Whimsy & Wilderness

A Colorado Adventure Blog

Memories are Made Of This

My dad filming on a gondala in Italy.

My dad filming on a gondala in Italy.

Since I can remember I've loved taking photos, and no, not just of myself. The term selfie wasn't a thing, and vanity had yet to find me. I attribute it to growing up in front of the lens, so to speak. My dad loved filming everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING of us as kids. From playing in the living room, to us goofing off outside, my dad was there with a movie camera in hand. He'd give the quintessential fatherly direction of your name followed by "say hi!" or "wave!". Half of us didn't mind it (my older brother and I) while the other half tried to forget it was there. Took look back at the reels of film (OMG I just aged myself) is to watch highlights of your life, the ones picked by your dad because, for one reason or another, he didn't want to forget it. This makes them special to watch, and the picture can't be replaced by only the story. 

Taking photos in sunflower heaven.

Taking photos in sunflower heaven.

That's why I love photography. Memories can be powerful but a photograph picks up where words fail. I'm fresh in this hobby, it's been barely a year since I seriously pursued it. It's a new game now, no more last click of a disposable, Polaroid shake, or the winding of film. All of which I kind of miss. Sure they may still be around, but only for the millennial who thinks Kodak is a type of bear. It was a little daunting shifting the button from "Program" to "Manual". I feel I'm riding the tricycle of photography, not yet confident enough to ride fearlessly without assistance. However, it's also part of its appeal. I'm constantly learning new facets of it, which keeps me yearning for more. Unsurprisingly my dad matches my enthusiasm, and shows it by buying me cameras he finds at estate sales. I now have two Canon 35mm cameras, and one Nikon added to my arsenal.  Thanks, pops! 

My future with this may not be clear, but I don't take photos for Instragram likes, given mostly by friends and family, or for any other reason than my passion for it. It's for myself, each photo a page in a novel comprising my life. Well, let's not be dramatic, but you get my point. I do want to hone my craft, and let it take me on unforeseen adventures. All the rest will fall into frame...I mean place. 

Beauty in the Blemish

Editing has always been my favorite thing to do, whether in writing, film, or currently photography. Even the simplest of changes can make a dramatic difference. Recently I've been working with pictures which were blemished by a dirty lens, overexposed, or because my finger was in the way (I'm such a professional). I love watching them transform into something I thought was unusable into a photo you'd never know was "damaged". To show you the difference I've included a few below to see the before and after. There's beauty in flaws, it only takes a different perspective. 

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Shades of Gray

Don't get excited, this has nothing to do with Christian Gray. To be honest, I haven't read the books or seen the movies, though I've tried on more than one occasion. Instead, this is about a photo challenge a friend tagged me in on Facebook. I know, not nearly as enticing, but please keep reading. For seven days you'd post a black and white photo with the only stipulations it contained no humans, and came without explanation. Of course I naturally accepted, as I never turn down a challenge. Well, except this one time but I was tired and not feeling flexible, but that's a whole other story entirely. I was thrilled at the chance to be creative, and glad it didn't require me to throw a bucket of ice cold water on my head (Remember that one?). Ideas immediately came to mind, and I couldn't wait to get started.

When I was younger I LOVED black and white photography, and was mildly obsessed with Ansel Adams. The various shades of gray struck me as emotional and moving. By the way, his autobiography is great, I highly recommend reading it. He inspired me on a multitude of levels, and this was revived once I began the task. Since I work down town I figured this was the best place to start. The older buildings serve as a prime backdrop not to mention the various murals near my office. While those were interesting enough I was disappointed after the first few. Remove color and a photo changes its mood.  My office isn't exactly photogenic, and I'm inside most of the day. It's hard to find creativity in the mundane. Challenge indeed. Once I stopped over thinking it, and the weekend arrived, I found more inspiration. I also encouraged my eye to become broader, as a narrow viewpoint closes off options. I'm mostly happy with the results, but my favorite is day seven, and the only landscape, because it has the most feeling. Check out all of them below.

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