SEE Challenge Day 1 Also

Day 1 Also?

Yeah, I know. Look, I was going to title it SEE Challenge Day 1 until I discovered that my friend Elizabeth Hahn beat me to it by 4 hours. That and it’s funny.

I’m lucky to have a friend who’s a wonderful photographer, mentor and inspirer of all things. Yes I just totally ripped off a line from Elizabeth’s blog on exactly the same topic. Lauri challenged us to shoot a roll of film daily for a while. I haven’t personally developed a roll of film since college and I’m pretty sure all the chemicals are in a box somewhere in my garage. But stick with me here; limit the photos taken as if each image was precious enough to burn a frame out of a small set of possible frames. So naturally I plunked a 128gb SD card in my Canon 7d Mk II. That part was more of a coincidence since it was the first SD card I grabbed before leaving today, but again it’s funny.

Precious

I thought about this idea: precious.

My typical day is pretty mundane. Up early. Stretch, yawn, scratch, shower, dress, coffee, scratch some more, cereal, shave, out the door. Drive from heavily forested area to tiny mountain back commuter road. Tiny road to major highway. Major highway to major freeway. Crawl through Silicon Valley traffic for the next hour. Arrive in parking garage, exit to building of concrete and steel (albeit a pretty one), work at my desk (yes I have a “day job” but I think you knew that) around stuff I’m not allowed to take pictures of. Repeat the process in reverse like squeezing toothpaste back into the tube.

So what was precious about any of this?

I haven’t done this in a while because I was too hurt to drive. So yeah, this was precious.

Today all of it was. Every last bit. I won’t bug you with details but over the past 6 weeks I’ve had two significant health things. One where I was’t sure if I was going to live to see the next morning. The other where I got to understand what a “10” is on the pain scale for a week straight. So simple things like driving my car. Getting gasoline. Watching an airplane land were pretty damn precious. Pardon my stroll into existentialism for a bit please.

We have a popcorn popper at work. One like you’d see at the movie theater. I was captivated by the texture, color, and the sense of fun. This was precious to me at the moment.

Popcorn. Precious, precious popcorn.

My commute home tonight brought me close to the airport. Was this moment precious to me? Yes. Do you remember a day when you looked up in the sky and there were absolutely no aircraft flying? I mean at all? I do. It was September 11, 2001. Not one airplane. I don’t take this for granted. Also think about the people on the plane. Somebody’s coming home. Somebody’s excited to see somebody else. Somebody’s terrified of the landing part. Precious to somebody else.

A Southwest Airlines jet landing at San Jose Mineta Airport

The rest of the virtual “roll” was mostly looking for a pleasing composition of the aircraft in motion. Another way of saying that is “crap” but tonight I’m OK with it.

Author: Sean McLean

Photographer from Santa Cruz, California. Sharing thoughts and photographs.

4 thoughts on “SEE Challenge Day 1 Also”

  1. I love this!! Love. So much of this we tend to gloss over in our day to day routines, take for granted and just go on with our daily lives. Sorry that it took a health issue and pain to get you to here. I do know that you live here on a regular basis though, but sometimes the universe thinks we need a reminder I guess.

    Thanks for sharing the whole experience and hopefully it can be a teaching moment for your audience as well.

    1. Thanks Lauri. Yeah, it’s been a rough time like that. Not that long ago I spent my Saturdays meditating with a group in Capitola. The silly noise of day to day life was so apparent. I notice when I get caught up in it. Photos like these help return to the “now”. Thanks for zeroing in on that.

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