A View from My Finder

I am in the photo zone these days. Everywhere I look I seem to be looking through a viewfinder.  I’ve had some success with some shots and some very horrible messed up shots that I won’t tell you about because we all know I’m perfect, right? Wrong!  But I’m having fun and only got frustrated one time today.

I can tell that I’m in my groove when I take photos because I completely lose track of time, and then when I’m finished taking photos for awhile I tend to be in an altered state of mind.  You know how a dog sometimes stands up out of the blue and shakes its body from head to tail?  After shooting photos I have to do a mental head shake to get my mind back into gear.  Put the car in D for Drive. That red sign means STOP. Okay, so maybe you don’t want to be on the roads with me after I’ve taken 200 photos at a park and my eyes are all squinty and I seem to see the world through a viewfinder. The good news is I tend to drive the speed limit (instead of over it) when I’m in this post-photo-shoot-blissfully-ignorant phase. I find it very calming to frame and take a photo.

Unless I am trying to get photos of my daughter ice skating. I’m so disappointed that out of all the hundreds of photos I took today, NONE of them turned out. Zippola. The lighting in the rink is fluorescent.  Skaters move so fast that I absolutely must use a fast shutter speed in order to capture them mid-jump or spin. If I took the shot with a fast shutter speed, the photo turned out way underexposed. If I opened up the aperture to let in more light, the shutter speed slowed down and blurred the images. I upped the ISO setting to make the camera more sensitive to light, but all I got for that effort was grainy, blurry photos with the proper exposure. Sigh.  It’s a good thing she skates at least three times a week.  I’ll have lots of time to practice!

As well as freeze my fingers off. Today I created a redneck version of heated gloves in an attempt to keep my hands warm during my photo shoots at the park and inside the ice rink.  I took one of these:

and I wrapped it around my left hand and then stuck my hand in a glove.  I did the same thing for my right hand. I have a very painful condition called Raynaud’s in which the capillaries in my hands collapse when the temperature is cool.  This shuts off the blood supply to my fingers — they get stiff and hurt like the dickens (whatever a dickens is, it must be pretty big and bad). Just wearing gloves does not help.  And when my fingers get numb, I can’t operate my camera.  The redneck glove warmers did a great job keeping the palms of my hands warm, but they didn’t help my fingers.  Or my toes.  Or my head. But that’s another story.

Speaking of heads, I spotted the coolest hairdo on a duck today at one of the ponds I visited in my photo quest.  I felt bad that I didn’t bring any bread or crackers, but these guys kindly allowed me to get up close with my lens despite my lack of manners.

I’m not a bird watcher, and the only thing I really know about ducks is that they quack, lay eggs, and have webbed feet, but even I could tell that this little dude was King of the Pond.

Okay, King Duck. You have the biggest crown, so we’ll do whatever you say!  I laughed as I watched him fuss at the other ducks around him.

The other park I visited right at dusk, and it seemed to me that the Lord planted the grass and the trees just so I could capture His creative genius in pixels:

This next photo has nothing to do with any sort of creative genius on MY part and everything to do with me forgetting to change the white balance from “shade” to “cloudy.”  But I like the effect, anyway!

I like the softness of the water paired with the green of the grass and the stark naked trees.

This is, by the way, my least favorite time of year. Naked trees are everywhere, and most of the grass is straw-colored. So when I found TWO parks today that had winter grass planted, I did a mental happy dance. Because I didn’t want to embarrass myself in front of the ducks, of course. Photography will be more fun when spring hits hopefully in another month or so. Until then I’ll have to settle for lone early bird wildflowers like this one:

And that’s the view from my finder tonight.  Now my eyes need to rest!




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