Originally posted on 'The Rose Journals'
Deciding to take a picture has many stages. Having all your tools prepared, in good condition, is the first step to get out there. Feeling comfortable using what you have. Then where to go, will it be planned or spontaneous photo making? I tend to be methodical about my photography, and generally visit where I want to take photographs multiple times before taking out my camera. If there are spontaneous moments, great! I love that, but the majority of my work is planned out, with the tide tables, weather conditions, waves, or sunrise & sunset times. I really think about it, and enjoy the planning. Then deciding to go. This is where it can become a challenge. Getting yourself out there, to potentially find something great, or nothing at all. It takes a leap to push yourself outside the comfort, to be seen. At least for me, this is the challenge. What I see is so great, that I can’t not get out there. I have learned to listen to my intuition on when to go, and when not to go. To be in a good state of mind, or being able to shift in an instant. I’ve learned so much about my Self through photography. I feel that anything you’re passionate about, since you really care, there will be blocks in getting to your ‘goal’ of physically taking pictures, or just beginning to do it. To overcome the blocks, there can be many different ways to deal. For me, I always like to ask the question why? What am I using these images for? IS there a puropose? If that’s clear, it’s much easier to get out there. Dive in deep to the process, and connect it to your reasoning, while staying open to a spontaneous flow. If conditions start to look better somewhere else, I will usually shift my plans and go where it feels right. Sometimes I miss the mark. I don’t get the shot, but it’s okay. I’ve gone out there, and pushed to discover more. It’s all about learning.
What do I see and how do I see it? I think it’s my continuous wondering about life, the structure, the beauty, the harmony. Nature compels me to see the whole of this, why I’m attracted to it, and witnessing the details within the structure of the whole. I’m interested in the ocean, our waters, the mysterious ways underneath the surface. It’s a process of discovery for me, and since I’m not so much into the science of it all, I can witness in another way, where I truly connect to the flowing nature of it all through the tides. I do respect the learning that can be had through science, those parts, and hopefully there can be discoveries where we can reverse any damage that has been done by humans. Although, I think that they miss the mark, by not seeing the wholeness, the interconnected nature of beauty, and all systems of life. So this is what I hope to share. Maybe the two can be connected, and we can both come to better understandings.
Specifically, when I see the ocean, the little creatures, the waves, I think this love for it comes from my childhood. I grew up on a saltwater bay, and would play down there every day for hours. No limits, just discovering. It all came back to me a few years ago when I rediscovered my love for photography. I wanted to see more. Instead of simply witnessing, I wanted to feel the beauty and magic of the waters. It wow’s me every time. Being in that state of awe will come through in the pictures, and with anything you do. If you love something that much, it comes through. Developing the skill takes many years, just like any art or creative endeavor, takes time. Focus in on your personal style and tell a story. Open up to the world.
Through the process of making my images I’ve seen that to go further requires a leap, a release of fear. So when I go out there, I really take it in. I step into the waters, get my feet wet. Risk getting too close. It’s funny, I’ve dropped my cameras multiple times, the phone goes into the tidepools, I get sand everywhere. But that’s just part of the process. It can be frustrating in the moment, but it’s just a reminder to slow down, to be present and mindful. When you see the images, know that there are multiple steps to make it happen, and to truly appreciate the art. Putting yourself out there can go really deep.
If you really want to see into my inner workings, the parts where I see something that needs to be made into an image, I will attempt to relay. It may be a certain light, an illumination of a subject, this is what photography captures. I see a certain subject, like an anemone, and how the light hits the tiny tenticles, or how fully open it has become, where it lays in composition with other formations and how that all comes together. It’s looking at the parts, and becoming a whole. The whole is the rectangle space where the image is captured. The parts are the composition and forms in the photograph. Then there is the magic, the component you can’t quite describe, but there’s something extra there, it gives you a feeling. That part, I think comes from a connection. How you connect this object, the camera to that living thing. Opening up your heart and mind to the wonder. That is connection.