The observer, when he seems to himself to be observing a stone, is really, if physics is to be believed, observing the effects of the stone upon himself.Bertrand Russell
Life: From A to Z
After working on the featured image—which is a section of a tall yucca flower that I photographed on my recent hike—I thought about the letter “O” and the word Observant.
I enjoy macro photography and working with close-ups because I love the little details in things. Most of the time, I have to get into Photoshop and “zoom and crop” in an effort to find those precious details. That’s why the word observant got me to thinking. If I could just slow down and observe those details to begin with, I’d save myself a lot of time and work. And I’d have more joy.
It’s been fifteen some years since I had to commute (through traffic) to an office, and after all of those years, I still haven’t lost the urge to speed. And not just while I’m driving, either. I rush through everything! It’s difficult, if not impossible, to be observant when you’re in a hurry.
And now, with digital images and Photoshop making life so “easy to edit,” I’ve gotten to where I just pull out my camera, point, and shoot and shoot and shoot… knowing that I can look at the captures when I get home, when I have time to zoom in and look for all of those beautiful details. What this means, in reality, is that I’m missing out on all of those marvelous details IRL (In real life). How sad is that?!
It’s like what Bertrand said in the quote above. Only in my case it was a yucca, not a stone. If I had really been observant at the time, I would have noticed the effects of that yucca upon myself. I would have looked at those beautiful blossoms with awe and wonder, and I would have thought about how perfect nature is… and how fortunate I was to be there in that moment. But I was too busy. Pointing, clicking, clicking, looking away, and moving on to the next object that caught my eye. Hurry, hurry, hurry! We’ve got more photographs to take!
In all honesty, I acknowledged my failure to be observant before I thought about the letter “O.” One of my companions on the hike—who is fairly new to photography and is as ambitious and excitable as I am (or used to be)—started pointing out the details. Various textures, the haze above the mountains, an old metal fence, and a rotted out telephone pole to name a few. It was then that I realized that I hadn’t really been observing our surroundings, I was just “clicking.”
It’s easy to get caught in these kinds of traps, even in life. Forgetting why we’re doing what we’re doing, and missing the beauty that we’re surrounded by because we’re too busy looking ahead, racing toward that (non-existent) finish line. This week I’m going to put all of my energy into my observations, not my speed, and I’m going to make my mantra simple. “LIFE IS NOT A RACE!”
I thought I’d share one of the original versions of the yucca because it really is beautiful. I’m not sure if I’m addicted to effects or what, but I decided to add a dark starry sky to make it feel like a dream. Because… let’s face it, when I’m not being observant, or rushing through life, I’m dreaming. Ha!
One more thing.
I’ve started a site that I’ll be using for my freelance business. It is very much in the “baby stages” and it will not feature a large number of blog posts—mainly just a few designs or pieces that I have plans for, and definitely no stories! It’s all about images and designs. Anyway, I’d be grateful to anyone who would like to follow the blog.
You can find it at byLadyJ.com
It’s a funny story about the name. A fellow blogger whom I love dearly once called me that and I knew instantly that I had found my company handle!
Anyway, I’ve featured another photograph of the yucca there, as well as a few of my other designs, and thank you to any of you who are already following me there… in all of my anonymity. Eventually I’ll have the site fully built and I’ll be working on drumming up some new business in the graphic design world.
That’s about all for now. Thank you for reading!
I hope you enjoyed the letter O, and I’ll see you soon for the letter P!