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Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Thanks for visiting. I am no longer updating Notes to Self. I hope you'll join me on my current website,

The Eye of the Heart


Last week I took the kids down to our new city playground along the riverfront, where there is a water play area. As soon as we walked up to the fountains, I spotted two children belonging to a friend of mine who passed away last year. I sent mine on their merry way, pulled out my camera, and shot and shot (those are my own sons above—I wouldn't post photos of other people's children without permission). My friend's kids are beautiful and spirited subjects, but it wasn't just about taking pretty pictures. I shot them with my mothering eye, that invisible lens attachment I shoot my own children with, the lens my friend saw her children through every day of their lives, the way children need to be seen. Photography is as intimate as touch for me.

I get frustrated when I hand the camera to Patrick. He knows better than me what an f-stop is, but he doesn't use the same viewfinder. "You have to look through the eye of your heart," I tell him.

When Tracey invited me to guest post on ShutterSisters today, I told her I hoped she had a label category for rank amateurs who can barely focus their point-and-shoots. I am far and away the least knowledgeable contributor they've ever had. I just recently upgraded from my fully automated "Mom jeans" camera to one that has a few manual features, and I rarely shift the dial off "P."

But I wrote what little I knew, about the eye of the heart and what it beholds. I hope you'll go read it, and check out and comment upon the many wonderful photos that others are sharing in response.



Blogger bluebird of paradise said...

congratulations! "shutter sisters" is big time . i love their site. ans you are such a wonderful photographer, simply because you shoot through the eye of your heart.

9:33 AM  
Blogger elaine said...

I have two 10 am workday habits: one is take a break from the hectic pace (old habit) and the other is to read your latest post (new habit).

Midmorning I need rest and inspiration and you provide both.

Shooting photos "with the eye of your heart." I love this phrase. No manual can teach this. It requires living and loving deeply and generously.

I tend to obsess about perfect focus and composition (e.g., rule of thirds). Probably because I'm a novice and have just a basic point-and-shoot. I'm going to try your approach with my next photo session.

Honestly, your words are so wonderful. Everything you do comes from a very big heart. My comment today comes from a grateful one -- thank you for sharing your life, your talent and your insights.

I will save your Shutter Sisters' post for my afternoon break.

12:15 PM  
Blogger the mama bird diaries said...

I just read the post about your friend Peggy and I am crying. My heart is broken. I will never understand why parents are taken away from their children. I hate cancer. My friend's husband just died of cancer and I can make no sense of it. Your words are beautiful and I love that you took pictures of your friend's children.

2:53 PM  
Blogger Kyran said...

thank you for all three comments. fuel in my tank for another day. :-)

2:58 PM  
Blogger Jennifer H said...

You can top off the tank with this one, then... :-)

As someone to whom the camera feels a bit awkward, I admire the gift of sight you have with yours. And you seem to write the same way you take photographs.

5:48 PM  
Blogger Howlerpost said...

I did read your post yesterday and then came to your site to bookmark. I loved your journal and used some of your thoughts on a scrapbook page, ( credited you).I also posted it on my photo blog, also giving you credit. I love your descriptions about aperture and the soul. Was a nice start to my day. I will be visiting your site each day. pam
P.S. I hope that is okay please reply if you would prefer me not to use your words, I would understand.

6:47 AM  
Blogger reneedesigns said...

I too shoot with a mothering eye and my Bubs doesn't. You can tell the difference in the photos.

The first photos we ever took with that camera were of the moment we met our daughter for the first time. (Our old camera had broken that morning and our guide helped us buy a new one in China.) It has been shooting all the photos since I became a mother. So I like to think the camera instinctively knows how to shoot that way.

9:13 AM  
Blogger madbanana said...

Hello Kyran,

I just stumbled upon your precious post for Shutter Sisters from July 2008. The one about photos being 'given, not taken.' I am just a mom, who loves photography and has a family website ( I would like to ask your permission to 'repost' your words with your credit on my site. Please let me know your thoughts!

Thanks again for your inspiring words! They came at just the right time! Have a GREAT day!

Missy Delaney
(I'm an American living in Okinawa, Japan)

8:26 PM  

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