Sometime around the holidays I read the book, “Bloom”, by Kelly Hampton. The writing was not really my thing, and for the first few chapters I found myself judging the lifestyle presented. But, after a bit I couldn’t put it down. This true story takes the reader on a journey of life change that is dramatic and painful. And I realized how closed-minded I had been at the start of the book, and how open to change and challenges I felt afterward. It is a powerful book. (She also has a beautiful blog, http://www.kellehampton.com/).
Over the course of a few weeks during and after reading the book I had a series of super vivid, colorful, intricate dreams. Many of the dreams involved birth, difficult though rewarding situations, women friends, and positive emotions. During this time I also had snatches of a feeling of expectation and excitement, but I couldn’t grasp exactly what about.
What I did grasp was that I was feeling an intense need to create, and to express myself somehow, and to incorporate something new, and difficult yet rewarding into my life.
This is a rather long introduction to say, I bought a camera. I’ve been wanting to learn photography since high school when I opted to take some college prep calculus class instead of an art elective, and have regretted it ever since. I create art almost daily–but I can’t remember what a logarithm is. Go figure. But, I realized now is a good time to learn something new. In fact, even in my dreams I was craving it.
I know nothing about photography or cameras, so these first couple of weeks have been challenging. It took me ten minutes to figure out how to load the memory card. Thanks to some photographer friends, Ken Rockwell’s helpful website, a library, and some very willing models I’m slowly figuring it out.
And I’m loving it. So far my family has not tired of me endlessly shooting them throughout the day, and I’m so excited about the good pics that I’m tempted to post every not blurred image I’ve taken–don’t worry, I’ll spare you (all but a few anyway).
I’m not surprised by my excitement with the photos. That I expected. Its fantastic to imagine a shot and have it look like what I hoped (or almost–or not at all, but hey I’m learning). So much more gratifying than working with a camera that was incapable of doing what I wanted.
What I am surprised about is how much I’m enjoying the slow, tedious process of reading the guide, working through page by page because through this I get to those Aha! moments when I suddenly realize what some setting/switch/button does, and when or why I might use it. I remember that same feeling of sudden understanding (my teacher would always announce, “light dawns on Marblehead!”) from high school physics– which I enjoyed so much more than calculus. And I love that my kids are watching me learn it. When I exclaim, “oh I get it” they come to check it out. “What did you learn?” they ask. No matter how many lessons I put together, or how many field trips we take, the best teaching of all must be seeing others learning something they love. Just for the fun of it.