Peace and Pandemonium

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Gratitude Journal: Day Eight

I'm grateful for Work.
In my case, Photography.

I have always wanted to express myself artistically. I think that most of us have that desire...maybe??
Unfortunately for me, I was never all that great at drawing. A slightly embellished stick figure was all I could ever really pull off. I got into oil painting for a while. I do love that. In fact, there are times that I wish I still made time for it. But the truth is, I wasn't really ever any good at that either. All of my best paintings were just swirls of paint with no rhyme or reason to them. Sure I was able to mix colors and make "abstract art" but I always felt inwardly let down. Discouraged that I wasn't able to make the paint do what I really wanted it to. To cover the canvas in the same intricate way I visualized it in my mind.

Enter Photography. It wasn't instantaneous mind you, but the potential was there immediately. I realized very quickly that if I could figure out the controls on my camera, I could manipulate what I was seeing and turn it into an image that very clearly and accurately expressed my creative intention. I could make my viewer see whatever it was I wanted them to see just by making the necessary adjustments in my camera or to my camera angle. I quickly figured out how to make a good exposure and once I had that figured out I learned that I could draw the attention I desired to my subject by using the same methods I would in drawing or painting except that it actually looked good. Methods like color, composition, depth of field, lines, balance, light and dark, and so many more. Once again, figuring all this out and applying it all at once to every image didn't happen overnight. I had to work at it. I'm still working at it. Everyday. Working towards my goal of becoming a better photographer is why I love it so much. I have studied, practiced, failed, succeeded, grown, stretched, experimented etc... Through all this, I have somehow managed to appeal to others and have been able to generate actual business out of what started out as a simple desire to express myself accurately and artistically. For that I will forever be grateful!! Knowing that it has taken me years of work makes it so much sweeter now. I also love the fact that I will never stop learning how to take a better picture. I appreciate that the best pictures are born from love.

The following is from my favorite book. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran.

And what is it to work with love?
It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart,
even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.
It is to build a house with affection,
even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.
It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy,
even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.
It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,
And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.

Work is love made visible.

My love affair continues...

I had to come out of lurking for that last line "I appreciate that the best pictures are born from love." I LOVE that. So very much.

(PS. I'm friends with Ashley Thalman, which is how I found your blog...just in case you were wondering:))
I so relate to this. I've always felt like I have an artists soul but it wasn't until I really picked up a camera that I found my medium. I wish I had discovered it sooner so I could have studied it in school, but I'm still young... lots of years ahead of me to learn.
That's what I've like about your photography, you can tell you really think about the artistic elements as you pull it all together. I know so many people that just 'decide' they're going to be photographers, but they don't take the time to learn about all that composition, balance, contrast, etc. You do a great job!
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