April 07, 2014

30 Days: Day 7 - Seeing

It was so surreal to stand on the beach (Waimea Bay Beach) where one of my favorite photographers frequently shoots. We arrived just after the sun had disappeared over the horizon because we had been watching it set at another beach just up the road.
...just up the road.  Hawaii is a magical land of beaches galore.  And as crazy and traffic ridden as Oahu is, I just love the North Shore.  I could go to Oahu and never go to Waikiki or Honolulu (except to fly in, of course) and just spend every day watching the surfers on the big waves.  Those deep sandy beaches of perfection.

As soon as I saw that clock tower, I kinda geeked out and looked around at this place that I had only seen on tiny squares on my phone for years.  I just stood there.  I stopped shooting photos mostly because it had gotten too dark for my iPhone camera.  But also, I just stood there because I wanted to see it.

When I go to a beautiful place, or I stand in front of something that thrills me like a piece of art or a perfect bloom on a tree, I am guilty of trying to freeze it/stop time around it.  I don't simply stand before it and enjoy it.  Partially because I want to have a record of it to enjoy for years to come, which isn't wrong.  Also because I'm afraid I'll forget it.  I have a terrible memory.

But, I've noticed my obsession to record and save and not enjoy in the moment.  It's something I'm working on changing.  Putting down my camera.  Stopping.  Breathing in deeply.  Staring and drinking it in.  Living in the moment.  Smelling the salt in the air.  Watching the colors change in the sky with my own eyes and not through a view finder.  Feeling the sand on my feet.  Hearing the giant waves roll.

Now, when I look at this photo, I can see, feel and smell that spot.  I remember living it and not just recording it.  And that's what taking a photo is really all about anyway, isn't it?  A small moment frozen in time to guide our memory back to everything that it entailed.

Anyway, this beach was beautiful, even in the (almost) dark.  And if you want a daily ocean fix, follow CL on Instagram.  His photos are stunning.

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