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This is a photograph from seven months ago, back in simpler times, when I had a new camera and no idea how to use it. I've since learned to think like a photographer. These days I control highlights, mind the Z-axis, and compose the entire frame. Every shot is a blueprint, and I am its architect.

But on this image I employed no such fanciness, and that has me thinking. For all the technical stuff--the gear, the techniques, the post-processing--photography will always be about two basic things: seeing and feeling. It is art, not science.

On that sun-dappled afternoon in the upper reaches of Michigan, I wasn't thinking about f-stops or shutter speed or ISO settings. I simply saw a pretty scene and raised my camera.

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Seeing the Light
July 2005