Whether a chloroplast spinning inside a cell, or towering treetops swaying in the wind, the biosphere is filled with marvels perceived by the mindful eye. I train my camcorder, sometimes in conjunction with the microscope, on wonders seemingly too fantastical for Earth, and others harbouring beauty in simplicity.
Video takes us on precise journeys toward impossible visions as we follow the cinematographer’s eye. My process involves spontaneity more often than deliberate scene. When my peripheral awe-seekers catch a dew-speckled spiderweb, a circle of light dancing through a porthole, shadows flickering to life on a morning wall, I stop to capture these fleeting moments of the divine. Even when recording through microscopic lenses, I look for the cellular to take me by surprise, the magnified living processes unearthing another layer of order beneath the ordinarily tangible.
Ecology is my depth of focus, the geometry connecting science and art my focal point.
A selection of my video projects:
The Art of Seeing
Under the Microscope
Pingback: Ordinary Beauty: A Video Essay | Lee Beavington
Beautiful video, Lee! You captured the innocence and wonder we all need to cultivate to truly appreciate the amazing world around us. Every day I wait in expectation for what I call my “shining moment” …. a new, surprising glimpse of something ordinary caught in beauty, like a jet stream in the sky colored rose and purple by the sunset, or the blue shadows on snow at twilight. I love seeing life that way and I’m glad you do too. Thanks for sharing this.
Thanks for the comment, Val. I love the idea of a “shining moment.” Some of mine include seeing a flock of starlings morphing across the sky, spotting the moon rising (or setting), and observing that wonderful light during the gloaming when everything has a layer of gold.
A beautiful treatment to your subject. You found and captured some amazing moments as only a well practiced person of the present can. I love the dandelion seeds caught on the spider web and the bottle in the stream. This is a fabulous reminder to slow ourselves.
I felt that the contrast between the technology portion and the auditory moment was effective though I feel that there is beauty embedded in technology even as we fall to consumerism as you alluded in your essay. How do you reconcile these in your life? Where do you mark your balance? Where are the two indistinguishable?
I appreciate your comments, Claire. The dandelion and bottle in the stream moments were both serendipitous.
You also asked some poignant questions. For me, technology is both beautiful and creative and yet has the potential to limit our most authentic experiences. I try not to let my time on social media supplant face-to-face connections. Obviously, the creation of this video would not be possible without technology (specifically an iPad, on which this video was made in its entirety). Therefore the balance I seek allows me to embrace the innovative and inspiring aspects of technology while still maintaining strong connections within my local community. I don’t always succeed.
The key to me is moderation. Moderation of time spent in front of a screen of any kind, moderation of email lists I subscribe to, moderation of when I open my device (I don’t want it to be the first thing I do in the morning, or the last thing I do before I go to sleep).
That being said, there are times when online connections lead to fantastic collaborations. Technology is a tool; like most things in life, we decide how (and when) we want to use it.