It's So Close to Home

Updated: Feb 20

Welcome to the garden where work and pleasure meet.

Gardens, like a nursery for body and soul, wait on us to discover and nurture them, and our labours are instantly rewarded if we are willing to hold more than the fruitful ends in our vision. If we can be in the present, then even the smell of freshly tilled earth will tantalize our senses. If we can bear the anticipated germination, as we water a monolithic canvas of seeded soil, we will reap the joy of the now. If I can see more than the print on a wall, the moments spent cleaning and packing camera and lenses will bear meaning that the gallery visitor will never know.

The trip to this garden in a friend's backyard didn't yield a cover shot or prize winner, but the shot I included in this post was still a reward. This photo is my simple reminder of what drew me into photography in the first place. These flowers were another snippet of the visual artistry that surrounds us every day of our lives and they demanded my attention for the brief moments I had before we left for home. These passing scenes cast seeds into my soul, but without proper care and daily attention, they will disappear in a cacophony of weeds. Glimpses like this that catch my eye will pass like faces in a crowd, clattering past until the shutter captures that one visage, the one image, and lifts its tune from the stream like clear water. It's refreshing. Even the stopping, the considering, the framing is all water to my soul. It's like remembering what I never knew I forgot.

When photography becomes solely a pursuit of the perfect image, I will have truly banished my images to a 2D purgatory. I personally needed a reminder of this from the pen of C.S. Lewis who, in his wickedly insightful book The Screwtape Letters, spoke of the wealth of legitimate pleasures to be found in this life and observed that it is only the perversion of these things that makes them infernal. If the end is my only aim, then the pleasure of sorting through my gear, planning the shot, travelling to the site, and endlessly tweaking camera position and settings become frustrating hindrances standing between me and my goal. This would mean that the bulk of my time spent on photography would be tedious. Why would I do that?

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