Journal 1 ยท Feb 5th 2021 by Alan Maxcy

A photo a day. My first challenge in seeing beauty in the ordinary. I have often said that I do not like taking bad photos. This leads to me not taking many photos at all. I see light well, which means I know when a good photo can (or cannot) be taken. Or so I thought. I had fallen into a common pitfall for artists โ€“ finding success (or an aesthetic) and only having eyes for that particular style moving forward. Many of the most famous artists are defined by a particular style โ€“ think Picasso, Monet, Ansel Adams, C.S. Lewis, Frida Kahlo. You know you are looking at an Ansel Adams photograph without knowing that he took it. That is powerful. However, if your particular style corners you in, it can become a limitation. It was for me. It was always either too dark or too bright, not moody enough, location not exotic enough โ€“ any number of excuses not to take a "good photo". So my camera stayed on the shelf, and my creative muscles atrophied.

This challenged me to think outside of my "aesthetic". To take the camera off the shelf and just shoot. I will never become a better photographer by not shooting. It is a skill that requires practice. Some people are more naturally gifted, for sure. I feel like God has given me an eye for photography. I walk around seeing beautiful photos, constantly framing and reframing (especially when the light is just right). Taking a photo a day helped me expand my vision for beautiful frames. I was narrow-minded when it came to beauty. I still only see in part, but I am learning to see in full. There is much more beauty to behold. I just have to choose to see it.

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