As part of my desire to grow in my hobby, plus to see if I really truly want an SLR (the answer is YES) camera, I’ve been trying to see if I have any talent for the task. Heart alone does not make it a worthy hobby, especially one such as photography. In order to help “assess” this part of myself I wanted to find a project I had an interest in. One I could play with at different times of the day and in different ways.
So I experimented with various pictures and styles before realizing that there is one photo assignment that has always captured my interest. It’s a somewhat compelling and occasionally controversial subject matter, but perhaps due to the losses I’ve experienced in life, one I’ve always been struck by. It is the photography and conceptualization of concrete angels.
Yup…cemeteries. I’m constantly struck by the beauty of the older style cemetery where there are tombstones galore, each with their own story to tell. Amazed at the more modern style with their “fields” of flowers. And captured by all the styles between.
I think it fitting and telling to view how we memorialize the dead. So, when I started thinking about this project I thought that perhaps I could do a little research by seeing what others have done before venturing out on my own.
So far I don’t have much, in part because I am still struck down by that fear of what others may think of me, how awkward I feel taking photos in what is a truly sacred place, and by how utterly out-of-place I feel in terms of “skill” and the camera. So as time passes you’ll start to see some of these photos pop up in my Flickr page.
Right now though, I’m still pushing myself to just get out there and TAKE photos. To overcome that natural shyness that is inherent to me. I was able to do some of this on this past Sunday while Alex was at work. (Boo for being called in so that we have NO weekend together. I really hate that.) And I learned a few vital lessons.
1. Focus your camera BEFORE you snap the photo….
This is where I learned to take a moment to actually focus my camera. Because I’m slow like that….actually, what this was was a case of assuming I had it right because my EYES could see just fine. My camera however does not have eyes like I do. Especially on fully manual. Chalk 1 up for inexperienced.
2. When walking in the woods, look for the fun that can make a great photograph
This was a tree that the park service just simply flattened the top of and added rails to and VOILA! We have a bridge. Simplicity and beauty melding together in perfect harmony. Great photography lesson too….
3. Sometimes, the trail you take to your destination is beauty in and of itself.
I have lots more pictures, mostly poor ones in my opinion, but to be fair I’ll upload them to my Flickr account shortly. Either way as you can see I’m still growing and learning. This is part of that whole “celebrate and maintain your own sense of self while in a marriage” bit that I’ve talked about in the past. Photography is fun to me. I just gotta get over that whole nervous about stopping to take photos when no one else around me has a camera. Photos of the everyday. That and I need to learn to focus. Oh well at least I’m trying right?
(Thanks for agreeing with me. It really helps that self-esteem/nerves issue. Because I’m sure you are. You’re kind like that. And I appreciate it.)