Exhale

A wise yoga teacher said yesterday “we are in the exhale”. We crave the heating power of inhalation, the excitement that comes from each new breath, giving the body and mind more energy, one more moment of life. Inhaling can be compared to external living. The heat and fire of summer and fall, socially engaged, busy all the time, staying out late, grinding away at work in an accelerated rhythm.

The late fall then gives way to winter, cooling things off, bringing us inside both house and heart. We crave warm blankets to curl under, cups of soup to cradle in our hands, movies and popcorn late at night. Work slows to a crawl as everyone takes time off; mentally, emotionally and physically.

We are in the exhale.

Photography has an inhalation and an exhalation to it, a rhythm to it. A wise shooter once said to me – shoot “the” frame (if you find it) twice. The second shot is always sharper. It’s because of the inhale, and the exhale. The inhale, the rush of adrenaline when you find an angle, a subject, a sliver of light that has not been interpreted in that way before, forces you to jam the shutter release in a panic. You hold your inhale, stunned that you got the shot (it never ceases to take us by surprise). Then, you shoot it again. You exhale, realize that your subject has not yet been snatched away, and you shoot calmly, quietly, patiently, in sync with what you are capturing.

It’s a beautiful thing, this inhale and exhale.


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