Windows are powerful, especially the ancient ones. The window in Angkor Wat, Cambodia inspired my artist heart.
Every window serves a purpose whether it’s in an ancient setting or our home. Windows let light and fresh air in. They allow us to see outside of where we are. Windows frame a specific setting. They bring definition, lines and a sense of opening.
When we first walked the ruins of Angkor Wat, I was overwhelmed with trying to choose what to photograph first. Everything about the ruins felt magical.
For the best photos, I first assessed our set up.
The sun was right over the top of our head, and it was 100 degree heat. The dramatic lighting we talked about in last week’s post was not an option. Sunrise was long gone.
I let my camera hang from its strap as I walked. I tried to slow myself down within so I could observe what was around me. My heart was searching for a single creative element I could capture.
Was their a design element capturing me, tugging on my creative spirit?
I began to fall in love with the windows of Angkor Wat, Cambodia. They have been meticulously preserved for thousands of years. Some of the windows were taller than me.
Others looked like small, ornamental boxes cut from the detailed fabric of the wall.
What struck me most about the windows in Angkor Wat is that they all looked out onto something specific. The view was always unto something else that would inspire the soul.
Whether the view was a secondary entrance to the temple,
or the view of another window that looked onto a scene of a dancing woman—the dimensions of all the views felt like echoes.
The green trees swaying outside the window below gave the whole scene a surreal feel. It was like another world was waiting outside the dark room I was standing in. I couldn’t help but think of all the childhood books where the kids walked through portals into another fairy tale like world.
This view happened to look out on two smiling faces carved into the stone.
I wonder what the intentional purpose was behind the various window views.
Were the views meant to draw people out of their momentary stances?
I think about all the times I’ve found myself in a room, surrounded by four limiting walls, feeling like there is nowhere to go.
I feel trapped by my lack of imagination and lack of faith in the unknown. What would it be like to see a view that was outside of my scope of possibility…how would it affect my soul?
I wish all the windows of my house looked out onto something inspiring. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be surrounded in such beauty and mystery like the monks of Angkor Wat had been. But since I’m not a monk, living in the jungles of Cambodia, how can I create windows of possibility, windows that widen my imagination, that breathe faith for the impossible—how can I create these windows in my every day life at home…for my family?
One idea is to pin up magazine clippings representing dreams I carry inside my heart.
So when I feel the four walls closing in on me, I can remind myself of my dreams that exist outside of the here and now. What about you? How have you created windows for your creative spirit? How do you keep the view of magic and wonder alive?
I would love to hear!
Windows are also a fun way to practice shooting silhouettes. I’ve listed out the specific steps in my Silhouette Photo Recipe for you to try with your family!