Through The Eye Of A Lens

Through The Eye Of A Lens

How photographers view the world differently.
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Almost everyone is graced with the sense of sight. Almost everyone is able to wake up in the morning to see the sun rising and rest their heads at night to the sun set. Almost everyone is able to see the formations of clouds hanging in the sky or the wind gently whisping a grassy field. Almost everyone is graced with the ability to view these beautiful sights, however, not everyone is capable of seeing the earth through the eye of a lens, a world that is one of its own.

Being a photographer is not something that you can be trained to be. Sure, you can learn vast amounts and grow in your talent, but it is a gift that you are born with that simply needs to be discovered. Photographers are born with lenses in their eyes, the keen ability to view things in a perspective that few others can, and once discovered, they learn how to use that lens to capture breathtaking images through a real one.

We see things differently than most, and people who aren't like us often recognize that. So often I'll stop to take a picture and someone will say, "Wow, I never thought to look at it that way before." It's the little variations in the way we view things, the slightly skewed angles, the lack of or abundance of light, the idea that something so little can be made to look so big.

Photographers don't just view the sunset or the sunrise. They notice how each individual ray of light refracts, splits and explodes across a scene. They notice the incredible shadows that contrast the light and are able to mentally capture what the image will permanently look like once they press the shutter down. They notice how the rays splash golden warmth across a face, a flower, or an object. They notice how that sunlight is caught inside of the smallest dew drop on a blade of grass, appreciating that single drop for everything that it is and its temporary and changing nature.

That's the thing about photographers and how we view the world; we recognize that every little thing in the world is constantly changing, never static. This is why we wait hours, days, weeks, for the perfect weather, the perfect lighting, the perfect moment, and when it comes, we snap as many pictures as humanely possible, knowing that this is the last time this exact, breathtaking scene will ever be visible. We long for these shots we have devised through our mental lens, and after we get them we are able to sit back and enjoy the ever changing sight, whether it be of a storm rolling over the mountains, the hue of the light changing on someone's face, and or the tide of the ocean retreating. We take the world for what it is and expect nothing more, but are always surprised but what it unleashes for us, and that's what's different about photographers.

Cover Image Credit: Jenna Rutkey

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

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5 Best Quotes By Kate Chopin

"The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude."

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Rising to prominence during the Progressive Era—a time in America where women were often discouraged to read and write, or disengage with literature of any form due to the asinine, yet widely accepted sentiment that words on a page would drive the female conscience insane -- Kate Chopin is widely hailed by historians and scholars as one of the most iconic forerunners of the feminist movement that came to the dominate the early 20th century through her short stories and novels that have been on the receiving end of timeless praise.

Although she did not receive any accolades for her works, nor as much recognition in comparison to better known female authors during her time such as Edith Wharton -- who became the first female novelist to win The Pulitzer Prize -- Kate Chopin's legacy endured to serve as a rallying cry, and inspiration for several female contemporaries who to, have now ascended to their rightful places among the highest echelons of American Literature. Names that include Zelda Fitzgerald (wife to famed novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald), Gertrude Stein, and Willa Cather to name just a few.

Here are five of the best lines delivered through the words of one alone, which came to be the words of many:

1. "She wanted something to happen - something, anything: she did not know what."

We all dream of being something, of going somewhere. But often it lies beyond the reach of words, as an imagination uncapsulated by a camera or a picture frame. As a place we have not been, cannot go, and will never be.

2. "Perhaps it is better to wake up after all, even to suffer, rather than to remain a dupe to illusion's all one's life."

To keep it real is to keep it painful. But through all the falls, the bruises, the scrapes, and the tears, there may linger at the end if for a moment, only for a moment, a painlessness many have conned themselves into believing it will last forever.

3. "The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamouring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude."

The sea, the water which covers crevices, valleys, and deeps yet unseen and unperceived is a place of much wonder and much fear that roars beneath the crash of its waves against one another, and the rocks that await upon the shore. But through the beat of its torrential drum, it remains a place for the solemn, and the alone. A place for those to wonder as they wander alone in their solemnity.

4. "She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world."

To grow up is to shed the cocoon woven from expectations others expect of us to confine us, and to emerge, and ascend towards expectations we have set for ourselves.

"... but whatever came, she had resolved never again to belong to another than herself."

As we embark on the travail that is life, there may come times where many will tell us we belong to something, or nothing. But as such despairing words calmer against our eardrums, seaking to breakthrough to invade, to infest our psyche, we will always belong to ourselves.

Forever a voice of empowerment as she was then, Kate Chopin reminds us -- through her novels and short stories that have been but a glimpse of her enduring resilience and courage -- that regardless of what or who we are, and where we come from and where we seek to go, we always belong somewhere.

A place that lies beyond many seas of many seductive whispers and whispers. A place where awaits to embrace us -- one none other than ourselves. Enveloping us in our arms like currents which surround us as we descend, and then arise in place where we may wander in solitude.

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