Monday, July 25, 2011

Why Am I Obsessed with Photography?

If you asked me this six months ago, my answer was easy--to document the important details of my life as they occur.  Even before children this was true and I have many bad pictures of people whose names I now don't recall--mostly candids because that was my "style."  After children I became even more obsessed.  Thank goodness for the introduction of the digital camera.  It has saved me hundreds of dollars on film and duplicates.  This is still one of the main reasons I shoot pictures.  I love to capture that special memory of my child, his/her smile, laugh, eyes, hair, activities...the list goes on.  When I get a great (in my mind) image, I will stare at it for minutes or hours reveling in the beauty that is my child such as in this sweet shot.
But in February I got my first dSLR, and I was determined not to waste it.  I decided I would figure out how to master the camera and go back to documenting the details of my life and each of my three beautiful children.  I don't want to forget any piece of their childhood.  What surprised me was that I love the technical side of digital SLR's.  I love figuring out what manual settings to use to get the right exposure or depth of field or focus that I want--understanding what I should do and executing it properly results in more failure than not, but I LOVE the process.  I enjoy fiddling with the settings and discovering how they change my image.  I always took 5 or 50 pictures of any given scene, but now at least I'm adjusting what will happen with each shot.
Knowing to set my lens to a small aperture (f/16 for this shot) in order to capture the sunbeams as opposed to a big yellow blob gives me immense personal satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.

But a third reason I love taking pictures is that it has opened my eyes.  I see things I would never have seen before.  Following Kat's Exploring with a Camera Series I have started to see contrasts, find form, and this week notice repeating patterns.  Learning to see beauty in everything around me has brought me closer to God and more appreciative of the world around me.  I feel like entering the world of photography has given me glasses that I never want to take off again.
What to do with a shot of the grating on the stairwell, I don't know--unless it is to show it on my blog, which brings me to the fourth reason I love taking pictures.  I have so much fun taking the beauty that I am now seeing and bringing a little joy to others with it.  I don't know if I will ever get into a style of photography that is dark and broody--not because I don't think photography is a wonderful medium for sharing important messages--it just feels that for me currently the message I want to share is one of joy, peace, love, and beauty.  Uplifting if one wants to go cliche.  If only one person goes away saying that post or that picture, it brought beauty or happiness or light into my life or I learned something useful, I am content.  (Thankfully the photogs I've met tend to be really sweet and encouraging so I am frequently content now days.)
I just get so much joy from a pretty flower or a well executed shot that I love sharing that joy with others and encouraging them to keep going and keep learning.  My photography has come so far in the last six months, I cannot wait to see how much further I can take it.  I don't think of myself as artsy or creative, but my photos make me feel like I am creating something, something worth keeping and sharing.  I do dream that someday when I upload 1000 pictures that more of my shots are keepers and that my quality of capture overall will continue to increase, but in the meantime I love taking what I do know and try to capture that perfect shot.  If I don't succeed, oh well!  I'll keep exploring, learning, and dreaming and in the meantime, editing.  I must admit I kind of love the whole world of editing, too!  Seriously, how fun is photography?
CoffeeShop's Perfect Portrait 3 Action, and Kim Klassen's Silent Night Texture on a Multiply 50% Vignette
Linking with Sweet Shot Tuesday, Exploring with the Camera, Texture Tuesdays...
Sweet Shot Daykimklassencafe

And my class over at The Kat Eye View of the World called Find Your Eye: Starting the Journey.

Photobucket

29 comments:

Julie (Wellblessed) said...

Those are awesome! *jealous* :)

Becs said...

Your photos are gorgeous! I am very envious that you enjoy the techinical side so much. I want a telephathic camera that knows the shot I want and adjusts itself accordingly! I agree about blogging, one of the reasons I set mine up was to take photos I wouldn't otherwise take. Your grating photo is fantastic, love the shapes and light. Very inspiring.

ana.gr said...

I love this portrait! The eyes are so sharp and sweet!

Heidi said...

Oh that first shot is stunning! All of these are beautiful. Isn't it just so fun to immerse yourself in it? I do not know what I would do without my camera!

Kids Worksheets said...

Lovely pictures and awesome photography.

Leanne said...

Great reasons to love photography. That first shot is a beautiful one of your son. Such beautiful blue eyes staring straight at you.

Pat said...

certainly looks like you've mastered your new camera - outstanding photos of the children!

Nadege, said...

Awesome photography. I love your edit on the last image, beautiful.

Kathleen said...

Your photos are amazing! I loved reading your post today, because it sounds so much like me! I just wish that I had discovered this love of photography when my kids were younger.

seabluelens said...

The portrait of your son is perfect. Composition, lighting, expression...I could drown in those eyes.
I loved this whole post, and I think it has provided me with an epiphany about my own photography which I need to mull over a bit. (I'll probably share later!) Thank you. ~Lee

deb duty said...

Every single one of these photos is amazing! You are very talented. I totally agree with you. I notice things now that I would have never seen before photography and it's such fun!

LivingFree said...

Your photos are beautiful! That first one of your son is just stunning. So much of this post I could have written as far as how much I've learned and how I now notice things I never noticed before and I even enjoy the technical aspects as well.

Sarah said...

WOW! Great job on every single picture!

Susan said...

What an insightful post, I’m so glad we are in this course together! I love that you’ve embraced your camera and the settings. That sunburst shot is amazing, and great edit too!

All are just wonderful, you are definitely making the most of your camera and it shows! Your photos do have a way of making me happy; I think that’s so cool it’s your goal.

Ashley Sisk said...

What a great reflection Cedar. I loved gaining new insights into why you shoot. And you really have done incredible work in the past 6 months. I'm impressed.

Patrice said...

That first shot is amazing! Love it!

missing moments said...

Just took up the camera several months ago and have discovered such passion for it! Great photos!

Christine E-E said...

Whoa! your photos are amazing... especially like your close-ups (fence) of ordinary objects...
I'm in Kat's class!!

RainCityGirl said...

I love your thoughts on capturing moments in life for yourself but through sharing you spread the joy you feel to others. Your photos are great.

My Photographic Eye by Irela said...

Cedar....wonderful thoughts and I really love your photos. Keep up the amazing work and I will keep following! Your children's photo made me smile.

Kat Sloma said...

Cedar, your enthusiasm and love of photography comes through in your words and pictures. So very interesting to hear how your interest has evolved over time, and surprised you at times, it seems. Lovely images and I'm so happy to have you in the class, starting the journey!

Scott said...

Nice photos. I really like focus on the first one. Really nicely done.

Jennifer said...

Oh Cedar I had no idea how to set fstop for a sunbeam...sooooooo glad you said that!!!
I heartily agree with all you have said and encourage you to keep on snapping!!

offset printing said...

I really like this blog. I can really relate to your feelings. I think photography has its own eyes in presenting and showing the world before us. It gives more vibrant colors, it gives more meaning to life in general. It sends emotions that we have never felt before. Thank you for sharing this.

Kim said...

Wow, yo have only been shooting with a DSLR for 6 months?! You have picked it up pretty quickly. I look forward to learning more about you and your style as the class progresses.

Wanda said...

I am TOTALLY impressed with your photos and would have thought you had been using a DSLR for years instead of just a few months. Good for you! I'll be keeping any eye out for you as we progress through FYE. You are an inspiration!

Sara said...

Great shots and great writing! That first shot is just divine!

Laura said...

Beautiful images! Your love of photography definitely shines through your images, and I loved reading about your journey! I can't wait to see more images in the future, especially throughout the class. :)

Inkjet Ink Cartridges said...

Such a sweet little lady! I've had the pleasure of photographing since she was brand new. I love watching these little ones grow and change. Isn't she adorable?!