So many memories fill up our lives; from the birth of your first child to your child’s graduation and wedding ceremony. Life just goes by way too fast! Photographs of these moments allow us to look back and remember those joyous occasions. I still remember growing up in the 70s and we had the instant Polaroid camera. My mom was able to take snapshots of my friend and I playing hopscotch. Those were great times. I could put up my pictures on the wall or put them on a fridge with a magnet. Who can forget the disposable camera? That was a game changer for us. I remember going on school field trips and taking group pictures of our class. These days you can take a picture with your phone. However, using the right tools and the right camera can capture the true essence of that moment.
I am retired now and I like to take nature hikes to explore the beauty of nature. There are so many courses available online or at your local library that you can take to really learn how to take professional photos. I took a local class and I met so many interesting people and learned so many new skills. We had class projects which were really fun. The instructor would give us a topic such as the wilderness, and we would go out and take pictures, bring them back to the class and the instructor would critique it. A friend in my class told me that I have a good eye for taking pictures and he recommended I should enter a photo contest.
I checked out the website and I was intimidated at first. There are so many different categories and I didn’t think I could participate with all of these professional photographers submitting. Sal told me that he felt the same way at first, but he did submit some of his landscape photos in the past and he got in third place. I started doing more research and became very aware of taking pictures. I learned so much from reading an article about how people can look better in photos. I learned that a photographer should be patient, persevere, gain knowledge, and learn to create an artistic eye.
I began to research some more and really delved into such great articles such as this one that I found in the New York Times: The Earliest Days of American Photography.
It is so fascinating to read about the history of photography in this great country of ours. These pictures depict so much history; from the days of slaves on a farm in 1862 to a classic photo of Abraham Lincoln and his son Thomas. The United States is nothing like it was back then. Photography through the years has captured how we have evolved as a nation. From these photographs both past and present we can learn and feel the moment.
As I am a beginner photographer, I wasn’t sure of what camera to use. I don’t want to spend too much money, but at the same time, I want something that will produce the results that I want. I found this site to give me some good advice.
I was curious about what camera to get for a beginner. Sal, who is more experienced than me, told me which one he recommended for me to start with. He mentioned the Nikon D7500. So I went online and I managed to buy good one that happened to be on sale. I was all set now! I was ready to take the challenge. But what category would I submit for? There were so many different ones. I decided that I would take pictures of butterflies and flowers. I have always loved the monarch butterfly and its beauty.
I went out on a very nice spring day. It was still very early. The sun had just begun to rise and it was a beautiful sight. Out there in the country, it was peaceful and dramatic at the same time. The morning dew was still fresh over the terrain and all I could see was a vast land to explore.
I saw some things that I never knew the beauty of until I really got myself involved in this photography project. I spent the entire day out there just walking in the meadows and flowers patiently waiting for that moment to take a photo. I was proud of myself.
The next day I met up with Sal to show him the pictures. He went through them and he picked out the one that I should submit to the contest. I am hoping for the best. Even if I don’t win this time, I will keep trying. This has been a great hobby for my body and mind.