Monday, January 10, 2011

Photography, Blogging, and a Little Narcissism Thrown in for Good Measure

When I first started "Treasured Chapters" in 2007, it was solely a place for recording the events of our daily lives, however mundane those may be. Over the years, I think I have stayed true to that purpose, though I have occasionally strayed by offering recipes, answering various memes with exciting random facts about me, and rising to the challenge of various photo assignments.

You may have noticed I've been taking on more photo challenges lately. Photography has, for me, become a blossoming obsession interest as of late. I've always loved taking pictures and have photos stretching back to my yesteryears. My yesteryears of course always involved an instamatic Kodak or Canon. And if memory serves, I believe I got in just late enough to escape ever owning the Kodak with the rotating cube flash.

Back then, pictures were always posed, and you had 24 or 36 shots to get it right or you were just out of luck. Then there was the endless waiting for the pictures to be developed to see if you actually did get that shot right in 24 or 36 shots.

Digital photography is certainly a lot more user-friendly and, in my opinion, so much more fun. I only wish I had had a digital camera 11 years ago so that all of our children's days from the start could be stored on a memory card. (Then I wouldn't also have the stack of non-digital and yet unfinished scrapbooks waiting for me.)

When Alex was born, we had our first "real" camera--a Minolta--though we used it on Auto as if it was one of those instamatics. But the feeling of the camera in our hands made us imagine we were "real" photographers. We still have it:


Think it'd fetch anything on eBay?

Sometime after Jacob was born, we purchased our first digital camera, a Nikon D40 or 50--I can't remember. And that opened up this whole new world. I began taking 100s and 100s of pictures.

I was even more thrilled to get my Nikon D90 as well as a 300mm zoom lens, which is great for photographing picture-weary children from a distance so they don't even know they are in the spotlight. I've had hours of fun taking pictures and editing those pictures, and I think I have improved some during the couple of years we have owned the camera. I mean, this is the first picture I ever posted on my blog:

Granted it's of a hole in the ground, but if I were to take that today, I would focus on something a little more interesting like the lines of the wire thingys on the bottom of the hole (I built a house and put in a pool, for goodness' sake; I know those wire thingys have a name, but I can't think of it right now.).

So, yes, I've become a better photographer (and in this context, I define that term as "anyone who takes a picture"), but I hope that my learning curve will be a little steeper in 2011. I'm off to a fairly good start: A week ago, I turned the little dial atop my Nikon from Auto Mode to Manual Mode. {Gasp!} And I can't believe how much fun it is.

I have also enrolled in a little online photography class at Proud Photography. In addition, I devour photography blogs and am particularly inspired by Ashley at Ramblings and Photos, Katie at Katie Lloyd Photography, Beth at I Should Be Folding Laundry, and Darcy at Life with My 3 Boybarians. They offer tutorials, challenges, and gorgeous photos. Digital Photography School has also become a favorite webstop for me.

Someday. Someday, I would love to get my degree in photography, although the thousands of dollars online universities want you to shell out for such a degree is rather steep just to pursue a hobby, but we'll see. What I love about photography is that you not only preserve precious memories, but having the photo mindset really opens your eyes to the astounding beauty, color, and interest in this marvelous world God created.

So, while Treasured Chapters has served me very well in recording the special moments in the life of the P- family, it will inevitably morph into something a little bit different this year. I hope you'll stay. While my tedious details of our homeschooling hours, my whining about the cold, and my obsessing about chocolate have been riveting to be sure, I hope you will appreciate the fact that I will include more--and hopefully better--photos along the way. Which means there will now be more of a focus on me, but doesn't the Me Factor characterize much of the blogosphere anyway?

Of course, writing will always be my first love, and I always like to include some writing to go along with my photos where possible. But you might start seeing more of me just playing with photos. Bear with me! Or not. Your choice obviously!

On a final note, I'm going to throw myself right out there. Tomorrow I will give you details about a monthly photo challenge I am starting. I know...I'm getting all fancy and stuff with things like Linky tools. And I say I am throwing myself out there because, quite possibly, not a single person will link up. But even if it's just me participating, it's going to be a lot of fun (for me anyway). So...details coming tomorrow...stay tuned!


5thsister said...

Oh, I may have to participate. I could use some photography lessons/practice!

CrossView said...

I look forward to it!

Then again, you can't get rid of me! :O)

Chic Homeschool Mama said...

My story is similar- it's it great when we not only find something that we absolutely love- but then also find a whole community out there that shares that passion & encourages us to continue?!