snapping serendipitously + a lesson in "it's all in how you look at things"


i've been perusing through all my florida shots as time permits, and enjoying it immensely. of course, looking through photos is always a thing of enjoyment for me. but with my recent florida pics, there are additional reasons why. one, i am able to view them much faster on my new mac because the video card is worlds apart from the card on my last two macs... and i have better software to view them on, too. it makes figuring out which your best photos are a much more pleasurable experience.

reason two... i left florida feeling like i did not have a chance to attempt to take the sort of creative photos that i usually like to take while there. i normally roam around seeking different ways to photograph my surroundings... or unusual things to photograph, period. but on this trip, roaming with a camera was put on the back burner, as i had rather large bundle named isaac to tote around.

so i really only expected to have mostly people pictures that i was pleased {or disappointed} with. to my surprise, i'm finding that as i dig into all the folders of photos, i was able to take a lot more non-people pics than i thought, and there were some that turned out better than i thought. {does that happen to you?... where you get home and are surprised to find that your photos seem to look better than they did on your camera's lcd screen? i love when that happens... and hate it when the opposite is true!}

anyway, one of the things i most like to do when visiting my parents-in-law is to watch the sun set every night after dinner... we all walk across the street to the beach together to see it. if i ever live in florida {which i very much hope to some day}, i will definitely want to live on the gulf side. i'm a sunset girl. i like a good sunrise, too. but sunsets are my energizing calm.

well, the bad thing about sunsets and photography is that it's easy to get bored with them. when i watch sunsets, i don't have anything close to a "you've seen one, you've seen them all" mindset. but when it comes to photographing them, i sort of do. after a while, i think, "how could i possibly take a picture of this sunset and have it stand out from the other hundred i took on this trip... or hundreds i've taken over the years?"

to my surprise, i found a way... and quite accidentally. it was our last evening there. the rest of the group stayed up at the beach house while i ventured on ahead in the sand toward the waves. i snapped and snapped and snapped some more, and every single picture i saw seemed rather boring... only because they all looked the same and none looked much different than the shots i took every night prior. so i walked back to the beach house in slight disgust at myself... sort of giving up. "why can't you take a creative shot of the sunset?... why can't you think like others and not yourself for once?" those were the subtle sort of critical thoughts running through my mind.

so i wandered off to a corner of the landing at the beach house away from the "crowd" to sulk. {okay, not really, but i did have a discouraged attitude about my photography.} i begrudgingly looked ahead toward the sun and almost missed it!... focusing on the sun, i did not even notice the beautiful, tall beach grass that was flowing in the wind right in front of me. it was partly because the grass was lower than me, as i was up one level from it. but mostly because i had photography blinders on. i was thinking, "well, i'm at the beach to watch {and photograph} a sunset, and beaches have sand and waves, so that's the perspective i should take my photo from right?"



at this point, though, i realized that's not the only way to see a florida beach sunset. had i not wandered over to that grass to wallow, i might not have realized it. that's when it hit me... i'm missing a golden opportunity to photograph this sun that is only seconds away from burrowing into the gulf.

so i bent my knees and crouched down toward the grass. and then i snapped. not figuratively, of course... though that might have happened if i kept beating myself up with critical negativity.

no... i literally snapped, with my camera, shots of the sun through the ethereal grass. i didn't even have time to set up the aperture or shutter speed to an ideal setting. i just clicked and prayed it would be right. judging by what i saw on the lcd screen, i thought it was just that... okay.

but today, when i looked at the photo on my large monitor, i was so surprised and delighted to find something more than what i thought i'd see. "i got a shot of the sunset that isn't my same old, same old! and i'm not bored with it. in fact, i rather like it!"

okay... so i'm seeing in all of this that it's okay to judge our own work and get down on ourselves sometimes. but to live there?... or even stay a while? not so much. of course, we have to do what we have to do, and sometimes going through an uninspired, self-critical spell is okay. but i learned there that i don't want to do so too much for too long. i might miss a unique opportunity if i do.

what actually happened is, i walked away from my comfort zone. i didn't do so with positive results in mind {which i recommend doing over walking away the way i did... in frustration}. but i say, "hey, whatever gets ya there!"

who knew i could write so much about one photo? i guess i'm not really writing about one photo though... rather, what taking that one picture represents in my photography growth. this worked out well, too. while looking through my large crop of vacation photos to pick out which ones i will keep and use, i decided i'd like to pick just one to post tonight. {i get impatient and don't want to wait until i've selected and processed them all before i start doing things with them.} 

so, when mr. b. said this to me just a couple hours ago... "it was exactly one week ago at this time that we were looking at our last sunset before we'd have to leave."... all i could think of was, "wow! i can't believe we've been back a week already!" {i guess time flies when you're sick and caring for your equally ill son.}

anyway, i came in to the office to post a photo {just one... not intending to write much at all... hahaha}, and i figured there was no better shot to choose than the one i took about this time last week.

i love this quote i've added... i just had to include it, because up here where i live, people don't just go and watch the sun set, at least not purposefully or daily. and we certainly don't talk about sunsets. {i think i'd get some strange looks if i just started talking about them to friends and family or random strangers.} watching the sun set is the kind of thing you really have to be intentional about. and i imagine that even if i lived in florida, i still wouldn't make a point to watch them regularly the way we do when we are vacationing. i think vacationers and retired folks have the time and the desire. but i sort of want to be a sunset watcher even at forty while not on vacation. actually, i really want to be one. now i just have to work on moving to a more picturesque location to do so. {hint hint, mr. b!}

i'm not sure what the context of this quote by wilde is. but i like it none-the-less, and thought it was fitting for my photo.

speaking of "it's all how you choose to look at things"... i used to have a monitor that was about half of the size of my new monitor. so, when i updated my blog layout to a wider one-column format a while back, i thought my photos looked so much larger... and somehow, better that way, too. but i was viewing them in windows that were not much wider than the column. now, my windows can be opened up nearly twice as wide, and it makes my photos look so lost in a sea of white.

you'll think i'm crazy, but it almost makes me want to go back to my dinky little monitor. that sort of hit me. here i'd been complaining for so long about my slow, small and outdated mac computer and monitor, and now that i've got souped up versions, i'm unhappy that things don't look the same! i guess unhappy is too strong a word. but you know what i mean. sometimes what seems better is not necessarily so in every way.

that said, i feel like my photo is little and lost. {i think perhaps the resolution of my new screen is effecting the actual size i see it at, too... something i'll have to look into} so, if it looks little and lost to you, too... or if the quote is difficult to read, you can see the photo better in flickr by clicking here. it's also on a black background there... which often makes a photo pop more.

well gosh... i've been writing some ridiculously long posts lately! i know. and if most people are like me, they will skip right over them. that's okay. writing is sort of a therapy for me these days, so i write regardless. {thank God for my faithful audience of one in mr. b! i know at least he's reading... or is he? *wink*} if you've read this, you're a gem and i appreciate it. you get a medal. *smile*

happy weekend!


Candace said...

I read it! Where's the medal (just kidding)? In AZ, we have beautiful sunsets every night. I'm often driving home from work during one so I do see it. Other times, I'm out in my yard watering or whatever. The thing is...here people do talk about the sunsets, people who have lived here for years like I have and who see them all the time because almost every single evening, it's spectacular here. Sometimes a neighbor will be out and one of us will remark on the beauty or my husband and I might mention it. I seldom photograph them, though, because if I shoot from my yard, I get a bunch of power lines and stuff that just don't go well with it, photographically.

Congrats on your new mac!

stacey said...

I think this photo is beautiful and I loved all of your thoughts that went along with it.

How are you liking the new computer??

Leanne said...

I know what you mean about photographing sunsets, youv'e done a beautiful job with this one!

georgia b. said...

thanks, candace! your medal is a virtual one! i'm sending it to you through the air waves. =)

thanks for reading and commenting!

thank you, stace. i LOVE my new computer! just LOVE it

thank you, leanne. i appreciate your comment and compliment!