Do you mind if I talk photography for a few minutes? It's something that I truly enjoy. And if pressed to explain why I like it so much, well of course there are a lot of reasons. When it comes to having a passion, there's never just one thing.
One of the reasons is that it helps me to see the world around me differently. No matter how craptastic things in the world may be: a constant barrage of one sort of devastation or another, when I look through the camera, I see things that are beautiful. And sometimes I need that balance.
I also appreciate that photograph is not something that requires any sort of athletic prowess whatsoever (since I have zero talent in that direction).
I like that no matter where I am, inside, outside or upsidedown, there are things to take pictures of and the equipment necessary is contained in my camera bag. There are no membership fees, I don't have to join anything or attend meetings.
I like that it's something I can do alone or with other like-minded folks. In fact, I can go places with people that aren't interested in photography at all and still pursue my interest without being a bore.
And it's a way of exercising my creative side that doesn't involve painting or drawing or singing or dancing or well, any of the things I am incapable of. I get to be creative. And that's cool.
But one of the top reasons that I adore photography is that it allows to me grow. More than allows, it encourages me. I actually see personal growth and improvement nearly every time I head out with camera in hand.
The picture at the top of the page is one of my favourites. I can actually look at that photo and say, "Hey! I did a nice job with that" instead of picking it to pieces and criticizing it to death, which is what I would normally do. I actually won an award with that photo. I'm kinda proud of that.
I didn't start out that way. Nope nope nope. The first few times I used a camera was, maybe junior high school days. It was back in the day of film. Back in the times when, before taking a single shot, you had to purchase a roll of film. (Money out). I was very careful about how each photo was taken because when the roll was full, it then had to be dropped off at a photo developing place and wait. In a week or so, it was ready to be picked up and paid for (more money out), so the anticipation of seeing how those pictures came out was running high. And then the disappointment at seeing the results was crushing. And discouraging. I was NOT a natural born photographer by any stretch of imagination.
I do not remember owning a camera back then, although perhaps I did and just didn't use it for the above reasons. Too costly for something that I was obviously no good at. Somewhere along the line I acquired a Polaroid camera. Woohoo! Finally, near instant results and while the film was expensive I didn't have to pay to develop it at least. But I still wasn't a good photographer. And Polaroid photos always have a funny unrealistic look to them.
Years flew by and when we lived in Colorado Tim bought me a small digital camera. It was pink. I began to take more photos with that camera for two reasons, I didn't have to buy film or pay for it to be developed AND the delete button. I adore the delete button. I have absolutely no mercy or remorse. If a photo doesn't measure up, OUT it goes! But eventually that camera gasped it's last and I resorted to taking photos with my cellphone.
In fact, the first question I always ask before buying any new cellphone is, "Tell me about the camera". I continued taking pictures more and more. I almost always had my cellphone with me tucked into my back pocket so I was always camera read. And I slowly began to improve. Eventually I suppose, if I do anything long enough, I start to learn things without even intending to. Things like composition and lighting and slowing down a bit. Patience was the hardest part of it I promise.
When we moved here to Florida Tim bought me a real camera. I was suddenly retired and therefore had time on my hands to practice a lot more. I began to get experimental, I play with all the buttons and dials on the camera. I began to mess around with various filters and slowly gained more confidence which, oddly came through making a lot of mistakes. Because that is how I learn best. My delete button gets quite the workout.
And that leads to my favourite part of photography. And that is that I never stop learning. There is always another level to reach, another goal to achieve, a new dot in the distance that I'm working toward.
The secret to happiness is having attainable goals. And Photography makes me happy. I hope that whatever your hobby or passion or talent is you make it a point to spend time doing it and that it continues to make you happy.
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.