Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Seeing things differently

A few months ago, as our 3rd wedding anniversary was approaching, we started discussing what we would give each other as a gift. We’ve been together for 13 years, its getting harder and harder to be original. And this time around, neither of us could think of anything that we particularly wanted.

My husband, who knew that I’d been wanting to get a DSLR camera for ages, suggested that we buy that for ourselves, and call it our “present” to each other. I was “OMG” excited - I’d been wanting to upgrade our camera for so long, had been looking at them online for ages, but never really thinking that I'd get one.

Naturally he left the research up to me, so I spent the following weeks agonizing over the choices… for an absolute beginner, I needed a basic entry level DSLR. Plus we had a budget, and weren’t about to go completely crazy on something that I knew nothing about.

I narrowed it down, I read a million reviews, and finally decided on the Canon EOS 600D.

I’ve had this camera for a few months now, and I can honestly say I LOVE it. I’m so in love with this camera, and I’m so obsessed with capturing images of our lives and loves, of every beautiful moment, that I’m using it almost every day. I have even started venturing out of “Auto” mode, playing around with different settings, using manual focus, and trying to learn as I go.

What I love most about this new camera, is what its doing to ME. I’m starting to look at things differently. I’m starting to notice the way light falls on my daughters hair, I’m starting to notice the way catchlights shine in my sons eyes. I look for expressions, for tender moments. I’ve started scouting areas for natural light around my house, and I’m always on the lookout for opportunities to capture a moment in time.

I yearn for knowledge, for the skills to capture and immortalize what I’m seeing. I am frustrated that often what I see does not transfer to the image I’ve taken, because I lack the skills, the confidence and the know-how. I know this will come with practice and time, but its frustrating all the same.

The other day when I went out to bring in some washing, Skye ran ahead of me, plonked herself down on the upturned laundry basket and watched the dogs playing. The sun was at that special afternoon point on the horizon where the light was filtering through sideways… I could see bugs flitting through the rays, her wispy hair was catching the light just-so. I stopped dead in my tracks – instantly seeing the artistic potential - and mourned the fact that I didn’t have my camera with me. She looked so angelic, damn it! So I did the next best thing, and grabbed my iphone out of my pocket and snapped a few quick shots. Yes there was washing on the line behind her, and yes she was sitting on a pink laundry basket, but it was the spirit of the moment I was trying to capture. Another photo that didn’t live up to my expectations.

I had to crop the hell out of this to try to give a rough idea what I was going for!

Then the other night I had just gone out with the dogs for their pre-bed stretch and “wee walk”, when I looked up and noticed the moon. Full moon. Trees swaying lazily in front of that glowing white orb. Slight mist in the sky. I didn’t hesitate, I ran straight back inside and grabbed the camera. I couldn’t see what I was framing, I had no idea of composition because the sky was pitch black and I was shooting at a bright moon (which was all I had to focus on) but I was loving the way I felt, the excitement, the inspiration. I loved that feeling of recognising beauty, seizing the opportunity, and capturing it forever on memory card.


Not great, but that’s not the point. The point is, I’m loving the way this is making me take a new look at things. I’m seeing beautiful things everywhere. Rock walls are interesting when the afternoon light falls on them. Wooden stairs are beautiful when you stop to look closely at the grain. I never noticed what types of flowers we have in our block until now. I’m loving the way I feel my creative juices flowing again.

Also, I love reading blogs with photos to complement the text, and I’ll be trying to include more photos in my blog posts from now on. You have been warned!


Kristy said...

This is beautiful Hilary, I love how you have described the beauty all around us... I too see this beauty in everyday things, but also have trouble capturing it. I only have a std digital camera, but still enjoy playing :) I look forward to seeing more photos :)

Anonymous said...

Brilliant post as always Hillary. Love your outlook! You make me want to be a better person ;)

Katie Clarkson (Facebook)