Favorites - Christian OZ
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Stanford University’s Memorial Church has an ethereal feel to it that makes you wonder if you have left your body back at home by accident. This was my second attempt at taking this picture due to the ever vigilant caretaker who thwarted my first try. In these situations I find it pays to: a) speak another language, b) be crafty, and c) have the patience of a 300-year old tortoise. How could I give up?! This is one of those hidden gems that you come across and make a mental note to visit often so that you never forget what it feels like to be there.

Speaking of memory (warning: you are about to embark on a tangent) … I think we all go through our human experience recording memories in different ways. Some people have amazingly detailed memories and can recount an experience with very good accuracy. Others have selective memories and only tend to record those moments that have special significance. However, every person’s memories are colored with their own biases and perspectives. The point is that we are all unique and we all perceive and remember our journey uniquely. Photography is one way for me to record my journey and relate it to others (hence the title of this picture).

I am not a classically trained photographer; in fact, I am not any sort of trained photographer. Up until about year and a half ago, before my wife gave me my first digital SLR as an engagement gift, I just knew how to snap quick pictures with my little point-and-shoot camera. Now that I have Nikki (that is my camera – I name all my loved inanimate objects), she fills my free time with so much fun and childish excitement. Every weekend is an opportunity to discover some new and awesome part of the world (mostly my backyard). It is like taking a nose dive into my right brain’s realm and wallowing there for awhile before having to come back to the more structured necessities of day-to-day life. Assuming the world is meant to be in balance, this is one of my equalizers.

I also think a lot about my infant daughter and how she must perceive the world. Everything is new to her and she goes about it in a constant state of learning, awareness and wonderment. I think adults tend to lose this as they get more entangled with responsibility and sometimes they may even lose that ability completely. Being a parent reminds us of where we came from and how flexible our minds used to be … this is my way of keeping that alive so that I can not only have fun, balance my life, record my journey but also relate better to my daughter. Every little outing is an exploration. Ahhh, the possibilities are endless!

Technical note – This picture was one of my first attempts at High-Dynamic Range (HDR) photography. HDR is a process where by you take the same shot with different exposures and blend them together to capture all of the available light. I hope you enjoyed it, because I am getting more and more into this fun photographic style.

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