October 16, 2012

The Beauty All Around

I am the last person I would have thought would ever be into taking photos. I distinctly remember many years ago thinking I would never need to even own a camera because I'm visually impaired, so pictures probably just wouldn't be a big part of my life. Fine for others to take all the pictures they want, but me? Naw.

And then some important things started to happen. Like my wedding. Then a baby. Scrapbooking was suggested to me when my daughter was born and I totally poo-pooed it. "I can't see well enough to scrapbook!", I said.

How wrong I was. About all of it. Not only did I still need to care about pictures, but yes, I could scrapbook if I wanted to!

But that's not even the point. By thinking in such a narrow way, I was limiting my experiences, limiting their impact on me and not fully APPRECIATING them.

Shame on me.

I read the book The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold several years ago. In it was a perspective changer for me:

Now I love taking pictures. Of everything from the awesome to the mundane. Because I am visually impaired they will never be the caliber of a professional photographer. I don't care. Besides, there are so many widgets and whatnot to help me make them look better. The pictures I take mean I am present, that I am PAYING ATTENTION.

This is why Instagram is so freaking fabulous!

That book quote may have given me a great way to think about photographs, but having a visual impairment gives me a special perspective as well. Every single time I step outside, I take it all in. I look up at the sky, down at the ground, at my neighbor's house or the car parked on the street. The color of a bright flower will catch my eye and I have to stop and LOOK. Often this requires walking right up to it. Also often, stopping to take a picture affords me a clearer look later on.

Sunsets! Clouds! Flowers! Fall Leaves! My children's faces! My kids catch me staring at them. It's all so BEAUTIFUL to me. I will never take SEEING these things for granted. No. In fact, I cherish the vision I still have because it was nearly taken away from me.

All this is to lead up to sharing some of the Fall beauty I've captured this year, just right around my neighborhood. The colors and contrasts never cease to amaze me.

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