This year I took a photography course that really changed how I look at things.
It’s not quite the same as biology, which opened my eyes to connections on a deeper level; photography taught me to look at the world through a magnifying glass. (A mental magnifying glass, that is. I don’t carry around a magnifying glass. Though maybe I should. Just because I can.)
Earlier this week, I was looking at some of my photos from last summer. I’m pretty confident in saying that my skill-sets have been refined quite a bit. Yeah, I knew a bit about technique and composition back before I took a class in it, but those old photos were… frankly, pretty terrible.
In my class, we learned a lot about exposure compensation, different angles, how to find the best lighting for a particular photo, and other very technical-oriented aspects of photography. However, I also picked up a bunch of really cool techniques regarding editing.
As the year progressed, I became more and more comfortable with programs like Photoshop and Lightroom, and I figured out ways to edit photos in ways that worked best for me. I’ve found that my “style” seems to be high-contrast and sharp, especially with macro shots.
The reason I’m even thinking to write about photography/Photoshop/editing is because I’ve been doing a lot of photography/Photoshop/editing in the past week. (And through that, I’ve learned that working with other people can sometimes be an enormous pain in the toe… but that’s a story for another time.)
Whoever you are, I think you should pick up a camera and look at the world in a different way. Even if you’re not big into photo editing/enhancing like I am, see what you get straight out of a camera. Look for details, things you may not notice if you only saw the scene once (assuming you aren’t Shawn Spencer, of course (high fives for Psych reference!!)). Even phone cameras nowadays are getting pretty good. Take that well-aimed picture of the really pretty clouds that one day, or snap a shot of that ladybug before it flies away and you scream and run in panic because you might be afraid of ladybugs. Who knows.
Photography is a way to show others things that only you or I might really see. I can’t get into anyone else’s mind or vision, and no one can get into mine (yet). So embrace that. See if you can get someone to see the way you do.
Keep your eyes- your lenses- wide, wide open.