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Friday, March 18, 2011

The Camera and Me


I'm not sure how to become a better photographer.

I mean, I know I need to read the camera manual. I know I need to learn about ISO and lenses and aperture and all sorts of other stuff like that.  And I know I need to learn more about lighting, especially when taking pictures of things to sell.

But it's something else I'm lacking right now (although after writing the above I can't help but wonder if learning that stuff would help with the rest ...). When I take a picture the camera is a foreign object held to my eye. It is not yet my friend, or an extension of me or my thoughts.  I feel like I think too much when I take pictures ... think too much about the mechanics, getting the right angle, the right zoom (or not), the right everything. But what I really want to do is take a picture because I simply want to share or remember what I see, I want to feel like I'm using the camera to express myself.

My daughter has an eye for a picture. She uses the camera, gently, to tell a story.  She doesn't mess much with shutter speed, or light, or any of those fussy details.  She just seems to feel it and go with it, and her pictures have such awesome depth. When we went camping I took a lot of pictures, mostly of things and of River, just playing with that camera, becoming more familiar with it. Cassie asks for the camera midway through the weekend to take a picture of the mirrors in the bathroom.  The mirrors in the bathroom?  I'd seen them, I'd used them, but I hadn't noticed them, and I certainly hadn't seen them as photo worthy.  She did. And she was right.  There's a story there.

This is her photo, unedited.
Cassie could take a generic disposable camera and get a great shot. Like I said, no fussing. She's just got that something. I love to look at her pictures.

I, on the other hand, feel so mechanical behind a camera lens. So I keep practicing. And practicing. And practicing. I want to "own" that camera (this is where reading the manual would be wise, huh?). I want you to know the bathroom is quirky and tired and soothing and quiet and bland and safe all at once, through an image. I want you to know that my son gave me two special little weed flowers and they are the most beautiful flowers ever because they are pretty and simple and the day was sunny and tranquil, and mostly because I love him and he thought of me and gave them to me.

And on the way there I take a ridiculously large number of photos (and thank the computer geniuses that be for inventing the digital camera so I can take all the photos I want). I know I'll never have that "eye" ... I'm totally ok with that, I'm just searching for what works for me. And it really is a delightful journey (and I need a manicure).

1 comment:

  1. The mirror picture is nice -- I like the ones of the flowers too. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete

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