That pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense, is derived, I maintain, from the contemplation of the beautiful.
~ Edgar Allan Poe
The thing I love about this quote is that it reinforces the notion that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder – it is completely subjective. What one finds attractive, another would dismiss or not even notice in the first place.
Consider the picture above. It was a rusty old bench, uncovered and uninviting, not meant for sitting upon. However, something about the thing invited me to take a closer look. I enjoyed the ornate scroll work and shadows at play in that early morning hour. I had gone to McKinney Square that day with the purpose of photographing the fall decorations. Instead of staying on course and ignoring everything else, I kept my eyes open for beauty, and I found it in an unlikely place.
Practicing photography has made me more aware that there is beauty all around, and whether or not I have a camera in my hand, it is worth actively seeking.