Art in my Life


Years ago, when I received my first NGS assignment to photograph Molokai, I remember Bob Gilka (then director of photography) telling me, “this will probably be your most difficult assignment, as you will be working in your backyard.” He said this because,” so much for you has become so familiar that it is hard to see without the contrast of newness and freshness.”  Over the years, I have reflected and chewed on this advice.  Even in our photo workshops, Dewitt and I have taught and discussed the concept of “art in your life.”  This is an attempt for me to see more intentionally, the beauty close at hand; as in the chard drying at the kitchen sink and and the brushes after Stewart’s workshop.  These photos teach me so much about my noticing.  Often when I least expect it something turns my head, in the midst of busyness, and not photographing, and yet a glimpse into my rich life close by.  Together they become an intimate tapestry of my world, full of gratitude and for me art.  Slowly the realization comes that I am also the art in my life, even the artist.  Well Bob, after all these years, I’m still in the backyard working your suggestion out. Only now I’m slowing down on purpose so that when I do notice the richness and texture of this life, I can be in it more fully.

3 thoughts on “Art in my Life

  1. Richy Heckler

    OK…I’m getting it. These are great and inspiring…although I’m not sure I’ll ever lose the desire for different cultures. these are great, given your counsel to me.

    just uploaded the photos from last week, and the IRs did come out. However, the ones from the new D300 can’t be recognized on Aperature as it is. Who knows, maybe Lightroom in my future.


  2. George Quiroga

    You’ve taught me so much about just seeing and waiting for something to happen as opposed to expecting something to happen. I spend my evenings in my backyard watching the birds, the pond, the flowers, and the light. Even in such a small suburban backyard, I never run out of fresh new images. Birds travel new paths, light is always changing, new flowers bloom, old flowers pass on, insects change, birds travel new paths or new birds appear. Something unique is always happening and the images present themselves. Thank you for pointing that out to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *