SEEING THE WORLD WITHOUT BLINDERS
FOR THE FIRST TIME

Blinders Lifted

For many years, I meandered through life oblivious to the beauty that surrounded me.  I was so completely focused (some would say consumed) with my work that I did not have any energy left to see the world.  The only thing I wanted to see at the end of my day was my not so comfortable bed and my lumpy pillow.  It did not help that at the end of most days it was fully dark, regardless of the season.  In short, there was no work-life balance and I was the only one that was unable to see it.

At the beginning of 2018, I changed career paths.  Everyone around me rejoiced in my change in circumstances.  It became clear to me that the people I cared about cared more about me than I did.  It was a great feeling knowing that I was loved by friends and family alike.  It also became resoundingly clear what I had been missing.

I now had more time for family birthdays, random invites, and Sunday brunches (Bottomless mimosas!)—all things I normally missed.  Apparently, I had missed a few actual births, as there were birthday parties I was invited to and I was clueless about whom the party was honoring.  More importantly, I started to look around and see the world for what it is—a beautiful world.
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As cliché as it may read, I really had been oblivious to the beauty of the natural world.  I was always a consumer of information about the natural world.  As a kid, my favorite past-time aside from reading was exploring the forest and creeks with my brother and cousins.  Additionally, most of the TV I watched was of the Discovery Channel (when they aired mostly nature programming), PBS, and MPT (Maryland Public Television) variety.  I was clearly aware of the natural world but somehow as I got older and my priorities shifted, I forgot about it.  Essentially, I traversed the world for more than a decade with blinders on.

At some point, I began to look around and was astounded by what I had missed.  It is difficult to explain but to put things into context, for years the need to check an email held my attention more than the environment around me.  When there was no work to check up on, the people around me held my attention because I had not seen them in a while, so we had a lot of catching up to do.  This period of awakening was very gradual through the Spring of 2018.  Let’s say my blinders were now transition lenses (or lightly tinted).

During the Summer of 2018, I awoke a bit more.  Greens were greener, flowers were more vibrant than they had ever been, bees were humming louder, and birds were chirping seemingly with more joy.  In August 2018, I bought a camera.  It was an impulsive decision, but I felt I needed to capture some of the beauty I rediscovered.  Also, the deal was great.  Who passes up a great deal?  Don’t judge me.  I have digressed.  Anyway, I took some shots.  I transferred them to my phone.  I thought they were great.  I uploaded them to Instagram (IG) and people liked them and commented encouraging words on my post. 

The pictures were terrible.  Some are still on IG for your perusal later.  I think it is important to remember where you began.  But that short photo jaunt had served its purpose.  I got the photography bug.  I was now addicted to taking pictures.  So much so that I bought a drone a day after my camera arrived to capture the world from above.
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The contrast is stark.  I am a guy who has always had the best mobile camera (I’m a recovering techoholic.  A new phone every year, bleeding edge type guy.) but I never took any pictures with it.  Though that was always a top of the list phone requirement.  I am a guy who ran away from group photos and abstained from selfies.  In many respects, I still am.  (Friends are nodding in agreement.)  However, I no longer ignore the beauty around me.  Instead, I embrace it, I explore it, and I try my best to capture it.  The blinders are fully lifted.

I am wandering in search of…and this is my photographic journey.

 

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Washington, DC, USA

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