I recently watched the sun rise and set for 60 consecutive days. This kind of disciplined study of nature was far from tedious. Initially, I wanted to record it in video, maybe for 10 minutes at the crucial moments each day. After taping a single setting, I realized the futility of filming daily data to later compile and compare. It was more than enough to take in, one day at a time. Every day was delicious in its own way; one breakfast, one dinner. Looking at the recording paled by comparison to the real experience of being surrounded on all sides by the changing light of the glowing atmosphere. At best, the single recording was reminiscence, not reality. Watching it with friends never fails to engender envy. They know that they are missing the best part; the original experience. A bit like letting a homeless person smell the waft of home cooking, without an invitation. Perhaps a picture is just an appetizer.
What I did instead was simply watch. And drink it in, breath in the enveloping light. After a while, I came to know more about colors and clouds, about shadows and illumination, about dawnings and settings, awakenings and settlings than I had ever imagined. I learned about light overcoming darkness and depth overcoming superficiality. In my new knowing, I feel I can make statements about these phenomena that will withstand the test of time and theory.
Amateur? Aficionado? One becomes the other through in-formation, by inner-forming. There is nothing like the power of the real experience to in-form the soul. Be there! Seek real in-formation with your whole being. You will then really know what you know. Only then will the seeds of understanding continue to bear fruit when the immediate impressions get lost in the light of day or fade into the night of memory.