The sun shone impossibly today, creating a sky so blue it looked like something that came out of an animators imagination.

I knew there was a shot here somewhere, so I walked around the block with the intention of finding it.  This 365 project has had the tremendous benefit of helping me see things that I have never seen before.  Or, more accurately, to see things I have never seen that I have seen hundreds of times before.

I’m starting to find that my minds eye is matching up to my camera lens.  I can picture the shot before I press the shutter, and the photo is looking like I had imagined it would.

This brings back a couple memories for me.  More than 50 years ago I was in the 2nd grade at St. John’s school in South Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Our teacher, then named Sister James Marie, had us make puppets out of construction paper and the cardboard from rolls of toilet paper.  I struggled with drawing pictures and making them look the way I wanted them to look, but the pirate puppet I made looked EXACTLY like I thought it would look.  I was overjoyed with that result and showed it off to Sister James Marie, who made me think I was a master puppet maker.

As a sophomore in high school, I struggled with geometry.  Mr. Parkinson, my teacher, was a no-nonsense kind of guy who loved teaching math.  He worked and worked with me to understand proofs, those exercises that required an awful lot of logic.  Then one day it clicked, and they made sense to me.  I came to love geometry and went from a C student to an A student.

Seeing a photo before capturing it is like the pirate puppet and geometry.  This is a tortured metaphor at this point, but stick with me.  When I started this project in November, I did it with the purpose of creating forced practice, and the goal was to become a better photographer.  Practice has paid off, and now I can make a pirate puppet to look just the way I thought it should, I understand geometry, and I can see the picture before I take the shot.

I loved the light in this picture, and when I saw the delicate moss on that little branch, I knew that I wanted this shot, and exactly this shot.  For you camera geeks, it’s ISO 100, 63mm, f/2.8 at 1/125.

I don’t believe this will win any awards or be sold for thousands of dollars, but I like it a lot.  What I really like is what it represents, which is the learned ability to see not just what is, but what could be.


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