in reliving the moment that we then remember our thought process and subsequent actions that led us to take the photo. That question and answer exchange could become a teaching moment, for both parties. So learning to see and later remembering what you "saw" can become important moments in you photographic experiences.
I have also noticed that for me the same is true when I remember what I "felt" as I considered photographing the scene in front of me. I can still recall "feeling" something special on several photographs that I have taken through the years. These experiences I would catalog as more special and meaningful that just merely saying or thinking "that is an interesting cloud formation." Maybe it was more like "that is an amazingly spectacular group of clouds" or something like that. Forgive me for not being able to put into more lucid words those "special feelings" one can have before taking a photograph but I think you get the idea.
On the recent photo above, I distinctively remember feeling something special about the light on the leaves, and about the subdued light on the corners and edges of the photo as I was framing it. I also remembered the faint sound the leaves made as the wind moved them, and finally I remember the overall peace I felt in the solitude of that spot and in that moment in time.
Is this perhaps what people mean when they say "stop and smell the roses?" or "enjoy the moment?" or "slow down?"  
If it is then I want to do more of that; hear the leaves on the trees while the shadows dance with the light, I want to be able to recognize and experience those simple moments of peace more often. I pray that you too could do the same. Whether or not you have a camera with you, and whether or not you capture a nice photo. That would just be a bonus, a simple memento of your very own quiet and peaceful moment.

June 15, 2018 


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