This I Believe

Hewen - Toledo, Ohio
Entered on August 29, 2006
Age Group: 50 - 65
Themes: creativity
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Dare to Share, Build Together

3 years ago, I stumbled into the magical world of digital photography.

With a simple imaging tool, Photo Impression, I can blow up the picture on the desktop, gently slide the color or light controls and watch the image changing like magic played out in front of my eyes. Little by little from dark gray to vivid bright, from red to yellow to green, its color tune and mood vary along with my finger. I can pull up the tree that standing by the water make its trunk slender and tall showing grace. Or I can flatten it to accentuate its strong and robust body that gives weight and a solemn state. The more I edit, the more I shoot. Almost every second day, a fine piece was produced.

Most of my subjects are trees, birds, frozen ponds along Highway I-75, sunrises over Lake Erie and many more nature scenes in the parks of the city Toledo, Ohio. I usually shoot in the 20 minutes before sunrise when the lighting is gentle that casts long shadows to the ground, brings out the depth and serene beauty to the image.

After accumulating over a hundred pictures I had this deep yearning to share my love with friends. I wanted to tell them, our city is beautiful, and there is beauty in every corner, as long as you look into it with a quiet heart. Also I wanted to share the powerful tool and simple editing techniques that can bring so much pleasure.

My first audiences were co-workers. They frequent my cube to critique my artwork. Kevin, my boss took me in his truck to the beautiful Ford Estate at 7am in the early morning offering one more shooting site. Murali seriously asked me to call the mayor and request him hang my pictures in his office to promote our city. Dave suggested software that can search the Internet to see if anyone is stealing my artwork. Michael saw my passion and loaned me his expensive camera, a $3000 Olympus E20 for a one-month’s try out. Some Ford engineers in my division started coming in showing off their work, sharing info of new gadgets and technology. In their sparkling eyes I saw the pride and joy in sharing their passion with me.

There are highlights in a person’s life: however most of them are brought out by encouragement and acknowledgement. Most of my friends acknowledged my work and showed true appreciation that keeps me going and wanting to do a better job.

In my short photo venture, I found a small truth; if one is sincere and earnest to share what is precious, people will respond with their ideas, experiences and joy. That interaction bringing a meeting of minds, helped form a better and bigger thing. And I would not miss a chance to acknowledge others’ effort, small or big, fruitful or not, as long as they tried their best.