Thursday, June 14, 2012

Tip #82: Let Life Happen

Commute - Stillwater Township, MN
Canon 5D Mark II + Canon 24mm f3.5L T/S E
Ever visit a home with young kids? Filter out the exuberant noise emanating from k-3 mouths and simply watch their world through your photographer eyes. Pure spontaneity erupts because life is a game. Young ones wander between the present and future, they live at the nexus between the material and the imaginary. They are the keen observers among us and transform the mundane repetitions of life into something fresh and novel. A dog encounter that needs to be controlled by the adult world is a butt sniffing fest that explodes into a type of laughter that I have long forgone in my adult life. Slides are castles, kiddie pools are lakes and yards are far flung lands that beg to be conquered. This old photographer can learn lessons from the neophytes, ...they let life happen.

Commute #2 - Stillwater Township, MN
Canon 5D Mark II + Canon 24mm f3.5L T/S

These images are an exercise in risk and patience:
  • Risk, because I chose to stop, shoot  and share. They are not from some rare exotic locale, nor do they expose the unfamiliar to the masses. In fact, these are pictures captured along my commute. I risk my credibility by sharing the mundane, yet each image is a moment in time where light and shadow seduced my eyes. 
  • Patience, because I had to stop, stare and think before taking the risk. The photos were shot from tripod, in wet waste-high grass at a time when I was not prepared for the conditions. Patience required a thoughtful lens choice, the manipulation of tilts - shifts - focus, and the burden of a cable release and mirror lock-up.
These are simple images, but simplicity can transform a moment and force the wizened to cross a line from the material to the imaginary. 
We all can learn lessons from the inexperienced among us. Neophytes have much to offer those who have stale eyes and forgotten about the beauty that can explode from the mundane... watch them play, they let life happen.
©2000-2012 / Bruce & Tamy Leventhal. All rights reserved. No image on this site may be used without permission.


  1. you don't laugh at dog butt sniffing? that and other physical humor is what we specialize in

  2. Oh... I laugh at dog butts... but I definitely don't laugh like your two little guys!
    Here's to the real scientists... the young ones who live a life of daily discoveries.