What strikes me about photography...
is how the camera lens can show us beauty in even the most horrible times and circumstances. The lens focuses our attention. It draws us in from whatever chaos is raging around us, whether physical, emotional or otherwise, and for that fraction of a second blocks out everything but the image we were drawn to.
My definition of beauty is perhaps more expansive than is typical, or dictionary-derived. There is beauty in the tragic, the difficult, the frightening as well as the pretty, the breathtaking and the decorative. The beauty of compassion, the beauty of interconnectedness, the beauty of strength in adversity, etc.
When I finish a session of shooting, even if my mind is still buzzing with inspiration, any mental turmoil or emotional upheaval I may have had when the session began is calmed. These moments or hours of looking for and at beautiful, unique images leave me refreshed in a way that is hard to describe. I feel cleansed, centered... balanced. For me, photography is a form of meditation.