It took me a while to get my driver’s licence. Years. I had the help of several teachers. They needed plenty of patience and I needed practice – lots of it.
Along the way there were graunched gear changes, burnt out clutches, and bunny hops – on one notorious occasion, right through an intersection. My sister, who was my teacher at the time, thought she was about to die. We both did. We coped with it admirably. I managed to bring the car to a halt, narrowly avoiding a ditch. Then we collapsed into hysterical laughter – the sort that has its origins in blind panic and narrow escapes.
Eventually I learned the road rules, how to apply them, and how to make the car go. I didn’t need to understand the principle of the combustion engine or what it is that’s happening when you engage the clutch and change gear – although my Dad did try to explain these things. I simply had to get the feel of it.
And now, when it comes to figuring out my camera and how to get a photo I have a number of teachers. (My kids, friends, fellow bloggers, and WordPress, especially the WordPress Photography 101 course.)
There have been a few bunny hops. Like the times (yes, more than one) I’ve turned the camera on, found the perfect position for the perfect shot of the perfect but fast changing scene, and discovered the view finder is black. Turns out removing the lens cap enhances the shot.
The vast majority of my photos have gone in the trash bin – better forgotten – like the day of the bunny-hop.
There’ve been photos that are blurred beyond recognition, photos of my feet, the tarseal, and grass, photos spoiled by sunstrike (eventually I’ll remember that aiming directly at the sun is probably not the best option), and photos where I’ve tried too hard – you know – gone for the arty angle and ended up crashing into the ditch of absurdity.
This week one of the Photography 101 Assignments was on Nature. It said, “Capture a moment, big or small, and pay attention to the lines and curves produced by nature”. I knew immediately what I’d try.
You see, I walk past this kaka beak on my way to work. They are endangered in the wild. It blooms each spring and it’s coming to the end of this year’s flowering. As I zoomed in I thought about the rule of thirds, depressed the shutter, and paused as the image came into focus. And that’s when it happened; that sweet, sweet moment when everything comes together; when camera, subject, and photographer work together to produce something half-pie decent. Like the first time I managed to release the clutch pedal, move the gear stick, and depress the accelerator in the exactly the right order and the engine hummed and my sister sighed with relief.
Although I like this particular photo, when it comes to photography, I’m no rally driver. What are your handy tips for novices like me? How can this photo be improved?
I’ve sharpened the focus within iPhoto. What do you think? Is this second version an improvement?
Categories: Off The Beaten Track in Aotearoa