Why I Bother to Take Photographs…

I have always loved taking photographs – for as long as I can remember.  I have never had the best tools, which explains my growth in photography over the years.  I think I stared with a Polaroid camera – so back then, I had no expectations at all for my photos.  I then moved to a really cheap film camera.  In all those years, I only took photographs of family and friends, but most of the time the camera was tucked away.

 

I think my love for photography really started when my first child was born.  Yes, it also was when digital cameras became more accessible to those of us who are not photographers.  Of course, I wanted to take a thousand pictures my daughter, but I also enjoyed taking photographs when we went hiking, walking, and any other time we spent outdoors.  See, her dad opened up my love for the outdoors.  I was amazed at what I saw.  Before then, I was not that much into hiking or any outdoor ctivities (I guess I can chalk that up to my upbringing).  All of a sudden, I had a whole new world open up to me and I was in love!

 

Along the pathways, you could always find me stooped over a flower or peering through the trees and trying to capture the beauty around me.  It was not so much in pursuit of the perfect photograph, but to capture the beauty I had known in that moment – as I knew it.  Over the years, I have mostly used my cell phone camera (which is pretty awesome, by the way – a Nokia Lumia 1520).  All the photos in this post were taken with it.  I took that thing everywhere with me – and took thousands upon thousands of photos.  Recently, my husband and children splurged and bought me a Canon Rebel.  With the purchase of that new camera, I have found I need to learn a bit more about photography (and I guess that is the reason for this post).

 

See, in the two photography books I have read so far, I started to find myself disheartened.  Not completely – but a little, and I guess it can be a bit hard to explain.  They keep going on and on about taking the perfect photograph.  They say you must have this piece of equipment and use these techniques in order to capture the best image – and then, use a photo editing tool to make it even more perfect.

 

At first, I wasn’t sure what bothered me about this.  After thinking about it – yes, I do want to take a good photograph and I am not against taking an amazing photograph, but I think my reason for taking pictures is different than the authors of those books.  I love to find beauty in all the nooks and crannies of life.  I seek it out, turn it around in my hands, breathe it in, and try my best to understand it.  I cannot explain why – that’s just who I am.  I find beauty in reflections in the puddles after a Spring rain.  I find beauty at the top of a mountain overlooking the valley.  I find beauty in the gentle folds of a flower and in the delicate dance of tall grasses on the Prairie.  I’m a pretty simple person, I guess – it does not take that much to amaze me J

 

So, in thinking about this – the reason I was really bothered by their approach to photography is that it takes all of the fun out of it.  You have to lug all this equipment around, set yourself up for the perfect shot, wait for the absolute perfect moment to capture that shot and then go home and edit.  To me, my photography is not about me.  It is not about my talent.  It is not about how well I can take a picture.  While I do love the images I take, it is not only about the end result.  I want to focus more on the beauty I see around me.  I am trying to see the world with different eyes.  Through my jaunt in photography, I have learned than there is more to beauty than what we often think about.

 

A long time ago, I would never have taken an image of anything other than people or flowers.  Okay, you’ve got me there – I still take pictures of both, but what I mean is that my view never expanded much beyond that.  For instance, I have found that beauty can be found not only in the flowers…

 

leaf

 

In winter last year, we even found beauty in the new-fallen snow…

 

Car (2).jpg

 

and in the puddles formed by the snow…

 

Reflections (2)

 

This year, I have learned that beauty is not only found in a perfectly formed flower, but even in one that is toward the end of its life.  Imperfection can be beautiful…

 

SnowFlower (2)

 

I have also learned that there is no perfect time to find beauty.  It can be found on any day, in any season…

 

PurpleFlower

 

While walking with the kids to the store, I even found the beauty of their long shadows creeping on the wall.

 

Shadows

 

Photography has touched me in so many ways.  As a writer, I already cannot help but absorb everything I see, but now I look at things even more differently since holding the camera.  I know that there is still much to learn and I will enjoy growing my skills, but I don’t think I will ever want to achieve perfection.  Instead, I hope to capture all the ways that imperfection is beautiful too.

 

So, If you ever stumble upon my pages and wonder why I bother to take photographs – the best way I can sum that up for you is to say:

 

“I see beauty everywhere and all I can hope to accomplish is to share that beauty with you.  We all need a little more beauty in our lives.”

 

(c) Sumyanna 2016

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Beautiful way to explain a true photographer

    Like

    1. Sumyanna says:

      Thank you. I know that is what I think of it as, but not sure everyone agrees. Some people make it into a science – and I respect it, but it just isn’t the eye I put to my camera 🙂

      Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    Wonderful story. The uniqueness of an artist is what sets the end product apart

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sumyanna says:

      I truly agree. I appreciate all kinds of art for that very reason. Thank you!

      Like

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