Capturing the Beauty in Life: Photography, and Venice

Capturing the Beauty in Life: Photography, and Venice

Photography is the beauty of life, captured. – Tara Chisholm

Venice

Venice

In 2003, I received my first SLR camera from my husband as a birthday gift. It was not one of the more prestigious brands, and the zoom lens was off-brand, as well. But, the combination of the two– a Target-special camera combined with a basic 30 – 300 mm lens did one major thing in my life: hooked me on photography.

It wasn’t long after we purchased the camera, and we took a trip to the coast of Maine from the flatlands of our home in the Midwest. The time was precious because the skies were vivid blue, the ocean was alluring, the lighthouses shimmered, and the fog was thick at times. But also, our boys were then ages two, three, and five. It was tough, with boys running everywhere and into literally everything. But, as I now look back on the photographs I took during that time, I realize that it was the time of our lives.

Now, many years later, the time still is the time of our lives.

Somehow, through the lens of the camera, time can stand still, and a MOMENT is captured, forever.

Venice, Servizio Gondole

Venice, Servizio Gondole

I have photographs from that Maine trip of majestic lighthouses surrounded by waves crashing like thunder along the craggy shore. And the next frames had photographs of little hands and legs scrambling to climb the dry rocks beside me. These memories will last. They are a treasure.

The very definition of Prague: two Czech men at 11:00 am with their beers, in Obecni Dum

Of course, now living in Europe, I tote my camera everywhere. Because everything is beautiful, and our boys are at a great age. My photo batches now have ones like the two above, of the Prague spires poking through the shroud of fog and two men chatting over beer in the Prague Municipal House, followed by a dozen shots of our boys playing futbol with their school tournament, followed by a thousand photos from our roadtrip to Venice. All moments frozen in time, to share with our loved ones far away, and to cherish for years to come.

Carnival Masks on San Marco Square

Carnival Masks on San Marco Square, Venice

It doesn’t matter what our cameras are like — whether they are digital SLR cameras with multiple lenses or the always-handy cell phone cameras. To be able to separate ourselves from everyday busyness and to SEE the preciousness of a snatch in time — this is a gift. To be present. To really see, and mindfully capture the whirl of life around us.

Since that first camera that I loved, I have stepped forward into the digital era, and have happily captured thousands and thousands of photographs. And I have realized, what it is that propels me toward a life’s work of writing, and photography, and art.

Wine Production building, Brandolini Rota estate, Veneto, Italy

Wine Production building, Brandolini Rota estate, Veneto, Italy

The fascination that propels my writing and photography and painting is light, when it shines around and in and through us, despite the dark. Because, like the photograph below, our lives are being lived. On a bone-chilling day in the middle of Venice’s Carnivale, the crowds receded to their warm rooms, and the gondoliers parked their gondolas for a brighter day. And yet the inky boats bobbing along the bright aqua water of the Grand Canal bring a festivity of their own. They shine. We can choose to shine despite the dark. We can open our lives to the beauty in life. This is what excites me.

Gondola Parking in Venice

Gondola Parking in Venice

So, today, in the brink of emerging Spring beauty, pull out your camera and look for the things that interest your eye. The richly colored garden flower. The glassy reflection of light upon water. The toothless grin of the neighbor girl in braids. The dew shimmering across the grass. And share the shots with those around you. For in a click of a button, you have captured the beauty and the value in the single moment in time.

This month, I’ve been writing posts about photography, and some of the basics I like to use when I shoot. Here, the links to the other posts:

5 Quick Steps to Managing Your Digital Photos

The Joy of Photography: How to Find Your Inner Lens

How to Watermark Your Photos for the Web

Starting the conversation (leave a comment below): Have you captured a photograph that you love? Post a comment here below with a link to the photograph you love and I’ll post the photo to my Pinterest board, Community Photos We Love. The link is here: Jennifer on Pinterest. Thank you! Looking forward to seeing your work!

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