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Are you plucking blackberries?

Are you missing the beauty that is right in front of you? This isn’t just for photographers; we all need the inspiration that is available to us if we really pay attention! When I go out to capture photographs, I find unexpected beauty in my surroundings all the time!

Ship Bow #492

I recently read a quote from Elizabeth Barrett Browning that struck me as analogous to how I see and work with my abstract photography.

Earth’s crammed with heaven, 

And every common bush afire with God, 

But only he who sees takes off his shoes;

The rest sit round and pluck blackberries.

~Elizabeth Barrett Browning
(From Aurora Leigh, Book 7 L. 812-826)

While I love the intended biblical reference of this quote, I immediately repurposed it to draw a connection to my photography. (Sorry, Elizabeth, but I DO come back to your point!)

When I pay attention to the details of the world around me, I find striking evidence of a creative intelligence at work. I feel reverence and joy in the beauty that is there to see if you are looking for it. When I pause to take a picture, that’s the experience I attempt to recreate so that I can share it with anyone who is open to it.

Palm #18b

When I go out to take pictures, I am looking for the underlying design – the colors, shapes, patterns, and textures and their relationships to each other. And I examine every common object in my surroundings for surprise perceptions. I focus on what attracts me in the present moment, what triggers my imagination and wonder, and feelings.  

Blue Metal #9

As gratitude and reverence for what I see rises, so does apprehension of God’s amazing attention to detail in our world. This brings me joy and a sense of relaxation that, somehow, all the uncertainties of this world will work themselves out for the good. There are forces greater than me at work. We are in God’s hands, and He pays attention to the smallest details.

Rust #110

I come to capture beauty, and I remain to “take off my shoes” in honor of the creator of this incredible world. And when I produce a successful image, I share it as an invitation to viewers to also “take off their shoes”.

As for “plucking blackberries”, I confess, I try to take off my shoes AND enjoy the blackberries!



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