Tuesday, February 17, 2015

{For the Love} of Photography

As much as I love writing, a huge part of how I process and preserve what goes on around me is by taking pictures of it. My first camera was an odd round little thing that took small cartridges of film that had to be sent somewhere special to be developed... it was always so exciting to get prints back, to leaf through them and see what I had thought worth saving over the past few months, then to pushpin the best ones onto my crowded bulletin board.

But digital photography is slowly winning me over - I can take as many pictures as I want and just delete the bad or blurry ones without consequence, and it's possible to share the photos I've taken without forcing someone to sit down with a photo album.

It's a wonderful way to capture a fleeting moment - a patch of remembrance that can be looked back at later, when memory fails. We tend to remember the Big, Special, and Important - but it's the little things, easily missed and quickly forgotten, that fill in most of the pages of our story.

The beautiful things that wait to surprise us around every corner are often transient - but a photograph can lengthen their life, grace that continues to encourage every time it's revisited, bringing to mind both the beauty and the moment at which it occurred.

There are so many creators brightening their corner of the world - it's wonderful to be able to preserve the inspiration for future reference, and to make it available to more people than just those who physically stumble upon it.

Posting a picture of someplace I've been is also a way of sharing it with someone I wish had been there with me - the comfort of seeing the same moon, even if it's from different places. Part of the joy of any experience is in the sharing of it - deepening and validating and making an event out of a moment.

Photography allows me to appreciate the balance and celebrate the colors around me - whether in a preexisting scene or a staged vignette. It allows me to get poetry out of my system without ever having to use words (especially since I might manage something tolerable about tea, but a cinnamon roll could require overmuch poetic license).

Sometimes pictures speak louder than words - but it's also lovely to be able to filter and crop and highlight whatever it was that attracted my attention and caused me to take the picture in the first place, so that it will stand out to others, as well. And a word or two - either in the form of word art, or a caption - sometimes acts as an accessory that brings out the best in a photo.

A moment, a memory, a gift, a grace, things timeless, and things temporary - all can live on in a photograph. Looking back at what has been provides hope and courage for what's to come - and that's just the beginning of why I love photography.

Side note: if you like to take pictures with your phone, Photojojo has a "phoneography" course that is more than worth the $10 they charge for it (plus, they send you a $5 code at the end to use on something else) and makes your inbox a slightly more exciting place for a few weeks - there's lots of useful information, presented in a creative and entertaining manner that doesn't just tell you how to take better pictures but also inspires you to go out and capture something wonderful!

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