Featured, Nature, Things I Hope My Kids Will Read One Day, Tips, Travel

On Seeing…

June 30, 2018

I started out as a traditional artist, and I mean from the time I had my first vivid artistic memory. My father was drawing a pencil sketch on an entire wall of our home, and I remember watching him (while he whistled) and feeling at peace and thinking how beautiful the drawing was — I felt joy. It wasn’t until I was in my 30’s, and questioning my mother about the drawing that I was told, “You can’t remember that you were only six months old!” Hahaha! I was always drawing, painting, singing, feeling and looking for wonder. It’s in my blood. My great-grandmother was among some of the first women to attend the Art Institute of Chicago. It was while she was there, that she met my great-grandfather, who had been invited to this country to perform violin with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. (He had been brought up in the King’s Court in Austria where he achieved Concertmaster).  There are ballerinas, painters, singers, writers, storytellers, and musicians on both sides of my family, so I don’t think I could have outrun art, even if I’d wanted to. I was lucky enough to know, and be influenced by many of them. However, I never met my great-grandparents — but I feel them all the time.

I told you all of that to tell you this…

I believe that seeing is so much more than seeing. Seeing is also feeling, and making a mental note about how you feel. Take this seagull photo I recently captured in Norway. I was standing hillside and looking onto this beautiful scene when all of a sudden this seagull showed up and flew right next to me, in front of me and soared high above me. I felt joy! As soon as I recognized my joy I went for my camera because I knew that something magical could happen (and so did that seagull). Sure enough, with a little patience, things lined up. Haven’t you ever been driving somewhere and looked out your window and saw a beautiful sky or shoreline, or tree, or haven’t you been present and heard a child giggling and felt joy? Or peace? Or wonder? Whatever the feeling was, you felt something, right? Oh man, when you do, when you feel that something, make sure you stop or go back or do whatever you have to do to see, see what you felt. Once you feel it, you can see it, and once you see it you can capture it.

I wish you joy, peace, wonder, feeling and seeing.


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  • Reply clinton ferrara June 30, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Your post made me think of my favorite photo quote.

    “To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.”
    — Elliott Erwitt

    • Reply kalebrakelby June 30, 2018 at 4:20 pm

      That is a great quote. Thank you for sharing it.

  • Reply Lynnie June 30, 2018 at 3:35 pm

    I wish you joy and peace.

    • Reply kalebrakelby June 30, 2018 at 4:20 pm

      I wish you the same, Lynnie. Hope you’re doing well. 🙂

  • Reply Carolyn Fahm July 8, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    There is a bit of a wild bird in many of us. We long to soar and drink in the beauty. Is it nature? Is it art? Or is it something in our spirit that longs for the wild places that our ancient ancestors’ world? I think your image is all of these. It calls my spirit powerfully, so much so that my eyes are filling because the images, verbal and visual, are calling to my heart.

    • Reply kalebrakelby July 10, 2018 at 7:25 pm

      It is my honor to call you friend. Thank you, sweet Carolyn.

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