{Echo} Week 9- ‘illuminate’

:: burning glory ::

:: sunbeams ::

      “There are two kinds of light – the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.” – James Thurber

I have a penchant for light. I seek it, I bask in it and I humbly try to capture all of its majestic glory within my camera lens. Those who accompany me on a photo walk can tell you how I light up like a child on Christmas morning when that glorious golden hour comes around and even the smallest blades of grass are all aglow. Sun-kissed, is there anything more magical?

I suppose it is within that hour that I’m brought back to my childhood where fairies danced.. always  j u s t out of my reach, clouds became characters in my latest story, leprechauns taunted me and elves were always causing mischief. Anything, and I mean anything was possible. 

:: fairy of dreams ::

“The questions which one asks oneself begin, at least, to illuminate the world, and become one’s key to the experience of others.”  James Arthur Baldwin

Though the details have matured a bit as I grew up, that light still delivers me the same fantastical feeling of magic it brought me as a young girl.  With age, has come (a bit) of wisdom as well as acceptance of the disorders I was given in this life.  Among that knowledge is the importance of light in managing bipolar disorder.

It is a key factor in resisting depression and a crucial element to pull myself out from under the darkest of days. Even technology is understanding the importance of light, and light therapy lamps are becoming a valuable and more accessible tool for folks like me. Love, love that.

“Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.” -Saint Thomas Aquinas

After dark – I find myself drawn to the colorful neon lights … cities are chock-full of them!  There is this unequivocal energy they produce – and instantly, I am captivated. I could never choose between the city & the country … as I love them both.

I don’t always take photographs to capture beauty – sometimes, I just want to capture that powerful, and oh-so-bold feeling of excitement … so I play with long exposures, light writing.. and delight in the abstract beauty it produces. If you don’t want to fuss with manual settings on your camera -turn your camera to fireworks mode (if it has one), aim it at light… and move it around in the air as the shutter is open… but be forewarned, it is addictive.

So, imagine my thrill when Susan sent over her shot …

Photo Credits: © Susan Tuttle (left), © Christy Hydeck (right)
(click image to view it  larger)

… I’m beginning to think she really can read my mind.

I look forward to seeing what you in have store for Week 9 of Echo– illuminate. Susan & I invite each of you to participate in the project and show us your unique vision, your voice, your echo. Remember, to share your link in the comments here so I can add it to the roundup next Wednesday.

Lastly, allow me to apologize for skipping the {Echo} Week 8- ‘Juicy’ roundup; a few unexpected (of the major time-sucking variety) things came up this week &  killed the time I had allotted for posting it. The round-ups are just a lil way I can thank each of you for participating – so I feel terrible that I can’t carve out the time right now.  Please be sure to read through the comments on this post, Susan’s post and peruse the Flickr group to check out all of the fabulously juicy interpretations. I hope you all know that I love seeing what you share with us, even when I’m looking on-the-run!

If you’d like to see the round-up posted late, let me know in the comments here!


13 Responses

  1. I always enjoy the round ups, as they allow me to check in on the flickr participants that I always forget about.

    As for this post, wonderfully said. I could not have said it better myself! I suffer from seasonal depression which I didn’t know I had until we moved to the part of the state that has real dreary dark and cold winter months filled with complete and utter boredom.

    you’ve given my brain much to think on as I prep for my echo post. :)

  2. excellent, I especially love the top one.

    here is mine and Shannon’s


  3. Beautiful photos Chrysti!
    Thank you for the transparency you show in your posts. Your authenticity is refreshing.
    Here are a couple Echo Illuminate posts. First one I went solo
    This one, Shona is on the right, and mine on the left.

  4. Hi there,
    I am new to the blog world and am interested in getting to know some folks. I have been a practicing artist for years (used to sell a lot on Ebay back in the day) and read many of the Somerset publications. I entered some photos on Flickr and posted about the entry on my blog (which has almost no followers yet!). Thanks for making this kind of networking so much fun.

    Deb Morbeto

  5. I loved the light in your photos; it dazzles.

    Did you know that lizard lights that you buy in a pet store are the same as much more expensive therapy bulbs for people suffering from depression or light deprivation? I found out about this when a person in a place I worked, who was very depressed switched many of the bulbs in the outlets. Over the course of a few weeks some people starting getting weird and acting elevated. It was funny but you have to be careful if you are sensitive to light. We ended up switching all of the bulbs except the one in her office.

    In California where I live we have lots of sunshine and are lucky in that way.

  6. Chrysti, I absolutely love your post – the images, your honesty, the magic to which you elude from your childhood. Thank you.
    My apologies – I happened to find one of the exact same quotes which you used. I suppose it needed repeating time and again.

    Thank you for the sharing about the fireworks setting. I believe I have it on my camera. I will give it a try with the understanding of the possibility of yet another art addiction.

    Angels be with you dear beautiful child.


  7. wow!
    gorgeous shots.
    came here via susan’s blog.

  8. Great blog, very informative and full of beautiful photos. Good job, I love it.

  9. […] echo time! This time the prompt is “Illuminate”. Just reading the word “illuminate” conjures […]

  10. Whew! I got mine up.

    Funny how my partner and I had the exact same idea and though we tried and tried to come up with something different, our minds were stuck on this “one event”.


  11. So it was, Alyice! Here’s the “other half” of ours:

    Chrysti- Your images are stunning! Oh to have your know-how. (Maybe someday when my pockets aren’t so shallow.) Although, I nearly posted some “light play” similar to yours, but once Alyice sent me her fireworks, I couldn’t resist going a different direction. Anyway, here’s to lazy summer days basking in that oh so golden glow!

  12. loved this post so well said. And the photos are just beautiful. Makes me yearn for the days I could go walking with my camera..sigh..hopefully this summer I will be able to dust mine off and figure out a way to shoot from my wheelchair.? It’s just frustrating as I am now limited in my point of views,compositions, and mobility to reach alot of beautiful areas around here. But you have me inspired to try and find a way around my limitations..oh and yup got the seasonal depression here and a son with bipolar so I can totally relate to the absolute ‘need’ to live within the light..

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