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Photography: The Power of Restoring Wonder

Photography: The Power of Restoring Wonder "We need a renaissance of wonder. We need to renew, in our hearts and in our souls ... the perennial sense that life is miracle and magic."  ~E. Merrill Root
Today, as I write, I sit outside in the Prague sunshine under a vivid blue sky enjoying tempertures in the mid-50's. Last week at this time, I was sitting outdoors with this view:

the gorgeous Maremma region in Tuscany, Italy Paradise, I think.

And there, in Italy, I attempted to capture the beauty I saw through a camera lens. I took hundreds of photographs during our trip -- I'll be sharing some of my favorites here over the next few weeks.

The extraordinary details and layers in a Mediterranean sunset For me, holding a camera opens up a whole new world of possibility. With a camera, I find myself slowing down and looking for the beauty around me. And soon, instead of just moving through a day, I'm seeing the amazing elements of life -- the clear blue of the autumn sky contrasted against the swirling leaves, the soft smile of a child holding his first pumpkin, the pastel morning clouds backdropped behind the foggy Prague skyline ...

the peaceful pasture of grazing sheep in the mountains of Tuscany ...
A jumble of Chianti bottles in the back of a truck in Firenze ...
bikes lined up in the crowded Firenze streets ...
the immense and unspeakable grandeur in the dome of Saint Peter's Basilica, Rome ...
and the pigeons bathing in the fountain outside Rome's amazing Pantheon ... All elements of wonder.

With a camera to help capture the beauty around, it might be true that I more fully experience what I see. Maybe, with the aid of a camera lens to isolate and capture what we see, we can more fully experience wonder.

What do you think?

Starting the conversation: Do you find yourself slowing down and really seeing the world around you with a camera in hand? Do you experience life more richly when you have a camera to capture what you are seeing?

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As much as I enjoy looking

As much as I enjoy looking at photos (and as much as I was enthralled by being in Firenze) I stopped taking photos years ago. I don't know if it was an active or passive decision. I know my major feeling was that I didn't want to waste my time in actually being there by recording the experience.

I might change my mind with these current instant camera/phones/you-name-it. But not yet.

And I'll appreciate the photos you take - keep at it.

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Hi Dale-- It's true ... that

Hi Dale--

It's true ... that sometimes it feels as if stopping to take photographs of a place or moment seems as though it could be a distraction from the moment as it is. I also love to leave the camera behind and just soak it up without the distraction of a camera. But with a camera, I feel as though I can fully enjoy the scene because then I can share it with others later. I'd love to hear if someday you change your mind and bring along a camera. 

Thanks for the encouragement to keep at it. And thank you for taking the time to stop by and leave your thoughts. I appreciate it!