Photo Essay

Ode to the Sun


When I first came across the flare created by the iPhone I was annoyed by it. Its random nature of color spill and intensity irked me. In the course of a year, I only took a few snapshots. These snapshots became forgotten ghosts.

Two summers ago, I took a photograph of one of my boys that I thought was good. I thought the flare and the narrow range of tones were an important element of the photograph. Soon after I forgot about this photo.

Toward the end of last winter, as we were drowning in snow here in the Midwest, my boys were having a blast outside on their sleds. It was a sunny day, warm considering. There was light everywhere, the snow multiplying the sun's blinding rays. Everything shimmered.

On a mound of snow, with the sun behind them, bright, red sleds in their hands, my boys seemed bigger than life. And the sun, that bright sun, was a central character in a play that I was just beginning to understand.

The wise advice to avoid shooting with the sun in the frame. I decided to make it the center of the photograph.


I thought I would explore flare using the iPhone camera feature, but instead I found energy and play. I found the intensity of childhood. I found laughter.

And I also found its playground.

I found life.

I was inspired. At this time I came across Instagram. It was an instant match: The phone brought the intensity of light, and Instagram made it alive, it gave light its voice and heart.


My search is about inspiration: it's about waking one morningwith a melody on your pillow, carrying it on your tongue for days.The pattern becoming a pulse that ripples outward in every direction, seeing how it reverberates when it touches something, looking for its natural frequency.

Perhaps the melody will become a tune one hums, and nothing more. It doesn't matter. It is about the moment lived, and living it fully.

Here's a little tune by Michael Franti and Spearhead that is full of warmth and inspiring and embodies what I'm trying to do with this project:

Sound of Sunshine

Shoot with the Sun in view.

9 responses

  • riverS

    riverS (Deleted) gave props (16 Jan 2012):


  • Nicolette de Joncaire

    Nicolette de Joncaire   gave props (20 Jan 2012):

    Remarkable experiment. Turning what should have been mistakes into a new vision. Most pictures are excellent individually. Thank you

  • Anne Olson-Reiners

    Anne Olson-Reiners gave props (30 Mar 2012):

    Looking great Marco. So fun to see your art!

  • MindTheStep

    MindTheStep gave props (12 Apr 2012):

    wonderful story! my vote!

  • Tomma Henckel

    Tomma Henckel gave props (14 Apr 2012):

    Great story about how we learn from supposed mistakes, turn something we at first don't like or understand, into something brilliant. I, too, love to take photos into the sun for the effects it creates.

  • Bren Ross

    Bren Ross said (1 May 2012):

    I have also found that the sun can make a very nice centerpiece to a photograph...I love your "Ode to the Sun" photographs...

  • Indra Widi

    Indra Widi gave props (12 Jun 2012):


  • Darion Hamby

    Darion Hamby said (10 Aug 2012):

    Excellent story! I love all the images. Got my vote!

  • Victor Bezrukov

    Victor Bezrukov said (9 May 2014):

    stunning series !

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