Everyone who knows me knows that I do not care for snow. It's messy. It's cold. It snarls traffic. But it is also gorgeous and fluffy and changes a landscape completely. It's a rarity in Portland at all let alone in Portland in February.
So this morning when I woke to a nice covering of snow I was at a crossroads. Looking out my front door I could see snow everywhere. But also blue skies peeking out and the lighting was gorgeous. I wandered out in my slippers; camera in hand hoping my neighbors weren't out to see my wild pre-shower hair and I snapped a few pictures then back inside I went.
I put my camera on my desk and sat down to my breakfast. But like an insistent puppy my camera kept staring at me...then back at the door...then back at me. You think I am joking, but I swear it was! So I tried reasoning with it...it's cold outside (wear a coat), I was going to get a workout in (walking in the snow is a workout) I already have a picture of the snow (off the porch! Imagine what it looks like in the park!) I was going to clean bathrooms (really? Bathroom cleaning over a walk in the snow?) Okay, so even I wasn't buying that last one...I bundled up and decided to take my camera for a walk.
I do not consider myself a photographer. I am just someone who takes a lot of pictures. An obscene amount of pictures as anyone who has ever tried to get someplace fast with me will attest to. I have friends who are true photographers and they take pictures that will stop your breath for a moment with their beauty. But me? I just take pictures of what catches my eye. Like the sun coming out behind a grove of snow covered trees or the needles of a pine tree covered in fresh powder.
The thing I always thought distinguished everyone else from photographers is what they see. Photographers seem to see things we don't. You see a picture they took and you think, I have walked past that sign a hundred times and I never saw it that way...how did you? But the one thing I have realized is that it's not just that photographers see things it's that they are looking for things. Like snow flowers.
Or a moss face...
Or splashes of color in a white landscape.
So maybe it's not that they have a special way of seeing the world it's that they take the time to actually look at the world. To explore. To slow down a little and pay attention. So maybe I am starting to become a photographer after all. Maybe with my camera in hand I take the time to really look at the world around me. To see things a little differently. Even myself.