Colorado, mountain, sunset

Watching or Doing?

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IMG_5503I have lots of creative ideas, but never had the eye-hand coordination or talent to be an artist. I always wanted to create beautiful visual images, but the execution always fell short of the ideal. I received my first camera when I was in grade school and my early photos were dismal. I’m considerably older now, and my camera is much more sophisticated. Back then, the follow-up work involved sending film off to the lab for processing, whereas now I sometimes have to process a bit with Photoshop to enhance the exposure. I enjoy the ability to capture beauty where I find it, though, and photography is simple enough that I can do it; eye hand coordination requirements are fairly low!

I’ve seen other people criticize those who always IMG_5948have a camera in hand, saying that they deliberately put a buffer between themselves and the world. They are criticized for being mere observers rather than joining in. I can only respond, “Yeah, so?” I fail to see the problem. I am ill-at-ease enough in some situations that I really need a buffer between myself and the many people around me. At other times, I just want to capture the intense beauty I see around me, or the personality of those I witness. I have a strong desire to retain a visual memory for all times. And it is probably the only way I can generate beauty. Am I observing rather than joining in? Sure. I am by nature a watcher, studier, and ruminator. I observe; I think. The camera is a perfect medium for me, because it matches my innate personality. If I need to join in, the camera gets set aside. There are some holidays and events that there are rarely photographed in my family, because I’m busy enjoying them.IMG_5914

What looks beautiful from afar can have thorns, hidden out of sight.
What looks beautiful from afar can have thorns, hidden out of sight.

My camera has two basic lenses: a wide angle and a telephoto zoom. My favorite is the zoom, because I like to see things close up. I have the luxury of seeing the big picture, then zooming in to focus on an area that is fascinating – cutting out the pieces that aren’t needed. I find that I tend to do that sometimes with life, as well. One trip, I had only the wide-angle zoom with me. Scenes that I had photographed before with the zoom looked much different from a larger perspective. Some were enhanced by the wide angle; others were lost. What was a beautiful close-up, couldn’t be found in the context of all the business of a wide-angle shot. It served as a good reminder to view life’s issues the same way – from both the big picture and the near perspective. Both have their strengths, and neither shows the entire story.

Icy pond
Icy pond


  1. Great post & complimenting photos! I’m a pro shoot&point/seasoned amateur husband draws.we’re both in a position that he can now get back in our ‘thing’, and i can definitely learn from his focus and still far as what ppl say when you always have the camera..they won’t say that when they’re asking for pics lol..i’ve been on both extremes and had to learn my balance as far as taking time away from taking pics to be in the moment of just enjoying the experience..and not just hiding behind the documentary..though the background is a lovely place to study from. 🙂 thanks for sharing.


    1. Boy are you right! I was asked to supply photos for a family event recently and yes, I was the only one with photos.No complaints that I’m always holding the camera there! I’m trying to keep up a bit of balance, but since i’m an observer by nature, the camera tends to win.Thanks for stopping by.


  2. I used to say “I suffer from digitalcamritis, which is the swelling induced from having a digital camera permanently attached to your hand.” These days, I try to decide in advance if a hike is going to be a “photography hike” or just a hike. Most of the time I hike without the camera, but the photos give me a lot of pleasure, especially later when I am reminiscing. The answer is BOTH WAYS! Hahaha


  3. “What looks beautiful from afar can have thorns, hidden out of sight.”

    I found this to be true just in the last 24 hours.

    Your photos are beautiful, they need no one’s approval, tho.

    I think I recognize that mountain from our last visit to Colorado 🙂


    1. I don’t know — I think all those mountains look alike. I think that one is between Hayden and Craig, west of Steamboat Springs. I have family in that area, so go there occasionally. Thanks for enjoying my pics- I love to share the beauty I see. As for the thorns — sorry about that. I find it works both ways — what looks like a thorn up close can turn out to be much more attractive from a long distance off!


  4. Your pictures taked my breathe away! You short change yourself as an artist. You may not have artist hands but you have artist eyes. Hands are no good without the eyes. You also have the artist heart which is equally important. I started to say, keep up the good work and then I thought, it isn’t work! Its joy. It is the way you enjoy the world. That is good. Everybody should have a way to enjoy the world.



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