Thursday, February 12, 2009

Priorities and Focus ...

Croton Study, originally uploaded by Sparky2*.

I am so serious when I say that digital photography has tremendously changed and influenced my life. And I'm finding that many of the the things I'm learning can - and should - be applied to daily living.

When my husband gave me my first little digital camera I was instantly infatuated with the way looking through the lens or on the LCD screen made me see a situation differently. I began to focus more on light, background, detail. A big space may be overwhelming - maybe too cluttered or busy and hard on the eye ... but if I turned the viewfinder on just a small vignette within the big space - it became lovely and special - and made a statement to me that I would have overlooked completely if I hadn't looked in a different way.

To take it a step further ... my priorities within that focus will also have a huge impact on the final image. For example if it's all about color and tone, or if it's about the tiniest detail, or light/shadow - whether I'm taken with one object, or one part of that object, the shape, the lines ... or maybe it's the way several objects, shape and color come together to form a whole image, like words in a poem. Priority will change the "language" of the image entirely ... and with digital the choices and combinations are endless and exciting to me.

I'm finding that since my love affair with photography began, I'm more aware of every tiny thing around me, the beauty, the possibilities in every surrounding. Whether I'm in a new place or the same old neighborhood doesn't matter, because the light, the perspective, the seasons all change. Sometimes I simply have to wait for what I'm looking for to happen.

So in a nutshell ... some of my life lessons from photography:

I've become more aware. I've learned to change my perspectives. I've learned to look in more directions - whether more broadly for the big picture or more closely for important detail. I've learned to be more patient.

And after seven years of digital and an entire lifetime of living ... it feels like the learning has just begun.


  1. all true. I feel I have learned so much from my "obsession" thing being, I need to lighten up a bit. lovely thoughts you share...

  2. ..indulge me while I think aloud..?

    Reading your summary part, it occurs to me that I seemed to have began in life "more aware" (too much! over-analytical) looking "in more directions" (constantly pre-occupied) and really really, like totally into "details" (type-A!)and changing my perspectives (people pleaser) so, in their immature state (youth) these "qualities" needed to be harnessed; worked and polished and matured into something workable!...and man, am I still working on much of them! --especially the "patient" part..sigh.

    Love love love your words and images, Susan..since "knowing" you all the way back to Fotolog days (wow!) I am blown away by the development of your photography... I definately can see how you've been so inspired.

  3. hey y'all. we are in the car on our way to NYC, and of course I have my laptop and camera. going to a bluegrass show to see Steep Canyon Ranger tonight at Joe's Pub and Daily Vincent there on Tuesday night...have a great Sunday

  4. Thanks, Donna ... just don't lighten up too much! I enjoy your stuff tremedously; it fuels me! Your trip is sounding better and better. I'm thinking I must need a vacation badly because I'm turning just a bit green!

    Thanks so much, Suz! Take all the time you need; your musings are well worth the read! Friends like you have been a huge inspiration to me wrt more than just photography!

  5. Ah, yes! We are talking about the same thing. One more piece of it (this Teacher called photography) is it holds me in the in present moment for extended periods of time everyday. It is a very "Now" art. And then, later, what I have seen and caught starts to resonate with my larger world. I think in most of what I photograph my heart is open as wide as my eyes. I see this in your work too.