My photography skills are very much under development. Up until now, I have mostly played around in manual mode. By this, I mean every setting on my highly technical camera has been automatic leaving the only variables as my creative eye and ability to hold the camera steady.
For a long time now, I have yearned for more. In Yosemite, I was lucky enough to have a skilled photographer friend nearby at Tunnel View telling me (in response to my desperate pleas) the exact settings to use in order to attempt to preserve the moment. This essentially took the “manual” out of manual mode making it a different form of automatic.
I bought a couple of books and glanced at a number of websites, only to fumble around blindly trying to picture what the words on the page were actually directing me to do.
Lately, another skilled photographer friend has been helping me learn the craft. He has been explaining these basic concepts one at a time to me. The new information is allowing me, the budding photographer, to come out of auto-pilot and take off in new directions. Not only that, he has been letting me borrow his lenses one at a time to play around with the various concepts.
Yesterday, we took a field trip. While I introduced him to my favorite open space, he showed me creative ways to play around with composition and depth of field. Each marveling at how differently our creative eyes view the same 1 mile route. While one of us was drawn to a bird, the other was focused on a rabbit.
When my childlike enthusiasm began oozing out of every pore in my being, my professional-wedding-photographer friend reconnected with the joy of just taking a picture for the pure joy of it.
We became like kids. We talked to strangers, and animals. We looked for spider in webs, and snakes in logs.
At one point, he razzed me for the odd positions I would attempt to get my body into for the purpose of trying to see how things looked from a different vantage point. He jokingly called it yoga photography, to which I enthusiastically showed him what yoga photography would look like IF that was my intent.
And when we suddenly became acutely aware of how time had gotten away with us, we broke into a jog (cameras in hand) and quickly headed back to the car – adult-like responsibility pulling on us. Along the way, as if trying to hold onto the childlike feeling, we playfully pointed our cameras at this & that and clicked away as if they were toy guns.
That night, after meetings and meals, I sifted through my photos and marveled at the results of my photo play.
Now, I need to learn the art of digital photo processing.