Handheld Lightning

The art of PLAY!

What makes this image so magical to me is I took it handheld on my old iPhone. Yes, handheld!


What a freakish moment of synchronicity combined with steady hands! Sure, I’d taken about 20 shots prior to getting this one, but the chances of preemptively hitting the exposure button just before the lightning appeared were so tiny that when I realized I’d gotten the shot I danced around with glee.


How is it possible for a photographer who owns all the right gear (the big camera, the tripod, the know-how, and the shutter release cable)  to become ecstatic over an imperfect shot taken with a device that many would consider inferior?

Anything is possible when the pursuit of perfection is replaced by experimentation and play by the artist. I knew this shot was impossible but I kept playing around with it.

Play is so lonely in our serious, product-driven culture. And yet it’s so important for our mental health. We all yearn to feel happier, to experience joy, and let go into the flow of the moment, but our attachment to outcomes catapults our minds into the future instead of just being right HERE to enjoy it.

Who needs Carpe Diem when we can Seize the Play? 

Photo Credits:  Handheld Lightning, by Susan J. Preston, Santa Fe, NM © 2018, all rights reserved Technical: iPhone 6

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