Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Rebel.

very old photo...

I think I forgot how to work my camera. My real camera. Ever since I got my iPhone two Christmases ago I haven't picked up my poor, neglected Canon but maybe three times. And each time it felt foreign to me. So I put it away. And there it's sat. 

Instead I've been documenting moments with my phone and on Instagram. I like Instagram. And taking photos with my phone. It's quick. It's easy. I don't have to plug it in and load it up and file it and edit it and resize it and label it and worry how much space it's taking up on the hard drive.

But...I miss my camera.

My cousin sent an email a week or so ago asking me to be a photographer at a fund-raising event in a few weeks. And my first thought was, "I'm better with inanimate objects."  And my second thought was,  "Do I even know how to use my camera anymore?"  It really got me thinking. (Thanks for the nudge, Megan! If I can get familiar with my camera again I will say "yes".)

I have been intrigued by photography since I was a teen. When I was in high school I was on the Yearbook committee and was envious of the photographers...big cameras hanging around their necks, hall passes to walk around school taking candids, access to the dark room, developing photos and going over proofs.

Yes, I was definitely intrigued.

Fast forward to about 12 years ago. I was at a friend's house, a young gal I'd met at church, and she was cleaning out a trailer her brother had been staying in. He had an addiction and up and disappeared one day, leaving some of his personal belongings behind. One of those belongings was a Canon 35 mm camera. She picked it up and handed it to me, "Do you want this?" (How'd she know I'd always wanted a 35 mm camera?)

"Oh no. I can't take that. It's too much." I replied.

"I'm just going to donate it if you don't. Are you sure?"

"Wow. Well, yeah. I'd love it! Are you sure?"

She was sure. And all of a sudden I had a 35 mm camera...gifted to me.

It was in great condition. It was a film camera. And it was awesome. But it was also a bit of an expensive hobby. So, I used it, but wasn't really able to learn how properly. With a film camera you never know how the photo is going to come out until you develop it. And by the time I developed the photos I had no idea what settings I'd used, and I wasn't disciplined enough to keep notes. So I dabbled, took some nice photos (purely by luck), and had fun with it now and then.

Right around the time I was gifted my film camera, the digital cameras were becoming popular. But they were pricey. But a year or two later, to my surprise, my husband told me he wanted to get me a digital camera for my birthday. He really encouraged my love of gifts at Christmas and my birthday he'd purchased some nice lenses and a good camera bag. So when we began shopping for a digital we decided to purchase one that would fit the lenses he'd already purchased for me. That's how I ended up with my Canon Rebel.

It turned out to be one of the best gifts ever. I love my Rebel...even though I've neglected it for too long. How great is a digital camera? I can take hundreds of photos, check and double check, delete what I don't like and keep what I do. No waiting on film to be developed. No running out of film. It's so great!

I really had no idea what I was doing with my camera for a long time. (Not that I really do now, but I definitely understand more than I did.) I fumbled with switches and moved dials around, but never really got any of it.

I think when I really got serious about taking photos, when the switch flipped if you will, was when I decided to take some photos of a bunch of Calla Lily's a friend had given me from her garden. I placed them in a vase, set them on the floor by the back door window (which still, to this day, provides my favorite light for photography) and snapped away. By the end of the photo session the flower that at one time made me think of funerals and death became one of my favorite flowers. Calla Lily's are very photogenic, it turns out.

That was about 5 or 6 years ago. And now, here I am, unsure of how to work my beloved Rebel. It's not the fanciest. It's not the biggest and baddest. But it's perfect for me. It's enough for me. It's plenty for me. And today I am vowing to get it out and use it. (I've already got it out of it's bag in the middle of writing this's sitting here next to me...looking slightly forlorn, but hopeful. Or maybe that's me?)

Do you know that my photos were very instrumental in the making of this blog? Photos are such an important part of Give a Girl a Fig that if I don't have a photo to share, I don't write a post. So you know when things are quiet around here I haven't been taking photos either. The creativity of writing seems to go hand in hand with taking pictures. (Hmm...that's something to ponder...)

So...what now?

Well. I already got my camera out. It's sitting here at the ready. Now I need to take some time to reacquaint myself with it. Maybe it'll be like riding a bike...I hope.

Honestly, the thought of using my camera again is a bit daunting. I feel like I need to take some time (what is that?) to clean up my photo files. And probably get them off this computer and onto my external hard-drive (another gift from my hubby to encourage my picture-taking...he's always been a great encourager to me, in creativity and in life in general). I need to figure out a good way to file and store photos, as well as have them accessible to share easily on the blog.

Daunting...yes. But it's all doable. I just need to take one step at a time.

1 comment:

Denise said...

I'm laughing because yesterday I was thinking that I needed to be okay with using iphone photos on my blog just for the reasons you mentioned. I totally agree with you about using our big girl cameras more. I only use mine when the sun is out :)

I also didn't realize your love for photography went so far back - that is so cool!