Life through a Lens

Looking at life through the lens of my camera has helped enlighten my awareness of the world around me. I notice little things and details in my everyday activities that I may not have noticed if it weren’t for my interest in photography.

“Through the Lens”

The “through the lens” idiom came from philosophers who viewed life in a way that a lens can distort vision. The idea is that there are many dimensions and shades of life and everyone has their own reality.

Photographers like to borrow the phrase “through the lens” … a different lens with a different focus gives us a different view. We all have our own ‘lens’ that has us see things, events, landscapes, and ideas differently.

Chicago skyline

Perception

Gosh, even eyeglasses are lenses. We’ve all heard the expression of a person seeing things “through rose-colored glasses”. Our perception is completely unique to each of us and how we see the world around us.

When you look through a camera lens, that lens can make things look different. A telephoto lens makes things appear closer than they actually are while a wide-angle lens can make things appear further away.

A lens or a filter can change or transform what we see. It can also alter reality or distort a view. It might help us focus on special sights that we otherwise might not notice.

Watson Lake Prescott Arizona

Looking at life through the lens of my camera has taught me a few lessons ….

What photography has taught me!

  1. Slow down. I’ve learned to slow down and enjoy the journey. Life is not a race, and I need to stop and smell the roses along the way.
  2. Details. Beauty is in the details. Whether I’m confronted with in-your-face stunning beauty like the Grand Tetons or enjoying a taco at the local farmers market, I enjoy looking at not only the big picture but also the little stuff, the details.
  3. Patience. Photographing birds, other wildlife, and even people requires a certain amount of patience and observation. That patience has translated into other aspects of my daily life. Yep, my children will tell you that I’m a lot more patient these days than I used to be. I’m sure it has nothing to do with old age but rather photography.
  4. Control. I’m never in total control, no matter how much I try. I may have planned the perfect day, but if the weather doesn’t agree or there’s a mechanical problem with the truck, it’s time to rearrange the plans or as our GPS says, “Recalculating”. Life happens and recalculating is just part of it!
  5. Share. I love sharing my story, my adventures, and my photographs. Sharing has given me purpose and encourages me to search out new sights and meet new people.
  6. Be spontaneous. Changing plans or even direction on a whim has become my new norm. I’ve captured some of my favorite images with spur of the moment decisions.
  7. Learn. We are never too old to learn new things. I’m constantly reading articles on photography and trying out new settings on my camera. But when WordPress changes things up, I’m not interested in learning their new and improved system, but that’s another subject. ๐Ÿ˜
  8. It’s okay to make mistakes. I try not to allow fear of failure to hold me back.
  9. Practice and improve. In order to improve on anything, it takes a great deal of practice. I shoot lots of photographs. Digital photography is the best. I’d be in serious trouble if I still had to buy film and have it developed.
  10. There are no shortcuts in life. Success at anything takes hard work.
  11. Finding myself. I love being creative. It makes me happy. Even though my creative skills may be average, it’s still a passion. I took a painting class not too long ago, and let’s just say, I need to stick with photography … canvas, a brush, and paint ain’t my thang unless I’m trying to humor folks. Yeah, that canvas painting of mine provided a few laughs before being tossed in the trash.
  12. Memories are important. Live in the moment. Life is short.

How about you? Has photography changed the way you look at things, your life, your perception, yourself?

seagulls walking

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60 thoughts on “Life through a Lens

  1. What I really like about photography is the way it changes how I interact with what is going on around me. Mostly, it is a change for the better. I do make a point sometimes of putting the camera down sometimes though so I’m not too hyper-focused on just getting the photo.
    I’m also not a fan of when WordPress “improves” things.

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    1. I totally agree … photography has changed the way I interact with my surroundings. Seems many of us aren’t too happy with WP’s so called ‘improvements’. ๐Ÿ˜ Gutenberg editor ๐Ÿคข๐Ÿ˜„

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  2. Ingrid, I just love that ground perspective of the seagulls! I love those types of shots and spent an hour this morning at our delta campground with both my phone and Lumix chasing images! I’ve always loved photography (and I actually can paint, but it’s messy), and when I started blogging, like you, my interest in photography grew by leaps and bounds. There is always an image to capture! A great list of why we love this hobby!

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    1. I’m always hesitant to describe myself as a ‘photographer’ when I consider myself a photo snapper, picture taker and use a ‘point and prayer’ method of shooting ๐Ÿ˜† And I’m always thrilled when I capture those ‘lucky’ images.

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  3. Ingrid, such a wonderful post on your blog. Your thoughts and statements regarding photography are so true. It really does cause someone to see the little things and then reflect on their role on this earth. It does have a good tendency to change one’s perception of things around them. Gerri and I are learning to walk slower and pause frequently just to check and see if there were things we passed by walking too steadily. Your pictures are beautiful and what you capture is so unique.
    Thank you for sharing a well written blog.

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  4. So many good points there Ingrid. Looking at the world through the camera lense absolutely helps one see the detail. Having just done a big WordPress change Iโ€™d be interested to hear more on your thoughts as per point 7.

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    1. Thanks Chris. Changing Themes in WP is usually pretty easy although not all widgets transfer. It’s the new Gutenberg block writing system that’s a challenge for me. I’m sticking with the older version for now, but sooner or later it won’t be supported. I just don’t have time to embrace the new system right now.

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      1. Iโ€™m so switched off when it comes to anything techno Ingrid. Iโ€™ve just changed to Sketch, which has a block system. My old theme, twenty-eleven definitely didnโ€™t use blocks at all, so thatโ€™s a bit of learning curve for me. Now you have thinking – I didnโ€™t know there was a new Block system, Iโ€™ll have to see which mine uses. It is time consuming though to get your head around anything new.

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        1. For writing purposes, you can still use the old system. The Gutenberg block writing is definitely different. So, I didn’t switch over. I almost went with the Sketch theme myself which is also a nice clean platform.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Outstanding post! I loved everything about it…the history/though behind lenses to your personal rewards as a photographer., which by the way, resonate with mine as well…including the WordPress comment! Life is good…and I think photography has been key to making me feel this way. Just stopping by for a quick peek and found this lovely post. Cheers!

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    1. Glad you stopped by. Yeah, sometimes I’m a little slow at embracing the “new and improved” systems. The new block writing WP system still seems confusing so I’m sticking with the old for now. ๐Ÿ˜Š

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      1. The one thing I hate about the digital world is that people are never satisfied with the product. It’s got to be better and faster which equates to me that I’ve got to learn something new to do what I already was able to do and usually I have other things more pressing than reinventing the latest wheel. Argh!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi, Ingrid,
    I loved this. Numbers 7, 10, and 12 are the words I try to live by. Your photo of the kayaks and the rainbow is stunning! Would love to know where you captured that one. Thanks for sharing. Have a great weekend.

    P.S. Iโ€™m not interested in learning a new WordPress system either. The one I have works just fine, thank you.

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    1. Thanks Joe. That image was taken at Watson Lake in Prescott. I think I wrote it down for you on your “tourist brochure” ๐Ÿ˜†. Hope you and Helen are enjoying your AZ journey and it was great meeting.

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  7. Love your post today ๐Ÿ™‚ I have learned how to find my voice through photography in writing/telling and sharing stories of my adventures. I have also learned that I need to put down my camera and be part of the action too. Happy Day – Enjoy!

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    1. Thank you Renee. Yes, putting the camera down so I could just enjoy and be in the moment was a tough one for me during our early days of RVing. I’ve really learned to slow down and take in my surroundings.

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  8. Not a creative bone in my body, though I tried a lot with colors when we had the house…some were so bad. With a few lessons from my brother, Dave had developed a good eye with the camera. He truly enjoys it, on the other hand, I don’t have the patience to set up and wait for the shot. We have though learned to jiggle with the jello, and living in the moment since we became full-time rv’ers.

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    1. We all have our talents and you are the Queen of travel planning. You’re also great at finding some really fascinating places to explore. I’m working on our summer travels but not very successfully… I’m out of practice ๐Ÿ˜

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    1. I just love watching a family of Gambels quail running around. So, I totally understand why you’d want to see them before leaving town. I just noticed some of the saguaros are budding. I get excited when they bloom. We’re not always around when that happens. ๐ŸŒต

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  9. Great post Ingrid! Enjoyed the images and the histories. Isn’t so true how looking through the lens really allows one to see so many aspects that one can overlook otherwise. Keep bringing those images to us.

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  10. Nice new theme, very professional, sleek and clean!
    I agree with all your insights when it comes to photography but still have not found my niche. I classify myself as fair weather, lazy photography which sometimes gets good shots.
    The slowing down and the patience is still a struggle for me. I kept telling myself that when we go to such and such place I need to practice and learn but it never happened, I’m easily distracted. At that time when we were in Tucson, the heat was my excuse of not going out and practice ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, you noticed the theme. I had to upgrade my WP account as I was running out of media storage. So, now I have all kinds of themes to choose from. I’m not 100% sure I’ll stick with this one, but it works for now.
      I am a lazier photographer than you and probably have more excuses, but I think we need to get together to discuss this issue further ๐Ÿ˜†

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  11. Hi Ingrid,

    I am definitely not crafty nor do I feel I have much creative artistic vision but photography gives me the courage and inspiration to be artistic.

    Nice post!!!

    Hugs,

    Brenda

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    1. Your photographs are beautiful and your creativity in the kitchen is inspiring. So, I’d say you are quite ‘crafty’. Can’t wait to see where you guys ‘paddle’ to this summer.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Your photography skills reflect the hard work & dedication you have given to your craft. I keep hoping I will have more time to explore with my camera in hand, perhaps when I retire!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, thank you Lynn. Sometimes I think I took better photographs years ago. Now, I tend to overthink and play around with too many camera settings. I’m my own worst critic.๐Ÿ˜

      Liked by 1 person

  13. One of the most challenging things I think you wrote was to slow down and look around you. I struggle with this from time to time. I am amazed how two people can take a picture of the exact same thing and how framing it differently can make such a big difference.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our first year out on the road, I was so focused on taking photos that I failed to enjoy the moment. Now, I take in the scenery slowly, then decide how I’d like to remember the moment on ‘film’.
      You are so right about all of us capturing a scene differently. Hope you’re staying warm!

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  14. Back in the day, I used a Kodak Easyshare Max….It finally died and I currently only have my cell phone camera. Actually, it takes decent photos, and I have used that ever since 2012. I really want to get a new digital, but until we travel again that may not happen..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The best camera to have is the one that’s on you. Cell phones take amazing photos these days. Personally, I just don’t enjoy using the phone as much as a camera. Hope you guys can escape the IL winter later this year.

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  15. When flying, flight attendants will tell you that the exit row may be behind you. I think of this a lot when carrying my camera and hiking (or whatever). The gorgeous views may be behind you!

    Liked by 1 person

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