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As time goes on, it’s not as easy to get outside. It’s hard to turn away from responsibilities, com-mitments, limitations. There was a time where I didn’t get to spend any time doing what I loved, which is taking in an environment through pictures. I now appreciate any chance I have to ac-tively participate in my surroundings. I’ve missed a lot of spectacular moments.

But here I was, in an entirely new place. I didn’t know what was out there to discover. You have to take advantage of what you have. You take chances and hope it turns out in the way you want. It’s moving forward to try something new. Adventure is the framework for experience, to do something unique sparks creativity. Sometimes you just gotta get up and get out.

Otherwise you’ll miss the beautiful moment.

A photograph is a compilation of where you are, when it was taken, and of what. It is all indica-tive of the world around you. It says something about where you were, therefore it can always comment on where you are now. I think that a photograph also says something about yourself. Nothing in photography is objective. You choose where to place your camera, the settings, and when to click the shutter.

These two silhouette photographs were taken in Colorado. I had never been there before, but I had a rental car at my disposal and a few hours to kill. So with a few minutes of searching the internet, I headed in a direction just to see what I would get. I kept driving as the sky was chang-ing color, until I felt something that I was drawn to. These two photos give a sense of timing, the lighting right as golden hour begins and the strong color of sunset.

In that moment, I was present and ready to see what I would get.

Of course, golden hour and sunsets tend to yield most beautiful moments. It’s a time of transi-tion, of possibility, of the unknown. The lighting illustrates potential. I love what clouds give to a photograph, no matter the landscape it gives texture and dimension to where you are. Golden hour gives your photograph and moment a certain tone. It provides light to your scene, it fills the frame with that energy, and allows the sky to become your emphasis.

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This moment had called for contrast. For the muted tone in the bottom half of the picture, to draw your attention up to the heavens. The outlines of the trees and the rocks in the mountain-side tells where the photo was taken. There is a play in light and dark, the softness of the clouds and the hard texture of the landscape. The downward slant of the mountainside and the clouds lend to a sense of moment. It makes the photograph feel alive. It brings me right back to when and where it was taken.

When taking a photograph to commemorate that moment, you work within the intersection of two ideas. One, is to appreciate the scene for what it is. For what the environment or the sub-jects are giving you, to reflect back what you are experiencing. Yet what makes something art, is to provide your own commentary. Your own ideas give the framework for your unique photo-graph. Experiences transform what you are living into a connection with others. This creates the commonality of understanding and a discussion in the differences between it all. You are photo-graphing something completely different than someone else would.

There is a joy in understanding where you are. Appreciating what you have been given. Taking in your surroundings. And meditating on why you are there.

Aisha Almada
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Aisha Almada

Author

Aisha Almada splits her time between photography and filmmaking. Her work seeks to find the truth in experience, the beauty in the light and dark, and the faith in perseverance. There is always a new trail to find with her dog, Arwen.

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