Reporting like a camera

I use to take a lot of pictures of nature and buildings. Rarely I'd take a photo of a person, like a really close up shot of my niece or nephew. I would get a lot of positive feedback about the shots, and that felt great. Mostly I enjoyed the feeling of watching the image appear on paper in the dark room.

For my first project in photography class in college, I took images of a tobacco barn. I love the lighting effect inside a tobacco barn. It is so unique and difficult
to capture in a photo. I get the same feeling from sharp rays of light that pierce a nice thick tree canopy.
The more I studied photography the more I struggled with making things look more artistic.  What I didn't realize then, was that I needed to learn how to see. What never failed was that the images that touched me most, the ones that took my breath away, were the ones that I didn't spend time setting up, controlling, or over thinking. They were the shots that captured the simple beauty of what I was fortunate enough to encounter just the way it looked and felt while I was there. Sometimes it was a complete accident that I appreciated even more after the image appeared on paper. It was a link to a feeling, a moment.
Now that I am studying mindfulness and reading about contemplative photography, I am beginning to recognize simple beauty that is present everywhere, while I am sitting with it. I am trying to capture this beauty as it looks to my eye, not contrived or dramatized with effects, but just as it is. Just like the barn shots, it can sometimes take a lot of effort to make the shot appear like the way I see it in person.
I can't help but draw a parallel to life. It's why I can't watch the news anymore, why I spend less and less time on my appearance. I am challenging myself to look at the world without effects, without judgment, without the drama added by the reporter. Whether it is on the tv or added by our minds, I like turning the reporter off and seeing the moment as it is.

To me, beauty is life in its purest form, just how we see it when we pay attention to the subject as it exists, in the light it is given, before judgment, before effects, without expectation.