Pursuing Life's Daring Adventure

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Photography, Light, and Dark

 A small drop of ink falling like dew upon a thought produces that which makes thousands perhaps millions think.  --Lord Byron (English poet, early 1800's)

Prague's spires, the view from Strahov
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.

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

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. All moments frozen in time, to share with our loved ones far away, and to cherish for years to come.

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.

Charles Bridge, October 2010
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. We, and others around us, are blooming. And yes, life is difficult. But if we choose, despite that difficulty and the darkness of life, we can make choices. We can choose to shine. This is what excites me.

A daisy, shimmering with dew in the morning light
So, today, in the falling autumn light, pull out your camera and look for the things that interest your eye. The richly colored autumn leaf. 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.

Over the next month, I'll be collecting and sharing photographs to post here, with photo credits and links back to you. And I'll plan to write posts about photography, and some of the basics I like to use when I shoot.

Starting the conversation (leave a comment below): Have you captured a photograph that you love? Email me at photos at jenniferlynking dot com and attach a photograph. I'll include it in a future post. Thank you! Looking forward to seeing your work!


  1. Great idea! I'll submit an awesomely amateur photo that might make you cringe. :)

  2. You have a great eye Jen. I think it is probably best that you weren't "tainted" by taking art classes at Purdue. You are free to pursue what looks good to you, and thus looks good to all.

  3. Thank you, Carrie-- I love the photo you sent, by the way. It has great lighting, and architectural interest. Love it! Keep shooting!

  4. Hi Joshua,
    Thank you very much! Interesting that you bring up the debate in taking formal classes for art / the arts, and whether they are beneficial to the artist afterward. I have taken a few informal classes and learned quite a lot. But you may be right, about being "tainted". I appreciate your professional opinion :o) and that you took the time to leave a comment. Hoping you'll send a photo?! Thanks!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.