As an Artistic Photographer, it's important to be there for the moment. Painters purchase a blank canvas creating what's in their heart. Of course, their surrounding environment can influence them in what they create. However, alterations can be made to suit their taste from changing the color of the sky to adding a beautiful sunset.

Over time, I realized the camera is my paintbrush. I lacked the skill of a sculptor or painter as I was inspired by contemporary art in local galleries. The challenge was to create a similar feel of this work without using the same medium. Quite a few people stated that a Photographer could never become a serious artist because they simply captured reality verbatim.

Nevertheless, I considered it a challenge to see if my work could become respected among painters, sculptors, and art galleries around the world. Yet, their point was well taken. I did not want to simply capture reality, I wanted to enhance it. The art became a window into how I see the world around me.

It was time to find my blank canvas.

Yes, this blank canvas contained pre-existing elements. Using the example above, I understood that I needed to find my subject. A trip to the Jacksonville Zoo would be the perfect space to stumble upon an unforgettable moment.

The beauty of these types of moments is that we do not have to manufacture them. Explore the world and you will run into something that blows you away filling your heart with joy.

Over the years, I've taken thousands of photographs. Beginning in March of 2008, I purchased my first DSLR camera. Over four years later, I was blessed to be able to make a substantial upgrade. All of this experience helped me to work on proper Composition, Lighting, and creating Visual Stories.

Each scene has a story, which is what I was looking for during my walk at the Zoo. There is a section that celebrates Japanese culture. I could already hear the children's excitement as their parents introduced them to koi fish kept in a large pond.

Small bits of food could be purchased nearby and the koi fish were more than happy to eat every piece the kids threw into the pond. I found this to be a great opportunity to capture a feeding frenzy as many of the fish broke the surface of the water to eat.

An unforgettable moment comes and go so quickly that you may not recognize you have captured it at first glance. Yet, as I began to edit several photographs, I knew the Color, Lighting, Composition for the finished scene of "Coming Up for Air" were spot on.

I had to smile as I began to share the photograph because people assumed it is heavily edited in Photoshop. On the contrary, my focus was to enhance what was already there. Color, Light, Shadow, and Imagination.

In conclusion, I encourage you all to find your canvas and share your story with Creativity. What story does "Coming Up for Air" have to tell in your mind? -ECJ