You know that feeling when you are driving to work on a dewy morning and you can barely resist the urge to pull over and get out just to get a closer look at the amazing dew drops on tiny blades of grass?
No…you probably don’t. It’s not like a common thing.
Most people drive right by fields of weeds and grass bursting with all kinds of crazy beauty without giving a thought about it – most are not even aware of it.
Which makes me weird. Different. Strange. Or any number or those those things I remember being called in High School that used to hurt my feelings.
But now…I don’t mind being different. As I am now 40 (something) I realize that we all have a little weirdness that sets us apart.
And that is not always a bad thing.
I was once told that my pictures make them want to look at the world a little differently.
That was probably the best compliment I have ever received.
Because THAT is the key to my photography. I intentionally try to find the hidden gems, beauty, and perspectives that are not common.
I particularly love to take pictures of completely ordinary, otherwise boring and overlooked things – like grass, clovers, various weeds found in any patch of dirt – and show how fantastically beautiful they are when they are covered in dew and the light hits them just right.
It forces me to look hard and close…and sometimes get in very uncomfortable and strange positions to get the sun and angles just right. A neighbor once passed me while I was squatted down in the grass and I am pretty sure he thought I was nuts. He tried to act normal…I tried to act normal, but it was a funny moment for sure.
When I get in a patch of clover and weeds with dew covered on them…it is like a crazy display of potential and remarkable beauty. The really neat thing is that, instead of just seeing a sea of repetitive boring grass, every piece of grass and clover becomes unique and individual when you get down to that level.
Every little piece of grass or leaf has a different perspective or angle to offer. They are set apart from one another.
So. Much. Potential.
It’s kind of like maybe the feeling you would get if you were to find out that your nerdy, awkward neighbor turned out to be a supermodel. Right underneath your nose the whole time and you didn’t even notice!
Maybe I had to find this perspective because I am stuck in midwestern Ohio for now. You know…a great place to raise kids, but not particularly noteworty on the scenic scale of exciting places for photography.
I don’t have the luxury of capturing breathtaking landscapes or exoctic flowers, animals or scenes.
I have to find beauty right where I am. So it almost becomes some kind of challenge, a game…a hunt for wasted beauty.
It makes me happy and keeps me from wanting to run away to Hawaii every other second.
But I hope it also serves a bigger purpose.
I really hope that anyone that takes the time to see my photos might one day wander outside, stoop low in the grass (yes…chance looking like a weirdo) and look closely – to see for themselves.
That beauty is really all around us.
Even in the inner city – all you need is a blade of common grass or an ordinary weed or flower and a few drops of water – early morning dew is the best time. But a spalsh of water from a glass or hose will also do.
My hope is that it inspires people to find beauty right where they are.
Sometimes we can get so tired and disillusioned with day to day life we might feel like victims trapped in a concrete jungle.
We feel like…if ONLY we could get somewhere beautiful!
It can get extremely depressing sometimes.
Over time we, ourselves, can start feeling overlooked. Passed over. Invisible. Lost among a sea of millions.
Just like those bajillion blades of grass.
But it’s not wasted, really. Ever.
Like that grass, there is something amazing, beautiful and unique about every one of us when you take the time to look close.
Sometimes it requires us to get ourselves in awkward positions, take risks, try different things to figure out who we really are and what we are really about.
And even if you don’t feel it at the moment – at the right time, the right angle, the right perspective – you too will see it for yourself or someone else will notice it. Usually at the most unexpected time.
It takes a special kind of person to find it and notice it. It’s ok if you want to call them a weirdo too. Maybe one day you embrace your inner weirdo too. Cause weird is actually kind of good.
Remember…Even the plain dry grass at midday doesn’t appear to be anything special.
It’s all about timing.
That beauty unseen or unnoticed, is just beauty waiting…
not beauty wasted.