Windows to the Soul


“You are the window
through which you see the world.”

George Bernard Shaw

Windows have been slowly monopolizing my images; squeezing out shadows in a fight for dominance as my next photographic obsession. There is something in my nature, something in the way my mind works, the way it processes the visual input around me, that delights in having a favorite subject to seek out.

But why windows? What do they offer me, both visually and emotionally, that is so satisfying?

Windows are fascinating. They reflect and refract the world into a different reality, into new and exciting ways of viewing the familiar; turning a mundane street scene into abstract puzzle pieces, a kaleidoscope of beauty.


As architectural elements, windows create compelling geometric patterns. Patterns that delight with their subtle variations that add an element of unpredictability. Repetition with variation. Composed of lines and shapes and textures – the features that speak to my artistic eye.



Windows are mysterious. They block our view of the interior, guarding and protecting. They tell stories and bear messages. Make us wonder. Keep us guessing.



And then, of course, there is the light. Glowing beacons, offering comfort and shelter. Leading us home.

Windows. Opaque or transparent. Open or closed. Smooth or textured. Decorative or functional. Shattered or whole. Dull or reflective. Clean or dirty. New or abandoned. Looking out or looking in. Infinite combinations and possibilities.

Inspiration is calling. I answer.

And discover a window to my soul.


Posted on September 9, 2011, in Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. What a neat subject matter, I love it when we find ourselves drawn to something. It adds weight to the images we take. Absolutely love that first shot, magical.

    • Kathryn,
      It’s funny how a new subject creeps up silenty until you realize that it has taken over. You look back on your photostream and realize that you have taken nothing but windows for the past week. Ahh, a clue!

      And that first image has become one of my all-time favorite images. Magic indeed.

  2. I think windows are incredibly interesting, and I am so glad that you find them fascinating because I’ll be able to see them through your lens! Your images are all beautiful — I especially like the colors and symmetry in the first one. Have a great weekend!

    • Gina,
      A fellow window junkie – welcome aboard! This is a relatively new development for me but I look forward to seeing what treasures I can discover on this path.

  3. I’ve looked at these images several times today and read your post. Wonderful photos, full of interesting colors, textures, and the character of each window.

    I’m inspired.

    • Deb,
      Thanks for stopping by to follow me on the path of my latest obsession. You are so right – each window does have a unique character. Perhaps that accounts for much of my fascination. I am looking forward to seeing where this takes me.

  4. What a wonderful series this is!

    • Lisa,
      In the two years that photography has been a serious part of my life, I have explored four major subjects – nature macros, things found on the street, shadows and now windows. I like having a specific goal in mind when I head out, looking for a certain something. The only downside is that I may screen out other interesting potential subject matter. What about you? Do you have a subject series in mind when you shoot?

  5. These are such interesting images! They have such great lines and wonderful textures. My favorite is the arched windown with the “Hi” written from the inside! It would make me smile if I passed by and saw this. I’m still into the macro nature right now.

    • Cathy,
      I hesitated about taking the shot of the “Hi” window but now it is one of my favorites. I still don’t know why I second-guess myself when choosing my photographic subjects. The thing is – I have never regretted a shot that I took – only the one that I didn’t.

  6. Beautiful images! I am in love with your words that accompany your images, and I hope you continue to photograph windows because you do it so wonderfully!

    • Laura,
      Don’t worry – I seem to be in full-on “window” mode. I am re-visiting all the downtown streets, this time with head up looking at windows. So far, I haven’t run out of subject matter.

  7. Brenda,
    Your pictures always seem to tell a story, or to hint at one, which is often even more intriguing. I particularly love the top photograph. It almost looks as if there are book pages in the reflections, and the colors are marvelous. The arched window with that fantastic stone work is also a favorite. Wow!

    • Lisa,
      It means so much to me that you find a hidden story and deeper meaning in my images. As I have expressed before, I am fearful that my work won’t connect with others except in a “pretty image” sort of way. Coming from you,a story teller, this praise is high indeed. Thank you.

  8. Ooooh, one of my favorite subjects, too! When I lived in the city, I loved photographing the windows in the old industrial buildings. Your window photos are amazing! I LOVE the first one, and the four panes on the metal building. They look like paintings, or beautiful abstract collages. And each window has such a sense of personality. So gorgeous!

    • Jen,
      Yes, my latest obsession – windows! It is amazing when a new subject takes over and you see things you have never seen – even in areas you have walked many times in the past. And there is such a variety in windows – old and decrepit; shiny and new. And with the added bonus of reflections! I think we will have a long love affair – windows and I.

  9. You are a master of windows Brenda! Thanks for joining in with Exploring with a Camera and sharing this post. I think I love windows as much as you do. It’s so fun to see the difference in our styles and what we capture though!

    • Kat – this was an old post but I couldn’t come up with any better explanations for my attraction to windows. And yes, it is eye-opening to see what others see within a common subject. Thanks for the opportunity to share.

  10. I agree with Kat, Brenda. You are a master at windows. You manage to capture a diverse set of windows, yet they all reflect your special style. Beautiful post!

  11. You have captured many beautiful windows here in this post. I absolutely love the window with the handwritten hi : ) Cute!

  12. your words are so thoughtful! I love “glowing beacons”…

  13. I love your window pictures and more your words going with it, Great work.

I greatly appreciate your comments!

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