Five Years of Favorites: Growth in Photography (2/5)

As I said yesterday, I’ve officially had my camera for five years now.  In that time I have taken thousands of photos– maybe more.  I don’t have some of those very first shots on this computer.  I’m sure they are floating around here somewhere, but I assure you that they were nothing to write home about: blurry, lopsided, confusing images that made me wonder if I really should have taken the DSLR plunge.  Narrowing these down to five favorites is so much more difficult than I thought it’d be.  Rather than choose my best photo each year, I am selecting a photo that signifies some form of growth from late summer 2008 to late summer 2012– in order to see how much I’ve learned.

It’s funny, reflection was such an important component in my life when I was teaching– I  forget to use it far too often today.

2) Five Years of Photographs- Growth:

One: A Spider and His Prey (8/7/2008)

I clearly remember the instant that I first learned how to manually focus my camera– I was taking a photo of a spider, of all things.  It was a total revelation wrapped up in a complete, “Well, duh!” moment.  For that feeling alone, this is one of my favorites.

Two: Union Station in Black & White (7/31/2009)

This photo hangs in our library/office.  It is a testament of how differently things look when viewed in black and white.  The color version is almost garishly modern; however, in black and white everything takes on a sort of 1950’s vibe (well, to me it does).  I especially love how the man’s reflection almost meets the lady who’s walking away. Plus, it’s a memory of our DC trip.

Three: Dangerous Beauty- Alligator at Brookgreen Gardens (7/31/2010)

I snapped this shot right before this fellow’s feeding time at Brookgreen.  Still enamored with reflections, this photo is striking to me because I finally understood not only how to manually focus a scene, but how to compose a photo, and how to manipulate focal lengths, aperture, and speed.  I think he enjoyed the attention.

Four: Hurricane Irene (8/26/2011)

Fortunately for us, Irene passed us by in the final days of summer in 2011.  I love this photo for the layers, the colors, and– most of all– the silhouettes.  This was my first real silhouette shot.  Not perfect, but it marked another achievement.

Five: Jake’s Summer Accomplishment (8/9/2012)

I love this photo for so many reasons– most notably, the subject himself!  From a growth standpoint, though, I love that I took this photo with my point and shoot– a skill that you wouldn’t think would be an issue, but totally was.  The more I learned to use my DSLR, the worse my pictures with my dummy-proof camera became.  I also love this photo for the color of the water, a product of much color and saturation manipulation in post-processing.  Really, though, wouldn’t you love to swim in a pool that color?  Me, too.

We haven’t made it to the end of July / beginning of August just yet, and I’ve learned so much more in this last year.  Unfortunately, I’ve found myself becoming a bit lazy in the last six month, increasingly relying on my point and shoot for haphazard photos meant to merely document what I’m doing.  I haven’t gone on a walkabout in a while, and I often don’t take my DSLR with me anymore when we go out.  I think perhaps I may need to take a trip to the optometrist sometime soon– my vision isn’t quite what it used to be, and I think the strain of focusing is part of the problem.  If that doesn’t solve it, I’ll need to think on it from another angle.  To be a writer means you have to write; I think that being a photographer is much the same thing.


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