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Finding Inspiration in the Dark - Photo © Cynthia Staples
Cynthia Staples : Finding Inspiration in the Dark

Photo © Cynthia Staples

Words & Images

Finding Inspiration in the Dark

By Cynthia Staples

Is it possible to appreciate light without experiencing the dark?

Much of my nature photography focuses on illuminated objects, whether it’s a seashell on the shore, a pile of leaves at the base of a tree or a bright-eyed frog in the grass. Light is my muse, that’s for sure, but lately I have been dabbling in the dark.

Photo © Cynthia Staples

It began with a computer accident. I had downloaded an image from a walk in the park. I was trying to slightly adjust the contrast of a flower in a green field. My hand slipped on the mouse. The resulting adjustment was extreme. On screen, the leaves had disappeared. The flower looked like a pale moon in a night sky. It floated in darkness. It was glorious. At least to me.

Photo © Cynthia Staples

For a long time, I didn’t show that image or subsequent "floating in darkness" images to anyone. The images were so different than my usual work. Their expression involved my use of technology when I felt like a complete technophobe. Well, upon reflection, I had to admit to myself that while I am not facile with technology, I am fully capable of learning how to use it and use it well. I had to overcome my own fears of what I was capable of doing with new tools.

Photo © Cynthia Staples

Now, more so than ever, I am respecting the time needed to sit with an image, studying its unique attributes. Most images I continue to share as they are – a beautiful moment caught on camera of a landscape drenched in sunlight. But now I push myself to remain open to other possibilities for highlighting that essence of an image that moves me, an essence that I wish to share with others, and an essence that can best be viewed in the dark. •

Next: Branching Thoughts »

© 2013 Cynthia Staples. All rights reserved.

Photo by Cynthia StaplesCynthia Staples is a highly creative writer and photographer living in the Boston area. Her words and images capture moments and memories and weave together inspiring stories for her readers. More »

Updated 4/17/14