“So you think you can write?” or, “So you think you can take “good” pictures?” Don’t we all? It was not until I jumped in wholeheartedly, out of a genuine love and passion, that I realized the extent of popularity in the self-publishing or photography arena. I was, and am, on such a learning curve…I had no idea of the language, seriousness, commitment and time it would consume. I only knew that I l enjoy both mediums. I find myself unable to walk away. I am obsessed. I don’t know what makes a person a “photographer,” any more than what makes someone a writer. My husband says that we become one, (either of the aforementioned), the moment we begin to write or take a picture. But I am talking about a real photographer or a real writer, according to the lay-person’s standards.
I suppose it’s when you become good at your “craft.” But “good” is in the eye of the beholder. I read incessantly about photography, yet I cannot retain the information when it comes time to click my camera.
I look at other people’s photos and appreciate the vision that is seen and captured.
I was watching the Westminster Dog Show and, while I enjoyed seeing the beautiful dogs, I couldn’t help but find myself drawn to the photographers in the background. I said to myself, “I need to practice taking pictures in low light without using a flash” and, “I wonder what kind of a lens they are using.” I kept getting distracted from the dogs as I attentively looked for “real photographers.” After all, they were in the front row at the Westminster Dog Show… they must be “real” photographers.
Once, I was at an event (with my camera, of course, which hardly ever leaves my side), and a gentleman began to “compare” with me. Apparently, he was a photographer. He held in his hands, like me, his pride and joy…a digital camera. You know the posture we take? Cute… He sort of snubbed me as I only have a Nikon 3100. Only! This baby cost me $500 dollars along with the throw-in package 200 zoom lens. I had in my “bag” another lens which cost me an additional $500. That’s a lot of money for this gal. Although, I guess that if you’re a serious photographer it’s a nothing camera, but this camera has become a part of me. It fits in my hands like a perfect set of gloves.
My goal, at this event, was to take photos and create a memorable music DVD. I do it free, as well as print pictures, to personally hand to people. What fun!
This gentleman asked me “Do you shoot in the R-A-W?”, “Yep” I said, having no idea what he even meant! “Take that,” I thought, “see, I’m a photographer.” (For those who do not know, RAW is a developed photo or actually undeveloped photo. RAW is like the old way: it sits sort of like a negative in storage until you’re ready to process it. It is different than JPEG, which is what most people use. Not understanding the difference makes them…NOT a photographer, I suppose).
The best advice I was ever given concerning shooting pictures in this digital era was to take as many …and even more than you can think of. Never forget, it’s free to delete them and have a blast!
Excerpt from Chapter 6 'When It's All Said and Done'
" That September, I started taking more pictures than ever. I would drive to Bridgton past a farm that gave me comfort. I watched the season’s sunlight transition and waved at the tractor drivers plowing the fields. I looked forward to seeing the cows and sheep, stopping regularly to photograph them. I began to use my photos to make short DVD music videos about 2-5 minutes long. I would sit for hours at night, editing, improving and telling our story through this medium. Eventually I splurged from a small Sony “point and shot” camera to a Nikon 3100. It became my distraction. I have returned to those DVDs, and they truly reveal memories of my sorrow."