I really didn’t start off being a photographer. I actually just started off hiking, watching my feet, and snapping photos on the run! It wasn’t until I met this wonderful lady over in Spartanburg that I even thought my photos were anything special. But once it was pointed out to me, I decided that maybe if I tried a little harder I could take better pictures. But becoming a photographer is another story. It is like any label that we take on, sometimes at first the ‘shirt’ doesn’t fit quite right and we struggle against it. Eventually the title starts to be more comfortable and we can be okay with it.
It was kind of like that when I started leading group hikes. I was supposed to lead one hike and here I am 7 plus years later still leading them. And I’m okay with that. Being a leader to me means being willing to take on the responsibility of the bad and the good even when it’s uncomfortable.
I spend a lot of my lunches wandering around trying to improve my skills. Sometimes it’s a challenge when you know a place well but things are always changing so it’s not that hard to find something new in Greenville to photograph. I have several cameras and am still working to master what I call the fancier model but sometimes I just pull out my Nikon Coolpix that I always have with me and take a shot or two. I do take the smaller camera with me on hikes because it weighs less and I don’t worry as much about destroying it out in the woods or falling into the water with it! When I do take my Sony, I have had to promise not to pull it out until we get to our destination because it will slow us down too much.
For me, photography is about seeing first. If you don’t see something, you will never take a picture of it. You have to see the leaf on the sidewalk, the raindrop on the window, or the leaves blowing down the street. That is one shot I am going to try for next Fall! I often stop to listen to the birds when I walk but I don’t have a camera lens that is suitable for birding. No matter.
I once led a downtown hike where we explored the city with our senses which I guess to some people would seem rather odd. But since I have the option of being able to experiment, I really enjoyed trying to see if I could get people to think about what they heard, and felt, and saw in a different light. There were a couple people who did get it so maybe I will try it again. One of my fellow hikers took a photo on that hike and I could see she got me! Very encouraging.
Every story is supposed to have an ending but every day is a new beginning and another picture waiting to be taken. Inspiration is everywhere!