The Silent Moment (or, Why I Love Photography)

I lay on my back today, looking up at a clear blue sky framed by snow-covered pine trees, and as I moved the viewfinder of my camera up to my eye, the whole world around me disappeared.

(I’m glad I was in a good neighborhood, because I’m not sure I would have noticed someone creeping up on me.)

Thirty degrees from the horizon, blue sky.

Put it in zone 5.

The shadows of the evergreens…a zone darker? Or is it two?

Well, focus on the other and that will fall in place.

Look up, 18mm focal length…

This is is the only time until the dark moments just before sleep that I will be in such perfect silence.

The only thing I hear is the whir of the auto-focus. If I hold my breath,  I can hear my heart beating.

Breathe out. Find the pause.

The shutter clicks, closes and opens before the next heartbeat, and the silent moment I looked to the sky is caught.

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One thought on “The Silent Moment (or, Why I Love Photography)

  1. Katrina MacWhirter says:

    I know the feeling, or something close– for me it’s the moment I get the line scribbled down while I try to hold the image in front of my eyes.

    Fasten down the words, quickly.

    Stay that moment, check the image, make sure of the light, that the textures are clear, are what you saw.

    Breathe… just maybe you have another moment to enjoy before the impulse seizes again.

    They’re fragile, drying up and dying as I catch them, shedding scales of colour every step I take away. But sometimes, if I hold them just so, I have a few scraps of the sky to carry home. I pin them to a manuscript, somewhere worthy, and feel only a whimper of guilt in my greedy possession.

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