Moment in Time

This is the fourth of the guest posts, blog visitors who kindly answered the question  “How has photography, no matter your expertise or experience, had a positive impact on your life?” (This is one of the questions I’ve been exploring in my recent series “Why Photography?“)

Robin (from Wisconsin) wrote this response.

I would first like to thank Bo for the opportunity to be a part of her “Why Photography” series.

Photography has brought immense joy to my life.  Every photo captures a moment that can never again be repeated.  Each is one of a kind.  Every image is unique or “peculiar” to a moment in time that is captured forever.  Every day I learn something new; every day I’m challenged just a little bit more; every day I’m motivated to try, try again.

Photography has certainly made me more visually aware of my surroundings.  And it is not always the most obvious subject that catches my attention.  Sometimes it might be a blade of grass, or a clump of weeds that might otherwise be overlooked.  But that’s the wonder of photography.  It’s the opportunity to take the ordinary and make it extraordinary.  Or then again, to take the extraordinary and reduce it to its simplest elements of line, texture, light, or color.

One of the most beneficial compliments I ever received was from an experienced photographer who told me that “technically your photos are awful; but I can’t stop looking at them.”  I smile whenever I think of that statement.  Because in the end, photography not just a photograph of a subject, but is a very personal expression of the photographer.  Most anyone can learn the technical aspects — exposure, rule of thirds, and so on.  But it’s the story and the emotion that I most desire to convey through an image.  Every day I study dozens of photos from professionals and amateurs alike.  And I find that the best photos are those which evoke the strongest emotion: joy, anger, laughter, wonder, awe, a smile, a gasp, a sigh.

Life moves by us at such a rapid pace.  Photography slows that pace down and stops it in its tracks, even allowing us to relive a moment whenever we want.  Whenever I download a set of photos off my camera for the first time I fall in love with photography all over again.  I am usually pleasantly surprised what the camera has captured. Sometimes it’s exactly what I wanted to capture and sometimes it’s totally unexpected.  But it’s always, always exciting.

I am very much a beginning photographer and so I have much to learn.  And at the present time, macro photography gives me the greatest satisfaction.  But short term goals also include branching out into abstract photography, and in particular macro flower abstracts.  And since winter in Wisconsin tends to curtail outdoor photographic opportunities just a bit, I want to use the upcoming winter months to put together an indoor area for flower photography.  I also want to use this winter for learning better post processing techniques.   My long term goals include figuring out how Bo achieves that beautiful texture on her flower photos.  🙂

Robin photographs in the Ocooch Mountain region of Wisconsin. (Ocooch Mountains is a term that’s applied to the unglaciated, driftless area of southwestern Wisconsin.) She publishes her nature photography on her Peculiar View Blog.

About Bo Mackison

I'm a photographer, book-artist, traveler, naturalist, and creator of the Contemplative Creatives Journey, An Online Workshop and Community and Desert Wisdom Cards and Workshops. Though often not well known, I find the desert a welcoming place - a healing space. Its mysteries and gifts transformed me several years ago. Since that first encounter, I return again and again to fill my well in what most people think of as a desolate region. I'd love to share my desert discoveries and wisdom with you. Please subscribe to receive my five part mini email course The Gifts of the Desert. It's my gift to you.


  1. Love the possibility that technically ‘awful’ photographs can be so beautiful to look at!!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings about photography..and your particular process. We are all inspiring each other!!!

  2. To capture and evoke an emotion through a photograph is a worthy goal and accomplishment. The compliment you received from the professional photographer is one I would treasure. I often feel an emotion when taking a photo, but after working on it in post processing, I sometimes lose that feeling and don’t know what, if anything, the image conveys. It helps to come back to it weeks or months later to see if the emotional response has returned.

  3. Bo Mackison says:

    Thank you, Robin, for joining in on the guest posts. It has been a wonderful series so far, and I love your perspective. Yep, it matters that your photos connect with the viewer, not what you are shooting with or all the technical gobbledegook we sometimes get suckered in to thinking is the important part.

    And thanks for the compliments, but you already have what it takes. I hope everyone takes the time to go visit your blog and enjoy your great photography.

  4. Robin, I know exactly what you mean. The surprise when you download the images and see what the camera saw. Sometimes I’ll return from a photo jaunt disappointed … until I download what I took and am awestruck! NOT because I am good but because sometimes I get so lucky! I’m more intuitive than technical so oftentimes I’m so grateful to have a good camera and good luck. Great post – great job! I’m going to go check out your blog now…!

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