When I was eleven, I aimed the Kodak digital camera I got as a birthday present out of the moving car and toward a nearby giraffe, snapping a bunch of photos as I went.

Among the otherwise forgetful photos of ungulates was one picture of a giraffe, its head bending gracefully into the frame against a complete backdrop of wispy green grass, looking straight at the camera. To my eleven-year-old eyes, it was perfect. And, it was completely unexpected, not nearly what I remember seeing though the viewfinder. It felt like a gift from the giraffe.

I no longer have the photograph, but since then a camera has been an integral part of how I see things. I’m forever on the hunt for more surprises and gifts from the simple things in life. These are a few of my favorites.


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