On finding interesting objects for photographs

Fridays roll around and I’m on tenterhooks to find out what the WordPress weekly photo challenge theme is. I start refreshing the daily post page from 12h00 SA time.

Off course this is way too early because people are still sleeping in the US where WordPress is based. It’s only in the late evening that the theme gets published and by then it’s too late to post (even by my night owl standards).

Finding a photo is usually ok because I have a large photo archive. They’re not all great pics, taken with a myriad of cameras – point-and-shoots, phone cameras and lately a DSLR.

I’ve always been a photo junkie – my Dad gave me my first camera when I was 15. Given that these days kids get a phone when they’re barely out of toddlerhood this may seem quite late in the day, but hey, those days were different – we still had a rotary dial phone in the house.

Because I’m normally the person behind the camera I have few photos of me, especially lately. Barring for my wedding off course. I don’t like taking selfies although my FB picture is a selfie, so I do break my own rules on occasion.

Anyway, back to photo subjects and objects. I want to keep my family and friends out of the photos I post on this blog and social media. That being the case it removes a very rich photographic pool. And it puts me at a disadvantage because I have to dig really deep into my archives, or my rookie photographic abilities, to post a photo that I feel interprets the theme.

I’ve realised that I am not bold behind the camera, I tend to play it safe both in terms of the techniques, and in the places I venture to. I don’t traipse into the veld or forest looking for a good shot. I also don’t stop on the side of the road to get the perfect shot of the sunset.

I want to be able to do photoessays like Ron Mayhew – his posts on Cuba are a visual treat, each photo telling their own story. There’s so much life and colour and vibrancy to them that it literally bursts out of the photo to the viewer, making the viewer part of the photo, like a big hand that stretches out of the photo plucking one out of normal existence to a different world.

Clearly there is a lot of learning for me, getting out of my shell and learning to be patient. Never in a million years did I think I would love learning to take photos with a DSLR.

I used point-and-shoots until I grew out of them, when the processing speed was just too slow for what I wanted to capture. The DSLR I have is a Canon EOS1100D, the entry-level model because I wanted a camera I could grow out, and up, of.

Each new level of frustration either with my abilities or my camera brings with it a tinge of excitement.  My aim this year is to post new photos rather than digging into my archives. The quest for finding subjects and objects for the various photo challenges I enter continues.

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