I could tell you the exact number of days, hours, and seconds remaining until we leave for Utah. But that type of thinking causes me to develop two bad habits. One is the habit of overlooking the wonderful things right in front of me. The second habit is one of wishing away time. Time is my most precious commodity and I want to be in the habit of enjoying every moment no matter where I am located. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am making an effort to notice and photography all of the beauty right where I am. Admittedly, that is not really a difficult thing to do considering where I live.
Over the past few weeks of increasing my efforts to notice the beauty around me I have noticed one particular aspect of my “eye” improving. That is my ability to see light. Light is the most important element in any photograph. An ordinary scene can be made extraordinary with the right lighting and a spectacular scene can appear drab without interesting lighting. Because my focus in not on what spectacular new scene may be just around the corner, I am able to really analyze all of the details and nuances of the landscapes I see every day. My sincere hope is that this improved way of seeing will improve my photography when I do come around the corner and see a spectacular new scene.
Another side benefit of being stuck in my backyard is the benefit of becoming more familiar with my camera. This is especially helpful as I am learning more about night photography. I am always up long before sunrise so I have taken advantage of this fact and the clear skies to take some photos of the Milky Way. Nothing points out the things I don’t know about my camera more than trying to adjust settings in complete darkness. I am embarrassed to say that I’ve had my camera for nearly a year-and-a-half and I still haven’t learned all of the features.
So the reality is that being stuck at home has probably improved my photography. Sometimes I start feeling sorry for myself because I can’t travel and take pictures of amazing places, but if I use my time at home in the proper way I will be able to take better photos when I am able to travel.