Rising above again

I confess that I have trouble taking myself seriously as a photographer.

My body quakes whenever I venture from an automatic setting to manual.

Could it be all that camera terminology? I can’t help but wonder every time I pull out my instruction book.

Though more likely it’s my fear of technology.

Heck, I don’t even have a Smart Phone as I doubt I’ll ever figure out how to use it.

It seems I’ve missed ten tech upgrades during the last ten years while I was busy caregiving.

But I’m tenacious in my quest to keep trying, and to overcome those fears.

So Friday morning I was very anxious to capture the gulls flying overhead as I stood on a sandy beach.

It’s a special spot.

My mother-in-law and husband’s remains lie just beyond.

Moving in for the shot, I was ready to change my setting to manual until I suddenly found myself moving.

Sinking actually.

In what seemed like an instant, I was standing in a thick mix of sand and cool water rising above my ankles.

I quickly made my retreat.

Still I was able to snap one quick picture in transit.

I wasn’t leaving without it.

Maybe I’m a budding photographer after all.

Or more importantly, one now even more determined to rise above her photo fears.

Oh, and definitely any soggy sand bars.


With a free gas station pumpkin spice in hand, I enter a forest rich with gold.

I have only ten minutes to spare before work, yet I’m already becoming one with the trees.

Long branches embrace me as I stand by their hefty trunks looking up, or sometimes sideways with my camera.

Besides that feathery soft gold, I’m stockpiling new memories of crimson red, vibrant green, and warm orange tones for the long months of winter white ahead.

I study the deep veins of the maple leaves, brilliant light shimmering through the oaks, and the strength of those branches supporting all.

Looking at my watch, I pack away my camera but not my joy as I walk back to the car to leave.

Laughing at myself, I’m amazed at what a simple camera and a couple of trees can do for your morning perspective.

Pondering, poetry, and ponies

I pondered before making the decision, but only briefly.

I hadn’t intended to visit the beautiful cemetary before me today, but my plans had changed.

Though the remains of my parents, brother and husband rest elsewhere, my grandparents ashes are in this sacred spot.

The lush, green rolling hills are striking and it’s been decades since I’ve visited.

Yet an additional draw for me today was the arts.

And there was plenty of it.

Music sang from all directions. The local police band played the traditional patriotic songs, but also offerings were made of gospel, classical, folk, and swing.

And there was poetry, including a poetry writing class with critiques available for all.

There was also drawing sessions with guidance, paper, and pastels freely given by professional artists.

Photography, too, was represented with creative and technical tips being shared by instructors.

With white doves soaring above and shiny horse drawn carriages trotting along side me, opportunities for subjects to shoot were everywhere.

Unfortunately my digital camera, currently short a memory card, peacefully rested at home missing the events.

But in the camera’s honor, and also that of my sweet caramel loving grandmother, I did pen one short poem in my poetry session that reads:

My memories are like caramels.
Savored and sweet.
Melting on my tongue till they’re gone.
Maybe I can freeze them?

All right, I admit I was really hungry and hot when I wrote it.

I’ll try again next year.


Lessons from a lens

I’m no photographer, but I’m working on it.

So far I’ve learned how much my world view changes when looking through a lens.

Even when traveling light with an iPad.

This day my lens teaches me as shadows grow longer in the fall, they lead me on to new paths.

Detours causing me to slow down and reflect.

My eye’s opening now to gifts from a shoreline’s soft palette.

Rippling water melodies dancing just beyond.

I wait patiently on a boulder in the breeze, searching for signs the pond’s inching closer to ice.

Knowing my lens will be teaching me this winter, there’s beauty to be found even at thirty below.

Shooting from the hip

I have spring fever!


Though Monday and Tuesday wind chills were in the -40 to -50 below range, and today I commuted to work in the biggest snow storm of the season, I’m getting ready for warmer temps.

First on my list has been making preparations to snap that first bright, red tulip I see blooming in green grass.

So last night I skated over to a business older than me. It appears there aren’t too many of those around anymore.

This business is a 100 year old camera store.

And it’s definitely one with a history.

In this shop, cash wasn’t always king. Up until the 1930’s, customers could trade their guns for cameras. But no guns are inside these days. Now it’s cameras being pulled from holsters shooting grand photos, straight from the hip.

Walking in the place, I first noticed a collection of antique cameras on the shelf. Old folding Kodaks, Polaroids and long gone brands I’ve never heard of.

For an aging girl like me, terrified by technology and about to buy her first digital camera, seeing old fashioned equipment definitely helped my comfort level.

So did the salesman, Kevin.

Anyone who can patiently translate terminology and spend an hour chatting about a camera that’s caught your eye, definitely becomes a new friend.

And if he matches the sale price of a big box store, and throws in four free classes, he’s becomes my new BEST friend.

As temps finally warm, I may be dangerous taking all those flower pictures around these parts.

I better warn my neighbors to take cover now.

Photography as medicine for stress

I’ve found a direct correlation to the number of pictures I take and my stress level. Yesterday is a perfect example.

I went to visit my husband, Richard, and saw he had a scar above his eyebrow. It’s a nasty one. He’d taken a bad fall. His group home for memory loss called me right away to alert me, but my cell phone wasn’t fully charged so I didn’t immediately get the message.

It appears Richard is fine. He was checked out by a nurse on call right away. I’m glad for that but I know he is starting to fall more, which scares me a lot.

Seeing him dozing in his recliner, looking older than his years made me sad. And so did the scar, knowing how painful it must have been for him when he fell.

After I left, I searched for any beauty I could find from my car window. I found some.

I pulled over, took out my camera and snapped pictures. A whole lot of them.