Glance to gaze

“I’m sorry, do I know you?”, I said, openly and curiously, “No, I don’t think so”, she said back. “But we have exchanged glances and smiles a few times, on the trail, and I was wondering, what your story is?”

“My Story? Let me see, it depends on which day of the week you ask”, I said, comically? She laughed, as though quite familiar with my sincere vacillations.

“ Anyway, thanks for noticing”, I said politely back, affirming her kindness and encounter generosity?

We chatted, innocently flirted, chuckled, exchanged digits. That’s all there was to it. Life goes on.

We both parted company and when on our separate ways, in opposite directions.

When I got back on my bike, after this affirming conversation, I probably should have been more flattered, that, a perfect stranger, stopped me, noticed and validated my existence, in the cracks, creases, and crevices of life, especially in the unflattering sweat of exercise routines.

But, right or wrong, selfish or not, my mind instead raced, quite naturally I might add, to my time-tested and often repeated, glance-to-gaze principle.

Sometimes you glance, sometimes your gaze.

In life and photography, we can’t possibly look, at everything, in the same way, with the same intensity or commitment? We would go crazy. We don’t have the energy for constant gazing.

Life, for most of us, is a series of quick, casual, disconnected, glances and ganders.

I’m working hard on spending less time glancing and more time gazing.

As a creative photographer, I find that, what initially pulls me into a scene, is not necessarily the same that keeps me there, in that same scene or scenario.

I guess photography is quite similar to human love and relationships. Some require a glance, others require gaze.

Same same. What gets my attention is not always what holds my attention.

I’m sure the same is true for you.

Yes, of course, when it comes to photography, I’m a romantic.

But here’s the deal, casual glances often result in casual conclusions.

Don’t judge at first glance.

Prolonged stares, fixed looks, discriminating observations, result in a whole different kind of perception and appreciation.

Maybe it’s time for a second look, third look, fourth look, fifth look?

Continued studies result in continued surprises.

In photographic speak, there is, quite often, so much more than meets the eye. Look again. Gaze.



Jack Hollingsworth