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Shot Of The Day

on the road to madrid

Blinking in Spain

I’ve always wanted to see this. My whole life. I’ve dreamed of standing before an endless field of flowers as far as the eye can see. I’ve examined pictures, lots of pictures, and often turned a hue of green that strangely resembles the leafy green under brush as I envy the photographer lucky enough to gaze at such spectacular beauty without the limitation of a lens. The picture is usually on one of those inspirational slide shows celebrating the wonders of the world or on a poster of Holland or another flower grower’s paradise. While the lens captures something that takes our breath away, there’s nothing like the built-in camera God gave each of us to click endlessly as we blink to keep it moist and lubricated. As much as the photographer fights to capture a scene the way it appears before her, the eye has the camera beat by an immeasurable degree in its ability to purely receive what is before it. Except for contacts or glasses or sunglasses, the camera of the eye has no settings, delays or filters. No on/off button, except the lid. No removable memory. No flash. We just point our lens and blink, blink, blink drinking in the scene for the photo album of our minds to recall at the most bizarre times. Whether with the assistance of optometry, or simply with its exposed unfiltered lens, the eye takes in a level of detail and beauty that the photographer only dreams of mimicking. As I walked through Spain trying to capture the experience, the thought kept rolling around in my mind — a picture makes the experience so flat and two dimensional. Your eyes and the filter of your mind try to put the image in some perspective and while I can tell you with my words about Spain, I can’t make you hear the cow bells ringing so loudly in a field that it sounds like a church service. While I can show you a picture of paella, I can’t bring with it the smell of the sea or the clanking of the masts on the boats next to our table and explain how that somehow made it taste more delicious. More Spanish. And while I love this sunflower picture, what you can’t see are the tears rolling down my cheeks or my son hugging me and asking “why are you crying mom?” Other than being overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of this many flowers, I was crying… “Because God never gets tired of surprising us or reaching us in places that only HE knows we need or want to be reached.” Sometimes, I think that the biggest limitation on the camera of the eye is what we point our lens at — what we choose to focus on. When we chose to focus on magnificence, it invades the photo albums of our minds and comes back to us at the most essential times. Over the next few weeks or months, the shot of the day will be a celebration of Spain and an attempt, through words, to add another dimension to the limitation of the lens.

Posted: 20 July 2010