“Sometimes I get to places just when God’s ready for someone to click the shutter.”
— Ansel Adams
Please forgive me for using “Fotos” instead of “Photos.” Thank you. It worked with my “Five F’s,” and I thought it was cute.
Now that the apologies are out of the way, I want to introduce my favorite hobby… digital photography and photo editing! Just typing those words makes me happy.
I confess that I am a newbie as of late 2007 to the non-point-and-shoot club. Both my husband and I always wanted to delve into quality photography, and early in our marriage, we invested in a Pentax 35mm camera set.
Neither of us ever really got the hang of it, though, due to time and money constraints. Experimenting with rolls and rolls of film and developing costs for that film just did not fit into our early marriage budget. Ultimately, the camera made it’s way to the top of a closet, and that was it for our first attempt at photography. From time to time, we continued to look at good digital SLR cameras, but we never bought one. Something was starting to swell in me about pursuing photography, though, and I think my husband picked up that I was really serious this time.
Fast forward to Christmas Day, 2007.
I try to not put treasure in earthly things. I really do. But I must confess that when I opened my gift from my husband that Christmas that I was just blown away… really and truly. With my family eagerly watching, I unwrapped my new Canon Digital Rebel XTi, (detailed info) the most current Canon DSLR at that time. If I didn’t cry, I know that I wanted to very badly. I never realized until I opened the box just how much I wanted to explore photography. Now that I have experimented with it for almost three years, I think I know why.
I am a “visual” person. If you want me to learn something new, you will do well to give it to me in writing and not tell me verbally because I am 1000 times more likely to pick it up that way. I am often mesmerized by the sight of something, and honestly, that can be almost anything…. a beautiful sunset, a hummingbird at the feeder, a homeless person on the street, a new baby right after he is born, or my big ol’ poodle taking a nap. It’s like there is something that resonates inside and says, “This moment is special and needs to be preserved because it won’t come again.” This has been a part of who I am for as long as I can remember. It is why I now take 150 pictures at my great-nephew’s birthday party.
I truly believe that sometimes God is “nudging” me in what I see, so that I will wake up and take notice what he has laid before me to appreciate or notice that something needs to change. My opening quote by Ansel Adams is my absolute favorite thought regarding photography in general, and I plan to talk more about by budding love “no color” photography at some point, too.
Part of my desire to take good pictures also stems from the experience of trying to preserve the photos of my parents… the only visual record of our family from those days.
Both my sister and I have worked on this project, and we still have more work to do. Bless her heart, my sister sat at a scanner and literally scanned hundred of old paper photos. I have worked to restore some of them digitally as best I can. And we are still trying to figure out the best (and most affordable) way to preserve hundreds of slides. But, the reward of having our oldest family pictures preserved in a better format is very rewarding indeed. Someday, I believe that younger family members will appreciate having our quality pictures in digital format, already organized in an online database can also be searched with relative ease. Perhaps not. But, I will have one there for them, just in case.
The art of photography, for me, is moving the image and feeling (especially the feeling) that is so vivid in my mind to the digital image that others see, and doing it as accurately as possible.
I needed better equipment to accomplish this feat, including digital imaging software. When I opened that camera on Christmas Day in 2007, I knew that was the first step to making a dream come true… helping others to see what I see and even understand a bit more about who I really am and what my values are.
While equipment is very important, there are techniques for good photography that can be applied to any camera, including my trusty little point-and-shoot and even my phone camera. Even most of the basic point-and-shoot cameras today have untapped capabilities beyond what most people care to explore. I still have a Nikon point-and-shoot camera in my purse at all times, so I’ll explore more on this topic here, too.
I have learned much, but I still have much, much more to learn. It is all pure joy, too. Grab your camera and come along for the journey!