Wide awake dreaming

  • Aperture: f/8
  • Focal Length: 32mm
  • Shutter: 1/500 sec
  • Camera: NIKON D1H

Northport, Alabama

Our house is filled with sunlight. It spills across the floor in great, wide blocks, blinding me as I drift from room to room. There is no sound save the soft padding of bare feet across the linoleum.

I will make coffee later, if I remember. Perhaps even slather jelly across dry toast, taking special care with the edges, making sure that everything is covered — nothing left exposed.

If I feel like it, I will stand naked beside the iron tub, slowly turning the brass knobs and watching the steam rise for a moment before I step into this parallel universe of memory and redemption.

But for now, I am transfixed by the sunlight splashing across the walls, whitewashing my world and obscuring my vision. It seems unbearably beautiful, achingly real. It feels like life itself, captured and imprisoned, offered as a morning sacrifice.

Where there is darkness there is light. And where there is light, there are shadows.

A good photographer knows how to use both the light and the dark to his advantage, carefully planning his exposures so that the shadows give strength and substance to his image, without ruining his vision. With a deft touch, he shapes the light, blocking it here, painting it there. The highlights must be controlled. The shadows must be redirected.

It is a delicate dance, this exposure.

And for good or for bad, I have been chosen to navigate its parameters again and again until I understand all there is to understand. And even then, I have the feeling that I will never know all the answers.

Music: Charlotte Sometimes by The Cure (lyrics)

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