The World Around Me

May 2020


During this unprecedented time, it’s important to be grateful for the world around you as we sit in quarantine.

We’ve been home now for almost 8 weeks, and, yes, it’s been incredibly hard, especially with the nice Spring weather here in Southern California. But one thing I can say, I am appreciating the things around me. My garden, my house of 28 years, my fluffy four legged dog-child, and my husband.


As a photographer, I appreciate light and compositions differently than most people. Right now, I’m sitting outside on a warm May morning, and the light is hitting my garden in the most unusual way. I always have my camera beside me and I am frequently inspired to capture the garden in this light. Not that I didn’t notice this light in the past, but it was just my back yard. I had the whole world of morning light to explore.

Did I go out and explore it? Not if I wasn’t traveling or it wasn’t the height of spring. Now things are different.


The world around you gives you the opportunity to literally watch the plants grow, watch the hummingbird take a bath in the fountain, see the birds at your feeder as they are staring at you with funny faces. It’s fun to decipher what they might be saying. “Don’t stare at me!” Or “ get me more seed!”



GIVE THIS EXERCISE A TRY

Take some time to think about your creative photography voice.

What are you trying to show the world?

Good photography is always about the light and the special ways you can play with it in your lens. If the light is not interesting in some way, the image can fall flat.

Look around you. How is the light hitting the leaves or petals in your yard in the early morning vs. late in the afternoon? Go out and photograph it in different times.

Document this light throughout the day and find the best locations to capture it in new and different ways.



Hopefully, this time that we are in will be over soon and we will be back to a “new normal”, whatever that may be. I’ve come to the realization that it’s incredibly important to be grateful for the things and people around you right now. Staying home means staying healthy and helping the rest of the world.

Be creative and find a new voice, one that will change you when all of this is over. Maybe this exercise will get you away from the depressing news for just a bit and allow you to explore your world and appreciate what’s right in front of you.


Let me know how it goes!




  • thank you for your comments! I'll be posting more here and on my educational Facebook page, Holly Jansen Photography.

  • Kris Donna Mack

    3 weeks ago

    I so enjoyed this blog about light. It helps me to live in the moment.
    Kris Donna

  • Kris Donna Mack

    3 weeks ago

    I posted yesterday but apparently it did not go through. I so enjoyed this blog about light. A new dimension to think about which helps me be in the moment. Thanks, Holly
    Kris Donna

  • Kris Donna Mack

    3 weeks ago

    Love your blog for it helps one to live and appreciate the moment. I love exploring the light! Poppies definitely are affected by the sunlight as they open and close. Looking forward to to looking at my world in a new way! Thanks for the the new insight on light!

  • Donna McGue

    3 weeks ago

    Holly, I just saw your blog. As you know I recently got a new Canon T7 camera and am just learning how it works. I used to have a Panasonic years ago but have not taken photos other than with my cellphone in more years that I can remember. I am going to take your suggestion and take photos of the new plants I am putting in our little side garden at different times of the day to see how the light works on what I see. How often do you update your blog? Am interested in reading more on what you have to say about light.


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