Disclaimer: I do not hold myself out as a photographer. I take pictures only because a certain videographer gently chided me for stealing photos from the internet to illustrate my blog entries. He mildly noted that I would not want someone snipping those entries to provide captions to their pictures, now would I? and no, probably not. So, then. Take your own.
Since purchasing my plug-and-play basic Canon, I’ve found that I can barely make the ten-mile drive to work without stopping to gawk and snap. I see everything framed. The images freeze for a split second and I murmur, Oh, that’s the money shot. I know nothing about the technical aspects. I could never sell my images because they lack the crispness which manual settings afford. I just share what I record.
By the same token, the running inner monologue has not stopped. I still write the narrative of my days. I keep mental journals, editing, swapping strong verbs for muddied split infinitives. I insert paragraph breaks in my constant whispers about the scenery which passes my windshield.
If I grudgingly credit my paternal genes for the writer’s mantra by which my days find rhythm, I must thank others for whatever deftness of vision I can claim. Penny Thieme, first and foremost: she who stood in the middle of a crowded city street for fifteen minutes waiting for an old man to step into a crosswalk, her camera held aloft, her body poised. But others — Genevieve Casey, whose photograph of leaves steals my breath whenever I come downstairs; Samantha Bessent, with her charming flowers and her poignant snippets of rusty machinery; Scott Anderson and his serene ladies; Dave Michael, who hauls his equipment down embankments with dogged drive seeking a precise angle; Kimberley Kellogg, who sees beauty in the smallest treasures. And the ethical videographer, who dragged me to the exact path of totality in 2017, to a farmer’s field, and a date with history.
I do not pretend to be qualified to even hold their camera bags, but each of them taught me something. They opened my writer’s mind to the possibility that words could share a stage with pictures. They reminded me that I describe what they see. They broadened my horizons.
Because of them, I can enrich my offerings. I dedicate this entry in their honor. I give thanks for their inspiration.
It’s the twenty-eighth day of the ninety-first month of My Year Without Complaining. Life continues.