One of the things I love about digital photography is its ability to provide a pathway into tiny worlds – a bee’s eye view into the sexy beauty of flowers, a rainbow spectrum caught in salty foam, the world captured in a dewdrop.
To the naked eye these tiny bits of magic flash at the edge of vision, a bright colour, a glassy splinter of light. Close up, they overwhelm with their complex balanced beauty, their sheer perfection of being.
For me, they are what lie behind our everyday existence – the rich, exuberant patterns from which all things evolve. If I believed in a God then this is the stuff of its being – “the force that through the green fuse drives the flower”.
I was thinking about this after a conversation with a friend whose recent experience of a meditation retreat involved a similar focus on the world’s minutiae. Attendees were encouraged to look at their surroundings through a portable field microscope – to get to know the world in its intimate detail.
There is a lot on which to meditate.
It’s why I lose endless minutes on a beach at dawn – pulling focus on a dewy flash to reveal the world in microcosm, hanging upside down in a bubble of ephemeral light.
It’s why I sit in front of photoshop, enlarging my way deeper into a flower. It’s an exciting, strangely intimate journey. There is nothing in it to jar the eye. Outward beauty leads to inner symmetry.
What impresses is the exquisite harmony of it all. The expression of millions of years down nature’s evolving journey to perfection.
It’s so easy just to overlook.
Exploring it provides such intense pleasure.