About a year ago, I figured I had enough demands for pictures to justify buying a camera. I also started taking the camera on walks and trips, figuring if I had a camera, I ought to make use of it. I took a lot of pictures – often over a hundred in a trip (all the while thinking a dedicated photographer would take a lot more) Lately I’ve been noticing that I’ve been pulling the camera out less, and coming back with fewer pictures.
in and of itself, this isn’t a problem – it’s not like I’m getting paid per picture, or ever expect to make much of photography except perhaps providing fodder for a blog post or presentation. I’m more concerned about it as indicator of having my eyes open.
When I first got the camera, everything was new, at least to the camera. I’d take pictures of spring buds, I got a few of snow drifts and floods, and even tried getting stars a few times. Now the seasonal round is repeating, and it seems a little more blase.
I’ve been most places I go. My first trip to the library took a lot longer than usual, because I kept stopping to get favorite spots. I also got a lot of pictures in Chicago, which was still somewhat new to me, as well as to the camera. Now I’m starting to get a sense of city navigation, and things like the night-time view down LaSalle to the brilliantly lit Chicago Board of Trade just don’t demand photography they way they used to.
Some of the early volume was no doubt due to experimenting with camera settings – trying out different combinations, seeing what things do. Like taking pictures of the waterfall at bunch of different shutter speeds to get a mix from stop-motion to blurry flow. Now I’ve got a sense of it – shutter speed affects light and blur, aperture is supposed to control depth of field, but doesn’t show up much on my built-in lens, though it still affects light. ISO makes things grainy, but it serves for making up light in dark situations.
I’ve figured out that coarse digital zoom and focus are nearly too aggravating to use. I might actually appreciate the fine lens-mounted adjustments, but that’s another investment in a rather idle hobby. it would also be a bigger camera that I wouldn’t want to lug around everywhere, perhaps a more practical obstacle.
My real point of concern, of course, is not having the desire to take pictures. Or rather that sense of wonder that makes me wan to capture some moment. The world should be no less wondrous then ever. I’m constantly experiencing it at new moments and new angles, and the world is constantly changing, never quite the same twice, there and gone never to return.
Just a thought for now, I haven’t really made sense of it yet.