When Scott asked me to write a guest blog I thought, “Sure thing! This will be a piece of cake.” Even when he added the instructions, “Remember…my only ‘rule’ is that it must be about some aspect of photography” I still thought this would be an easy blog to write. (Scott knows I am prone to ramble on and on about sixteen different subjects in one blog—that’s why he probably wanted to keep me on the subject of picture taking and not, say, the fawn we saw romping with his mama yesterday morning.)
He said he asked me to write this guest blog because of my 365 day project last year. For those of you who don’t know, I decided to go outside every day from December 21, 2008 to December 20, 2009 and write a daily blog about Opening the door, walking outside. My husband suggested it would be a good thing to take pictures. He’s a weekly newspaper editor and he insisted that more people might visit the blog if it included a few photos each day.
OK, I said. I can do that. I think I can do that. I have no idea how to use a camera (beyond pointing and shooting), but how challenging can it be?
Luckily, I had been presented with a point and shoot camera a couple months before by husband and daughter. They are both great photographers. I figured it really couldn’t be that hard (kind of like writing this blog.)
We have to back up half a lifetime. Sorry, you guys knew this blog was going to ramble, didn’t you? You see, I was not a visual person. Not at all. You know the kind of person who looks at the writing and ignores the photos? Yep, that was me. You know the kind of person who can’t tell you what you’re wearing or whether you have a new haircut or if your living room was remodeled? Yep. That was me.
So a camera was an interesting thing. The Sony Cyber-shot began the chore of making a Photographer out of me. It was a hard task-master. “Shoot this!”, it would say impatiently in the hand. “Open your eyes and look at the shadows on the snow!” “Darn it, can’t you see that intricate pattern of leaves?” “Snap the picture, isn’t that a lovely angle?”
The first photos for the blog snapped at night—when we danced around the Solstice fire and set our intentions for the upcoming year—looked like, er…challenging photos. I cringed. Could these be published for the world to see? Never mind. It didn’t matter. How many people visit brand new blogs anyway?
The days passed. I learned. I still didn’t know how to adjust any of those fancy settings, but people began to say things like, “You’ve got an eye.” An eye? What the heck did that mean? Don’t we all have an eye? (I didn’t want to tell them that the Sony Cyber-Shot had the eye. It was the one pointing and shooting. My job was to remember the camera and peer at things from strange and different angles. No problem for a person who is always viewing situations from strange and different angles.)
So now comes the reason why it’s been so challenging to do this blog. Scott said to pick some pictures that I liked and send ‘em along to him. He would re-size them and do his magic to fit them in his blog. All I had to do was find some photos that I liked.
That’s when the challenges started. I just spent a couple hours staring at eighteen months of photos. (After the outdoor blog ended I swore I wouldn’t blog again for a long time. This vow lasted ten days before Lake Superior Spirit birthed January 1st of this year.) That translates to 15,000 photos. How the heck does one limit her favorite photos to ten or twelve? How does one do this?
Let’s zing up to this current moment now. I have buried the first Ms. Cyber-Shot, which means the second one is probably middle-aged. For about three months I have been learning how to adjust the ISO and tweak the settings. I have now graduated to 6th grade in the School of Teaching Yourself Photography. The eye still comes in handy, but now I’m learning about light and balance and EV and lens and apertures. (Thanks in part to Scott Thomas Photography. Isn’t he the greatest photography teacher, you guys?)
One of these days I may buy one of those fancy cameras like “real” photographers have. Except this one is so easy to slip in the jeans pocket when you’re picking raspberries or wandering in the woods. Ms. Cyber-Shot has been a real great friend these past eighteen months. She’s taught me how to see—even though I still might miss noticing your new haircut.
It would be awfully hard to say goodbye to the gifts she’s shared…
The Canon S90 Digital Camera features:
3.8x Optical Zoom Lens (28-105mm)
Compact and Stylish
Manual Exposure Control
High Sensitivity (ISO 3200)
RAW File Capture
Optical Image Stabilization
Advanced Face Detection
Highly acclaimed for its clean high ISO capabilities, the Canon PowerShot S90 camera is the perfect blend of simple and advanced features for those looking to step up their photography or as a small second camera to carry at all times.