JEAN n.Cornell

My Lens

Which photograph is my favorite? The one I will take tomorrow. Why? My camera reminds me to seek the beauty in the world. It makes me pause and appreciate. It makes me turn my car around. It makes me choose my next adventure, no matter how big or small. This intense appetite to search for beauty came to me in stages.

As a young girl, probably around ten years old, we took an artist to our ranch. I don't recall who she was or why she was with us. I just remember she woke me to the beauty around me...mainly color. I had never really noticed before, I suppose. Sitting on a hillside, looking across at the next hill, I saw everything differently. I saw so many different shades of green. This was my first epiphany.

My next lesson came naturally. My parents were amateur photographers...not in an artful way. I don't think of them as creatives. It was simply the constant was normal to be around cameras and dark rooms. I was in high school when they gave me my first "real" camera…an old used Pentax 35mm. I had only expressed a passing interest in photography at the time. In their wisdom, my parents decided I should have the opportunity to record my life's adventures as they had. Little did they know what a profound impact that gift would have on my life. 

Then came my education. It was not in photography. In fact, I didn't even take a photography class in college. I'm so grateful because what I developed was from my natural eye...not a trained eye. What I did learn was design and everything that comes with it...balance, patterns, shape, line, contrast, to name a few. Unintentionally, I started applying these elements to my photography.

Through these fortuitous blessings and developing a habit of carrying my camera as a semi-permanent appendage, I began to see my world differently...through the lens, always.

My photography has created my love affair with the pulchritude...the beauty of my world. I love how things have turned out. I am extremely blessed to observe my life through the lens.