Gratitude Day 19: Lifetime Learning
Sunrise over East Miller's Cove and the western crest of the Great Smoky Mountains. Foothills Parkway West
© 2014 Kristina Plaas, All Rights Reserved
For me its started when I was a kid and wanted to understand rock formations and geology. After college it was wildflowers, an obsession to this day. Not only do I want to know what the common name(s) of the wildflower is, I've learned that common names aren't precise or clear enough so I need to know the scientific names too. Yeah, strange Latin words for flowers -- I know a lot of them these days. If I couldn't figure it out from a basic book in the field, I would shoot a series of photographs that would help me figure it out later. My love for photographing rock formations and flowers grew over time, too. Now I'm a serious amateur photographer learning new stuff almost every day.
Today's image represents a lot of learning. First, I had to learn what time of day and in what location the sun rises in the morning. Then I had to figure out how early I had to get up in the morning to drive to the location in order to be there at least 30 minutes before the weather service said the "sunrise time" was. I learned that some of the best light and color in the sky happens before the sun breaks the horizon. Once there, in the right place at the right time, I needed to use the right camera settings to capture the image. That's much harder than it sounds and I rarely get it perfect. That means I need to edit my images using sophisticated software to achieve a finished image that accurately reflects what I experienced at the time I clicked the shutter. Editing is a skill that takes time to acquire and master, which is why I just now got it (almost) right on this image, two full years after I captured this sunrise. I can reflect on things and see how much I've learned in those 2 short years and I have much, much more to learn -- a whole lifetime worth of learning! I'm grateful for the limitless opportunity to learn new things and develop a greater appreciation for the amazing world God created for us.