Lately, I’ve been on a photography kick. Since the first of the year, actually. I heard about a challenge called Photo A Day, and decided to accept it. Now, some 300 photos later (some days had more than one) I am getting the hang of this photography thing. I think.
I was gifted a small point and shoot camera from my mother. She bought it quite a few years back and had never figured out all of the settings. So, I got to figure it out. And I did. To some extent. There is a menu and a function set button. Within each of those are about a million (ok, maybe not quite that many) different settings you can choose. On the selection wheel itself there are four different settings. I only know what one of them means so far. I’m a bit baffled by the difference between some of the icons. Yeah, I know – consult the manual. I did that and it was like reading a foreign language. Not a lot of understanding going on there.
Anyway, I’ve figured out some things as I go along. My pictures are getting a little better with practice. Recently, I’ve begun experimenting with black and white and sepia, just for something different.
In some ways, photography is like writing. Both are visual. At least for me. When I write, I “see” the action and scenes I’m writing about. Much like watching a movie, only it’s in my head, not on a screen. Both convey story. A good shot should make you ponder a bit – wonder about it – think. So should a good book. Neither should be blatant – in my opinion. (This does not apply to journalistic photos, of course) A good photograph should be able to say something without hitting you over the head with a statement. So should a good book. Even if, after reading it, you think it was just a bit of fluff, there should be something in there that resonates with you, that draws you back for more. This is what we call “keepers”. Those books we shelve and hang onto. Much the way a photograph is framed and hung in our home. Something had resonated with both.
I’m not claiming that I’ve yet reached that stage of photography where my photographs resonate, become keepers. But maybe, with enough practice, that will happen. Already I am able to see which photographs leap out at me, which ones seem to speak to me, which ones hold that special something. And if they speak to me, maybe they will speak to others, as well. Much the way I hope that my books do.