letting go

Letting Go

I noticed this one leaf while out shooting among a field of winter brown and green, lit calmly by the setting sun I was walking toward another subject at the time but had to stop to grab a couple shots of this because I love turning such simple, minimal subjects into something grand. I had nearly forgotten about the photos until tonight while looking around for a new image to share. Seems to be one of those rare last leaves of fall that just refuse to let go of what they have.

Oddly enough, this left me feeling sentimental for things left behind (so pardon me while I think out loud). Life goes by so quickly sometimes and while there are instances where letting go is the best thing you can do, I still feel there is so much you should hold close and never let go of. We are constantly reminded to leave the past behind and live today like its our last, or other such motivational this and that, but hearing it gets tiresome after a while. Our minds gloss over advice amid our busy digital lives and being social within this weird new definition of the word where you don’t actually have to be with anyone to be social. This or we take this kind of  life advice to heart and become so desperate to connect with our inner selves that we end up getting lost in the very act of trying. This makes it harder to feel much honest connection with notable moments in our lives and by the time we realize how great life has been it’s already passed us by. I always remind myself not to forget that every moment I am alive I am graced with something undeniably beautiful if I look closely enough and pay attention. Both in times of unbearable joy or times of hardship and struggle.

One of the saddest things anyone has ever said to me was while they were looking at a photo of me taken when I was a teenager. She told me I was so beautiful when I was young but it made her sad. When I asked why she replied, “it’s your eyes, there seems to be something in them here that I don’t see anymore.” That stuck with me over the years and ever since then I have been trying to get it back. I realized that to be honestly happy about my life and everything that happens within it I must embrace all of it, good and bad. It’s important to keep your imagination and lust closely guarded and never stop exploring, stay hungry and foolish so they say. The most creative, capable people out there in this world are the ones able to take experiences from the past and use the knowledge and emotion surrounding them to build a better tomorrow rather than letting themselves get lost in a maze of regret.

One last thought I would like to include that feels like it ties in to what I am waxing poetic about is probably my favorite Steve Jobs Quote which is on creativity:

“Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. That’s because they were able to connect experiences they’ve had and synthesize new things. And the reason they were able to do that was that they’ve had more experiences or they have thought more about their experiences than other people. Unfortunately, that’s too rare a commodity. A lot of people in our industry haven’t had very diverse experiences. So they don’t have enough dots to connect, and they end up with very linear solutions without a broad perspective on the problem. The broader one’s understanding of the human experience, the better design we will have.” Steve Jobs, Wired, February, 1995

Sentimental rambling aside, as much as I love the lens I shot the above with, the 55mm f/1.2 Olympus Zuiko, I have decided to sell it and buy down into the more modest 50mm f/1.4 in the same series. Mostly because I feel as though I could spend that money better elsewhere. I know it seems like I never stop with the cameras and lenses and friends give me a hard time about it but I love to explore everything photography has to offer. I like taking digital photos but left it behind emotionally  for reasons I can’t quite put into words. Keeping up with digital photo tech just got old and when I realized my 5d was more than enough camera to satisfy my digital needs I stuck with it and put my curiosity elsewhere.

Film cameras and experimenting with them brings me so much more excitement and satisfaction that I can’t help but want to continue on exploring. This and I know readers love to hear about interesting new cameras and opinions on them and the only way to continue this is to keep trying new systems and reporting back to you.


  1. Aqeel Fikree - December 17, 2011 at 8:26 pm

    I downloaded and used the wallpaper before even reading the article. A beautiful wallpaper, thanks. Now reading :)

  2. Fabiano Coelho - December 17, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    Nice shot!

  3. Carlos Cabezas - December 18, 2011 at 2:45 am

    Thanks J, another wonderful picture and messages.,
    thanks, Merry Christmas to you, & to your family, =)

  4. thedoo - December 18, 2011 at 5:32 am

    It’s hard to judge on someone’s soul through the eyes in the photographs. I’m sure your eyes in the photographs will look as beautiful now as it was long time ago as long as it’s photographed while you were thinking/ talking about the things you love and care about.

  5. muaad - December 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    just the kind of picture i want waiting for , thanks

  6. Gilang - December 18, 2011 at 2:28 pm

    The photo reminds me of my childhood experiences, playing at the backyard of my house, something I no longer did.

  7. Faraz Khan - December 19, 2011 at 4:16 am

    I love your writings more than the photographs u post…really love them..they just make me feel nostalgic..
    thanks alot..God bless

  8. shift - December 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    Excellent photo and message. I think as long as we have that drive to learn, that innate fire of curiosity, we’ll be fine. It seems like that drive and fire is still going strong in you! =)

  9. saleem - December 21, 2011 at 1:48 am

    I have been looking at this site for a few months now, and I just want to say that I love everything about it. Aside from the beautiful photographs, you have a very incredible view on the world around you and I really enjoy your writing style. I don’t exactly remember how I found this website, but I always find myself checking up on it every couple of weeks. Maybe I really appreciate this website because I also shoot with a 5D, zuiko primes, and my beloved Olympus OM2. I have never gotten my hands on a 55 1.2. I have the standard 1.8 that simply jumps from the Canon to the Olympus body. Anyway, keep up the good work. :)

  10. Lauren - December 21, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    Beautiful… all of it.

  11. jackie - January 6, 2012 at 2:52 am

    Fantastic shot. But what was more to me in this post was your “sentimental ramblings” of both the past and present. I wholeheartedly agree and, given that social networking alienates people more often than not, your words inspired me in a lot of ways I hadn’t realized I was looking for. So, thank you. :)

  12. Dan - January 6, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    Just letting u know that I have all ur photos as the wallpapers on my Mac, iPad and iPhone.

  13. sunhead* - January 11, 2012 at 12:20 am

    wow, ferris bueller has finally made his impact after all these years. :) so glad to see and hear. and proud of you for being at this point!! great work. and, so true.

  14. sunhead* - January 11, 2012 at 12:21 am

    ps- i am definitely like the leaf ;) although i’m letting go of things bit by bit each day!

  15. matt - September 16, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    What lens did you use to take this picture?

  16. matt - September 16, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    answered my own question by reading. The 1.4 is a good lens.

  17. Dave Lawrence Photography | - July 27, 2016 at 1:13 pm

    […] (via fiftyfootshadows) […]

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