The Magic of Photography
I am not a religious person, but I think I’m very spiritual. I know I would rather be outside admiring and photographing Gods’ handiwork instead of being inside a church listening to a sermon. I always liked animals and nature although I grow up in a big city- Chicago. Chicago has several wonder- filled museums, a great aquarium, and two world class zoos. When I was young I would bug my parents until they would take me to a zoo or museum. At the age of ten my mother started letting me take public transportation by myself (probably so she wouldn’t be pestered so much). When I wandered off by myself the destination was almost always a zoo, or museum, or the aquarium.
Besides falling in love with nature, I seem to have a need to be creative. Without knowing it I started to experiment with finding a perfect creative outlet for myself. Copper enamel jewelry was first. I made many beautiful pieces of jewelry but, to me, it was too limited in scope. The next thing I tried was rug making. I made three or four interesting rugs but, each one was extremely time consuming and I got impatient with the process. Candle making was my third attempt to find my creative outlet. For two or three years I made hundreds of candles and sold them at art fairs and bazaars. Things were going well until I had to move. From making candles in my garage to making them in the kitchen of my new apartment changed things. After two days of kitchen candle making, my wife refused to let me step foot in that area of our apartment. Could it be because of the mess I made in her kitchen? Candle making was over. My passion for photography started when my friend Gary allowed me to use his camera. One picture I took of Gary turned out really good. It showed Gary being splashed in the face by water from his garden hose and the spray flying in all directions. That picture hooked me on photography. Photography turned out to be the perfect fit for me.
Now I seldom have a day that photography isn’t on my mind. My collection of photo books and magazines number in the hundreds. The actual number of photographs I have taken probably exceeds several hundred thousand. After a few days without being outside with my camera I start to get a sick, nervous, empty feeling. Am I addicted? When I do get a chance to get out with my camera I feel at peace, everything is right with the world. In fact I hardly think about the world. If something interesting is in front of my camera I lose track of time and place. I become so focused that “one more shot” easily becomes 15 or 20 and I don’t even notice. Thankfully when my wife is with me she knows “one more” may be another hour or two. She always brings a book to read.
Photography has rewarded me with a tremendous amount of fabulous memories and has taught me many lessons. Of all the things I have been taught, PATIENCE is one on top of my list. I have spent many hours waiting for something special to happen. I remember waiting several hours for a gorgeous sunset in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska. It never happened, the sunset was a flop . I learned patience and a little disappointment that day. Another time, a bear was eating at a moose kill. I photographed it but, not much happened. I left when it got dark but, I returned the next day, and next and next. Finally on the fourth day I was rewarded. A wolf was eating the moose carcass and the bear showed up a little later. The bear chased the wolf away from the moose. At one time the wolf was chasing the bear away. My patience was definitely rewarded on this occasion.
When I photograph an animal that I have never seen before and magical light is enveloping it, and I make eye contact with the animal, and we appear to know what is in each other’s heart and mind, what could be more spiritual and magical than that?
Get Lost In The Things You Love