I was restless last night, and with apologies to the president, not in the mood to hear him speak. I’m as interested in our troop activities as anyone else, but I know that my favorite and not-so-favorite news anchors are going to tell me what he said, what it meant, and how I should feel about it. The best “sound bites” are going to be replayed over and over again. So sometimes I just don’t feel the need to hear him firsthand.
Of course I did what I always do when I’m restless, bored, happy, sad, or anything in between. I wandered outside with the camera. The sun was settling into its evening position on the horizon and the light was fading, but there were still glimmers of it here and there. I love to capture little moments when the sun seems to transform everything.
The first thing that greeted me when I walked out onto the porch was a little dragonfly sitting on the front step. Of course the next thing was our whiny cat. I often tell him that a photographer does not need a noisy cat following her around scaring off critters, but he seldom listens. So Buddy and I wandered around to see what we could find.
I took forty photos last night. I knew what I wanted when I looked through the lens, but I wasn’t always rewarded with success. As I edited the photos this morning I rejected those with flaws- the light wasn’t quite what I’d hoped, the image wasn’t clear, the color wasn’t correct, the angle wasn’t good, the background was too cluttered. I ended up keeping thirteen images.
Looking through a lens for so many years has changed me in subtle ways. I find myself more conscious of details around me. I appreciate the way light changes our perception of objects. I discern colors with a greater admiration for their differences. I “imagine photos” even when I don’t have the camera with me. I am also more critical of things that aren’t quite right. I often look around me with that “editing” eye!
Looking through a lens challenges me. There are things I just can’t seem to do, yet I keep trying. I’m not gifted with an understanding of technology (my children can stop rolling on the floor now). I don’t recall numbers or procedures easily until I’ve used them repeatedly. Many of the features of our camera are beyond my understanding and I’ll probably never use them, at least not correctly. But sometimes I make up for my failings by sheer determination. This little bee photo, which I am almost satisfied with, took me eight tries. I knew what I wanted and I almost achieved it. I have the rest of the summer to strive for perfection!
Looking through a lens surprises me. The sunflower shot with the white background makes me smile, but the white confused me until I realized it’s the satellite dish. Sometimes I’m so focused in on what I’m photographing that I don’t notice the background. That neglect can mean a photo rejected, or a photo improved. In this case I actually like the result.
Looking through a lens rewards me. I like looking at the images of our travels and my garden and our community and recalling the moment I took the photo. I appreciate the intrinsic value of some photos; they stir emotions and create thoughts that bring me peace and joy.
And of course looking through a lens allows me to share my world with you. I hope you continue to enjoy the view!