Photographing flowers in macro has become a bit of an obsession of late, so when a free hour came up one afternoon during the week and I was conveniently in the vicinity of the Botanic Gardens, I decided to use the opportunity to empty my mind and shift my focus from the abundant Spring flowers, to the lake.
The lake, situated to one end of the gardens and surrounded by tall Bamboo plants on one end, and a walkway bordered with native trees and shrubs on the other, was a hive of activity at this time of day.
There were ducks swimming amongst the water lilies and lily-pads, dipping their heads deep into the water to snap up some underwater delicacy, and tall elegant white birds strutting lazily through the still water, occasionally stopping to ponder their reflections.
Colourful dragonflies and butterflies seemed to be floating on the gentle breeze, with no particular destination in mind, every now and again settling on a bright green lily-pad or water dragon for a quick siesta.
The surface of the lake was a gigantic mirror, reflecting a kaleidoscopic mosaic of colours and shapes from the world above, and lying on my stomach at the edge of the lake gave me a perfect ‘ducks-eye’ view of this wonderful microcosm.
Whenever I step out into nature with a camera, I am always overwhelmed by just how photogenic everything is. It would not matter which corner of the world I find myself in, there is always something to photograph, and something new to learn through the viewfinder.
It is almost as if the camera acts as a microscope, isolating the subject and laying everything out in exquisite detail ~ making every secret visible.
Upon analysis, I believe that my eyes see differently when I am thinking about photography. I definitely ‘look’ much more actively and my eyes seek out the light, shadow and colours and notice almost unconsciously how they interact with what I am looking at.
Looking through the viewfinder, there is a tangible sense that life is ‘here and now’ and that all that matters is what I am looking at and experiencing at that particular moment in time.
These experiences lead me to believe that a passion for artistic expression can greatly expand the boundaries of our visual awareness of the world around us and offers us a way to connect with what we see and feel to get more out of our everyday lives.
I see it also in my young daughter who has chosen to pursue music. Her understanding and perception of the world has been influenced greatly by her study of music and she is now able to connect her audience with that depth of understanding and feeling through her expressive playing.
The pursuit of art in any form orientates our world in a whole new way. Photography has definitely taught me how to see!