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Thursday, July 26, 2012

learning to photograph & being my opa's granddaughter.

today i read the quote "your first 10,000 photographs are your worst", and it made me say 
'thank the good lord' and 'oh shit' at the same time.

through writing pretty things & potty mouths, my love of photography has grown to a whole new level. as far as i can remember, i have always loved taking pictures. growing up i would grab my parents kodak vr35 out of the junk drawer, and photograph the shit out of pretty well everything in our house -- oh look, there's a shoe, better get a pic of that, oh yeah, this tablecloth is interesting, better snap a quick one of that. roll after roll of film, i would have my dad take me to the grocery store to get it all developed, and then i would sit in my room and sort them into piles: my favourites, my not-so-favourites, blurry as all hell and then of course, the endless and inevitable photos 
of my left middle finger.

when i was 15 i received a kodak easyshare digital camera for christmas, and it was the cat's ass let me tell you. you mean i could take a picture of my middle finger and know it before getting the pictures developed? amazing.  i seriously thought i was annie leibowitz with that thing in my hands, and would shove it in everyone's face (including our family pooch 'baby', who was my number one victim model) before they had a chance to tell me to beat it. at a whopping 3.2 megapixels, almost every photo looked like it had been taken at night, underwater, while hammered, but i loved that camera and still have it locked up in a storage bin in the attic.

from 20-27 i moved through point and shoot after point and shoot. some i used so much they simply wore out, some ended up in pools, some were left outside in the rain all night, and others were dropped in the bathroom at the bar, or on the dance floor while doing the ol' awkward outstretched arm group shop while still dancing like a crazy person of course. with each camera i tried harder and harder to use it to it's full potential, reading through the manual, learning every setting off by heart, and taking more pictures than any normal non professional photographer should. when i started carrying it in my purse everywhere i went, paul began to loathe me it, refusing to let me take 'unnecessary photos' any chance i could get. from the time our animals were babies, they have been photographed almost cruelly. it's slightly embarrassing that they both know the routine if they see me coming at them with my camera or phone. lennon starts to purr like a maniac and rolls around like he's austin powers, india just stares at me,  lets me do my thang knowing full well she will be smothered in kisses and given lots of cookies for her patience and outrageous adorableness. my unborn children are going to be straight up fucked.

more than the final result, the process of taking a photograph is my favourite thing about having a camera in my hands. noting the light, what's in the background, moving the camera until the scene in the viewfinder is just right. i make a point of planning the photos i'm going to take and use in posts, and have come to realize the difference between using the best images i can take, over something not-so-good to fill the space. i'm working really hard at becoming as good of a photographer as i can, and am already researching the next camera to add to my collection, which won't happen until i learn all i can about the one i have now. as part of my 30 by 30 list, i attended an afternoon class on the basics of the camera i own now, my canon rebel 2ti. myself and an older gentlemen were the only students, which was great for me as i need as much one on one as i can get. i know i am the worst for reading and learning about the functions, because i  just want to be able to pick that bitch up and snap away like a pro, but clearly this isn't the way to learn, and i have made an effort to educate myself, 
which i feel is paying off slowly but surely.
the camera above and this amazing leather bag belonged to my opa who passed away a few years ago. when my family sorted through his personal items, they came across it tucked away in the closet, and asked if i wanted to have it -- of course i snatched that shit up right quick. photography was one of opa's favourite hobbies, and he's the reason our family has so many precious memories saved in albums and on slides. i think opa's passion was passed down on to his kids and onto my generation, as most of my family on my dad's side all love the camera as much as i do. sometimes when i miss him, i like to snoop through his camera bag, looking at all the receipts he saved for his lenses and accessories (he was an accountant, he couldn't help himself) and playing with the cameras. 

if i had to guess, i have taken well over 10,000 photos in my lifetime, but i know i'll never get where i want to be, unless i continue to harass the boy and animals i live with, and keep on snappin'. opa lived until he was 89, and i can't help but find myself wondering how many photographs he took over the span of his long, beautiful life. i feel i have some serious catching up to do.


  1. I also absolutely love taking pictures. Since we got our Rebel T3, I think I have been taking many more. I want to take a class so I can learn because I am also not great at reading the manual. I like to just pick it up and shoot. Your pictures are gorgeous so I think you're going in the right direction. :)

  2. Phototaking is so much fun!! I just loooooooove macro, as babyish as that might be. Your photos always look fabulous. x

  3. Love this blog honey and the tribute to Opa. He would be so touched by your sentiments. He truly loved taking pictures and it is wonderful that a number of us of his decendents also share this passion. A wonderful family trait that shows passion and a committment to treasure the people, places and things in our lives. xxoo Auntie Sylvia (and another passionate Rietveld Photographer)

    1. I'm glad you like it! I still need to get his cameras in working condition, and then I can play around with them!


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