I love photography. I remember being in high school, and dreaming of becoming a photographer. I loved the idea of putting what I saw on film and sharing it with the world. I also loved how others could see the same thing I saw, yet capture it completely different.
This weekend I had a meeting that gave me the opportunity to rethink my life, my future, what I was meant to be and do. That is something that doesn’t come easy, because there is so much risk in doing so, and with the risk comes fear. What if it doesn’t work? What if I fail? What if I am not qualified to even try? As much as I hate those questions, they seem to come up far too often…
Because I knew I was going to the coast, I took my camera. We were supposed to have some times of reflection, and I tend to do better when I am active. Initially, I had planned on taking color pictures of nature, and use that as a focal point for the rest of my thoughts. When I stepped out of the house we were in, however, one thing I saw changed my plans. I decided then to switch to black and white mode, and that changed the rest of the day for me.
Something happens when we look at black and white images. Now, before I start getting all philosophical, I do love color photography. I love colors period. All of the gray skies we have been experiencing lately mute the wonderful colors of the world, at least to me. I love it when the sun is out, and the blue skies give rise to the reds, blues, greens, violets and more that comprise the landscape around me. Black and white images , however, make us focus on other things that we might have otherwise missed. Textures, shapes, depth, all of a sudden come alive.
So, I’m looking at the pictures, realizing I am seeing more than I saw initially, and it got me thinking… what is in me that I have not seen? Sometimes it takes reflection to bring that out. Other times it takes good friends to tell us what they see.
I’m starting to appreciate seeing things differently. I like being pliable, flexible, learning new things about the world, myself, and those around me. I think life is supposed to be like that. Studies show that to keep your brain young, you have to challenge it, and one way to do that is to change how you look at things. Funny thing is, the thing itself doesen’t change – everything we see was always there, but sometimes it takes a different set of eyes to notice what we never saw before.
Reflecting back on those fearful questions, I realize that they come from old thinking and habits. Past failures, missed opportunities, or even projections of what I think others think about me. I’m thinking it’s time to see those situations with different eyes. I’ve experienced some wonderful things and met marvelous people as a result of what I have gone through. Maybe they weren’t failures after all…
So, here are some of the pictures I took. Maybe they will prompt you to look differently about the pictures, and about your life. And for those of you who want to see people who do it better, I’ve added some links to professionals who do breathtaking black and white photography (and pretty amazing color photography too 🙂 )