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Photography is good for the soul!

Photography is not an easy pursuit in which to get involved. Sure, it's easy to point a camera at something and press a button, but then the image doesn't come out quite the way you had imagined. And what about the expense, all those lenses that have to be bought? So why learn photography? I am drawn to the pursuit of photography for a number of reasons.

  • Photography is a creative pursuit, but in a different way to some other creative pursuits. In photography the creation is already there and the photographer has to do something with that creation, be it a person, place or thing, to enhance the image and present its beauty to others. 

  • Photography doesn't demand any particular level of skill. I can begin as a beginner with no technical knowledge and my desire to capture a beautiful image will be my motivation to improve. I don't even need to have an innate talent but I do need a willingness to develop skills such as becoming more observant and paying more attention to what is around me. Getting involved in photography forces me to use a part of my brain that may have been dormant and to begin to look around me in a new way.

  • Photography presents a challenge. I love a challenge, learning something that doesn't come easily but gives immense satisfaction when mastered.

  • Photography makes other pursuits more fruitful. Attending family events with a camera gives an added interest in the proceedings; my daily walk can become a photography walk, and before I realise it I have doubled my walking time. Photography also has the potential to take me to different, interesting places. I have already lined up in my mind several trips to the country, a city street photography session, a town festival, a trip to the zoo, a day at the coast, and that's just for starters! As well as looking forward to my upcoming city break to Krakow from a leisure perspective, I am also thinking about capturing aspects of the city through my lens. This should bring an added new perspective to the visit.

  • Photography generates a very special feeling in a person who succeeds in capturing a pleasing image that he or she wants to share with others. This simple joy is made very accessible with the number of photography and social media platforms available.

  • My photography is for myself. I don't need to be skilled to begin with, but I do need to be open-minded, willing to learn from others, able to persevere when things go wrong and willing to grow through my photography practice. Most of all it is a pursuit that promises endless hours of enjoyment and that makes the effort well worthwhile in my book.

Living in the moment

To me there is a difference between taking snapshots and making photographs. Snapshots are over in a moment; photography forces us to become more patient, more observant, to be watchful, to become more attentive to what is going on in each moment. I have gone on countless walks in my local park and spent my time lost in my own thoughts. oblivious to what was going on around me. Take a camera with me, however, and I begin to notice - the blue of the sky, the flow of the water, the movement of other people - running, walking, talking, working - the appearance and disappearance of wildlife, even the gentle falling of a leaf from a tree. Photography has increased my powers of observation and my ability to be present in the moment, it has helped me to appreciate the beauty all around and to savour life as it rushes by, the truly unexpected bonuses of taking up this new hobby!