Seeing Through Your Own (rose-colored) Glasses

I have this thing. Well, I have alot of “things”. But this one has to do with visioning vs. drinking the “it’s real” cool-aid. I love using photography to illustrate stuff I think about, so here goes. Simple version.

I will begin – and end – here:


Some folks might say… “That’s not how it really looked. It’s not real.”
I’ve always found that mind set odd, but accept people’s right to have it.

The day we visited Point Lobos, it was a grey, overcast, kind of dismal day. I was there with photographer friends, some of whom weren’t too thrilled with the situation. I was just happy to be out shooting and with dear ones I love. Plus – I thought the flat light presented all sorts of opportunities, because I never just accept the way things seem to be. I see possibilities. And where I see possibility, I feel inexorably drawn to follow through. Life – and photography – are really both like big old basic raw files to me, waiting to be built upon.

I mean, if you were born into poverty in a 3rd world country, but had a vision of making a difference in the world which involved getting an education and rising above any status your family had ever experienced in life… would the right response be; “That’s not real.”? Well, some people say that and we all know how that ends. But you and I know that’s no answer at all! If you have a vision for your life – go git it!! I think photo processing – and probably all of art – gives us a chance to practice this seemingly simple, mighty useful skill: have a vision, make it happen.

You know that thing… you work on a photo, you go into the “zone” where a crazy amount of time passes and you didn’t even notice it. Then you arrive at your result however long it takes… and you just feel better somehow. Like you made something. A piece of you is now on the screen. You did that.

I call that creating a vision. It’s practice for the “real world”. Knowing how to work from vision changes everything. It changes you, me, the world, time itself. Hopefully you pick a better vision – one that isn’t just what certain agenda-cized other refer to as “real.” I have a friend who’s built and stockpiled an underground bunker way up in northern Canada, got his pilot’s license and plane – all so he can escape when (in his mind) all hell breaks loose. That is what he is envisioning for himself. He’ll probably get to experience that, since he’s clearly put tons of thought, time, energy, money and action into it. How could he possibly fail? Unless there is a miracle…

I’ve seen too many astounding miracles in my life that I can’t ignore the fact that magic is woven into our DNA and that miracles are our birthright. So I do my best to choose wisely. Choose the thoughts I think, the visions I act upon, the words I use. They all have power.

But back to photography. A little before & after, if you will. Here’s what my camera saw:

LastLight - Before

Here’s what I saw:


As art imitates life… so we can learn to create our own (hopefully better!) version of “reality.”
More and more, I see the possibilities!