A few weeks ago, I went out with my camera to capture some of the early blossoming trees. During the pandemic, it has been easy to miss some of the beautiful things going on in the world as we are confined to our homes for longer periods of the day than usual. I was in awe as I soaked in the blossoming Spring even in the midst of worldwide difficulties. Since then I’ve been reflecting on what about photography feels so meaningful to me. It’s not just about having nice pictures to display or have as my iPhone background. The process of taking photos is what means something to me and as I’ve gotten more into photography over the past several years, I’ve noticed my perspective on life changing. Although this pandemic is anxiety-inducing, dangerous, and confusing, it also presents new opportunities to see things through a new “lens” and with new perspective.
Photography Allows Me to Be Mindful
My absolute favorite part of photography is that it slows me down and allows me to be more mindful. When taking a photo, I pay special attention to the settings of my camera, the angles, the lighting, the small details, etc. It has actually allowed me to pay more attention to detail and beautiful things in my life in general. I more frequently notice the sunset, the way light reflects on the water, and the way the stars look on a clear night because photography has helped me to pay attention.
In my daily life, these are the details that I often miss. I am so busy trying to get somewhere, accomplish the things on my to-do list, or stay connected through social and other forms of media that I lose out on the small, beautiful moments. Looking through the world behind the camera allows me to see things differently. It gives me the time and attention to appreciate beauty that I don’t often see. I love this about going out to take photos. I always feel more connected to myself and to the world after spending some time in nature taking shots.
Pandemic & Perspective
This pandemic can help us (or force us) to slow down and pay more attention to the small details of our lives. Just like stepping behind a camera gives me a fresh perspective, stepping into the unknown of COVID-19 can allow us a new viewpoint. Maybe this pandemic allows us to see our spouse doing his or her job, when typically, they work from an office. Perhaps this pandemic allows us time to appreciate seeing our neighbors out for a walk (we’re desperate for any human interaction we can get), when typically, we don’t notice or acknowledge them. Although I am not always behind a camera, the lessons I’ve learned through taking photos has changed my perspective both behind the lens and beyond. Although this pandemic will not last forever (we keep trying to tell ourselves this, right?), we can take this fresh, slowed-down, more attentive perspective about the world with us throughout our lives.
Right now, this pandemic is really hard to deal with some days (or most days!) If we take time to practice noticing the small, yet important details of our lives, we might be able to take something away from these months that will impact us for good.
What are the small details that you’ve noticed since social distancing, working from home, etc.? Share them with us in the comments!