Turning Point – Heather Simonds on “From Eureka to Defining Moments”

by on Jul 3, 2013 in Turning Point | 2 Comments

Heather Simonds sends us her Turning Point Image and a great observation about how a eureka moment can slide up into a defining moment:

©Heather Simonds

©Heather Simonds

From Eureka to Defining Moments

Eureka moments happen often enough but not so for Defining moments.

Sometimes a Eureka moment strikes as events unfold before you. The rapidly changing and dramatic sunset colours have the prepared, latched to a camera, hoping for one outstanding image in the pack. Darwin and Sam give each other the old high five, as one more impressive sunset folds into darkness, handily captured in their boxes.  Sometimes you know you hit the H*** S*** button when you check your camera back and zoom in for detail. “That old geezers discerning eye is in focus, hurrah!” More often than not, it is when, cozied up at home, you perceive images on the big screen with all their glory, surrounded by reams of software bells and whistles, clicking and sliding and zooming until one jumps out and you “Eureka” yourself into a frenzy yelping “Bagged a winner!” to Fido (who is definitely not amused).

 With macro photography, an image, combining soft, supportive background elements and a complementary mini world, does not usually warrant a heartfelt “Eureka” outburst until this latter stage. You just can’t tell what that bokeh stuff is doing, lurking around in the carefully selected but shifty depth of field. Is it too much, is it too little? At the same time, fear presides over that testy front subject; such a thin slice in focus, suppresses an otherwise joyous eruption. Alas, it just might not be dead sharp in all of the critical areas.

Luckily, on first observation of this image, I discovered in a small world, intriguingly upside down and perfectly in focus, and the background complemented in tone and colour spread, prickly stems contrasting with painterly blends, and thus, a long forgotten Eureka reaction. However, it was a realization that elevated it from the Eureka standard up to a Defining moment. I had just returned from a once in a lifetime Tanzania safari, the type of trip that has you graduating from irrationally shooting everything the first few days to much wiser selective clicking. Shooting elephants and lions and zebras and warthogs daily takes its toll and there is some relief with safari ending and tired trigger fingers taper off into relaxed mode. Ho Hum to the Big Five, give me a new animal to shoot! A snake, maybe… The first morning back home in Canada, jetlagged, I lingered in my garden, fuzzy borage everywhere dripping with droplets recently soaked by an early morning shower, inhaling the freshness that only comes from a recent downpour on the foothills, pondering the goodness a Canadian summer morning offers. I stood surrounded in a haze of sparkling, intriguing water droplets, their magic reinforcing “there is no place like home” yet weary from travel, especially punching the shutter. With hesitation, but newly inspired by what was calling attention and curious as to what could become of it, I grabbed the magic box and sticks and my trusty canine and headed out on my own safari in the backyard.

How does a Eureka moment slide up into a Defining moment? Perhaps, when an image gives you insight into your emotions and subtly teaches you a truth if you are willing to observe.  Images await everywhere, you just need to explore with purposeful determination, ever mindful, and, often you don’t have to venture far from the familiar on your own doorstep.

About the Author

I am a Canadian landscape and outdoor photographer who loves long hikes in the woods, yummy food, hairy dogs, good company and a good guitar jam.


  1. Kerry
    July 3, 2013

    Fantastic image – Great story!!

  2. Keltie
    July 4, 2013

    Love it! You’ve truly captured a defining moment! Love your story – can so relate to everything you say! Our own backyards are full of such amazing opportunities – thanks for sharing yours!


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