In The Zone

Today I enjoyed taking a couple hundred pictures at my mom’s house, all outdoors. She and dad have a garden just jam-packed with all sorts of plants, both blooming and non-blooming. There are ornamental grasses, hostas, sedums…Sunflowers, firecracker vines, canna lilies…Ponds with water hyacinths, lotus, waterlilies…Just everything in its season. Looking through the pictures from today makes me feel so happy. I think actually taking the shots pleases me even more.

When I was younger, I never could understand what athletes meant when they’d recall being in “the zone” during a game. I guess I’ve gotten involved with my music or artwork in that way, but maybe never quite to the extent that I’d call it “the zone”. (Although worship in music would qualify, yes, but this context is a bit different).

But photography, there is my zone! When I was knee-deep in the ornamental grasses today, getting just the right angle for a shot, I was there. And what came bursting to my mind were the words of the character Simon in As Good As It Gets. Simon’s an artist, and a few times he expresses that need to capture something he sees. Oh, I can so relate to that! It’s like the scene where Carol is drawing a bath at the hotel, and Simon is mesmirized; he’s not lusting after her (he’s gay, for one), but he’s captivated. And he says “I have to draw you!”.

Yes! I have to take pictures. I can’t type fast enough to keep up with the excitement I feel just at saying this. I see all these marvelous things – colors, patterns, events, blooms, expressions, ironies – and I just have to record them. Even if those images are destined to be seen by only a handful of people, only my family, I need to take them. Life – everything around us – is just so cool if you just look.

I especially love close-up photography. Doing close-up work has taught me to notice things fully. Today, for instance, I saw a tiny crab spider on one of mom’s flowers. Had I not been looking closely at the blooms, I never would have seen it. These spiders blend in with their suroundings, much like a chameleon does; if you’re not looking, you’ll miss them. I loved the fact that I saw it. Wooooooo! I was so excited to see it, I exclaimed aloud. And I was so glad I could get a picture of it to share.

This is why I quit carrying a purse in favor of my camera bag and gear. There’s too many times I’ve been out and seen something truly wonderful, only to rue the fact that my camera was back home. I don’t want to miss a thing! 🙂

I think I need to get some sleep now, LOL. I’ve been working on my photos from today and felt compelled to blog this while it was fresh in my mind.

I’m working on a photo gallery, but it’s not ready for its debut just yet. But stay tuned!

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