Title: "Secret Congregation"
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I must admit that most days I do not spend a great deal of time on my daily practice, which was not something that I had anticipated. I think my expectation had been that I would spend time giving some due consideration to the images I would make as part of this practice, and I've occasionally felt as if I've been giving it short shrift, or in some way cheating, because I often am spending only 10 minutes or so. But slowly I've come to realize that I'm benefiting considerably from doing the practice, even if the time spent is relatively short on many days.
The primary benefit is that I'm more in tune with my daily surroundings and even on days when I don't "feel" like keeping this practice up I do still see something that I want to make an image of. And now there's really no activation energy barrier to following through on that impulse - it's just a given that I will go ahead and make an image. Even if it just involves taking out my cell phone to use as a camera - before starting the practice I can recall several instances where I wanted to make an image but was cursing the fact I didn't have a camera with me (completely forgetting about the cell phone camera). I feel my eye is sharper and I'm making images that teach me things about composition, colour, and post-processing to arrive at a final image that embodies what I saw when I took the photo.
Yesterday the sky was apparently filled with smoke from forest fires, leading to that eerie orange ball of sun in the early morning sky. A couple of fellow photographers were commenting by e-mail yesterday on this phenomenon and how they intended to get up early this morning to make some images, having lost the chance yesterday. Alas, this morning the sky was cloudy and free of smoke, and there was nothing particularly remarkable about the sun. In the past, I would have been among these fine people, lamenting a missed opportunity. Yet as a result of the daily practice, I made a couple of images with my cell phone yesterday morning while out for my early bike ride. They aren't prize winning photos, but they represent the transition I've made from being a "gotta do that" photographer to one who has made the best of an opportunity under the circumstances.