Up at the crack of noon

Usually. I still need an alarm clock to blast me out of bed in the morning. Unless I can’t sleep which usually happens in the middle of the night when my brain is racing – like when I wrote the first draft of this post actually!

Except for the other morning. I was sleeping peacefully when an intense orange light illuminated the bedroom waking me. I mean it was electric orange with pink and purple tossed in for added effect and was such an intrusive light that it actually woke me.

When I opened my eyes the bedroom was bathed in the light streaming in from the windows. The sky was such and intense palate of pastels – with the intense orange dominating – created by the long-absent rising sun. After weeks of endless clouds, the sun was breaking out and taking full advantage of the situation. There were still clouds mind you, but the sun was the dominant player for this show.

Knowing the fleeting nature of light, especially in the “golden hour” just after sunrise and just before sunset, I quickly tossed on just enough clothes to stay warm (despite the warm colors of the sky it remains the middle January) grabbed my trusty Nikon and flew outside to grab the precious few minutes of this show. Trying to get my just-opened eyes to focus I dialed in my settings as I headed down the stairs and out the door.

My resources for composition were limited to what I could find within a few meters of my door as there were literally just a few minutes of this light available before the sun rose a bit more washing out the celestial effect. But there’s always a photographic composition available, you just have to look for it.

When I looked at the capture time for the photos, from the first image to the last, the entire show lasted but four minutes. Had I taken time to think about whether to go outside or not, what to wear (I looked pretty much like I was homeless) or any other second-guessing, time wasting consideration, I would have missed the moment.

Light is fleeing and time to take an image is when you see that it’s there. Wait and that image is gone forever.

Be in the moment

This thought carries through all aspects of life, doesn’t it? Be in the moment at all times – with family or friends, when you’re playing a game, doing something creative, traveling – whatever the situation, be there at that place at that time. Soak it up.

I woke this morning to a world of freezing fog on everything. If it wasn’t warm-blooded, it had millions of delicate ice crystals extending from its edges. Simply lovely.

Considering the conditions conducive for fog are fairly constrictive, find a convergence of those with the right freezing temperature and you have a special moment in time. I’ve seen freezing fog many times and it usually lasts but an hour or two before temperatures rise or the wind picks up and the world returns to its normal winter grey void of any ornamentation.

On this occasion I happened to have a camera handy and within just a few meters of my home found some amazing sculptures. My everyday landscape was transformed into a magical land and given that it was winter and a workday, the street was silent. Just my wonderland and me.

With photography, the time to take a picture is when you see it. Waiting until later means the light and situation – or crystals in my case today – will not be there hence the composition and image that you saw will also not be there as it was when the moment was right.

As I came inside, it was just starting to snow and I knew the moment I had was over. And the “moment” I took to enjoy the sights? 10 minutes out of a busy day. Ten magical minutes.


Promises and changes


Last year I promised myself to write regularly and keep this blog going with, hopefully, interesting and meaningful content. Here it is eight months into the year without a single new post. Hardly qualifies as either a commitment or a blog.

But, early in the year changes were afoot. Good changes, actually. I’ve finally learned that when life presents changes one can react in two basic ways: freak out or embrace the change. I’ve done both in my past and can tell you that embracing change is a far better option. It’s better to be rowing a boat in the ocean taking on the new than waiting for the current to take you somewhere as you ask yourself why you’re where you are.

I’ve also learned that everything I’ve done up to this point in my life has prepared me for what comes next. All of my experiences, decisions, training, study, travel have laid the groundwork for the next step in my life. This is the absolute truth.

So now I find myself renewed, recharged and bursting with energy for the new projects I have undertaken. It was time for a change, I’ve embraced it with both hands and, true to form, everything I’ve done up to this point in my life has prepared me for the work I’m doing today.

Life is good.

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