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In a world where we often try to ‘capture’ moments, what if we shifted our perspective to ‘receiving’ them instead? This post explores how changing our approach with the camera can deepen our connection to the world, making photography not just an act of taking, but a profound engagement with the beauty that surrounds us.

Recently, I had an enlightening conversation that shifted my perspective on photography. Often, when we discuss photography, we use terms like “capture,” “take,” or “make.” These words imply an action directed outward, an attempt to grasp or claim something from the world. But what if we reframe our understanding of what it means to use a camera?

This shift in thinking stems from a broader discussion about the difference between getting and receiving. In our lives, we’re frequently focused on the act of getting—getting a job, getting a house, getting our way. This pursuit is active and forceful, pushing our energy outward without leaving space to receive.

Energy, like water, flows where it is allowed. When we’re constantly pushing forward, we close off the channels that might allow something new and unexpected to enter. In contrast, being open to receiving changes the game. It creates a space where ideas, opportunities, and creativity can flow into our lives.

Apply this philosophy to photography, especially in natural settings. Imagine you’re searching for the perfect shot of an Oak Tree, but your path leads you through a forest of Pines. If your mind is set only on the Oak, you might miss the majestic beauty of the Pines. The magic of photography often lies not in seeking out a specific scene but in being open to the beauty that presents itself.

Let’s then consider the camera not just as a tool for taking but as a receiver. Much like a radio picks up on signals, a camera receives light. We tune this device, not to create but to align with the vision unfolding before us. We make adjustments, not to impose our will on the scene, but to better receive the image that nature offers.

By viewing our camera as a receiver, we change our approach from one of capturing to one of receiving. This subtle shift in perspective invites a more profound connection with our surroundings. It allows us to be present in the moment, to see what is actually there rather than what we hope to find.

As you next lift your camera to your eye, consider this: are you setting out to take something from the world, or are you there to receive what the world is ready to give? This approach doesn’t just apply to photography but to life itself. Embracing the art of receiving can transform how we interact with the world, opening us up to a wealth of beauty and opportunity we might otherwise overlook.

So, let’s go forth with our cameras, not as conquerors but as humble recipients of the light and life that surrounds us. In this way, photography becomes not just an act of observation but a profound engagement with the world, an act of receiving and honoring the beauty that is everywhere, if only we are tuned in to receive it.


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