I don't know if many of you remember this post that I wrote in May, during our first quarter. I was having a tough time battling disappointment when it came to my photos and as a result I wasn't finding much joy in learning what I had been previously so excited to study.I'm not going to say that it's been a breeze the rest of track either, there have definitely been several other times when I have felt very reluctant to bring out my camera since then.
But I have found it so encouraging to look back at my photos and even just think back to our first classes and see how much I have improved. That first day of class Jon told us to switch our cameras to manual, he also had us walk outside and take a photo telling us “you have five frames to get a perfectly exposed photo.” I had just changed my camera to manual settings for the first time and the first three photos that I took were pure white. The fourth and fifth were only slightly better because I gathered up the courage to ask for help from Idun and Eric, who both explained little bits to me enabling me to take this photo..
During the rest of our classes that first quarter I felt challenged by nearly every new concept or task that we had to do and trying to combine everything to produce good photos was overwhelming. I could maybe get one part of the photo looking okay, but then I would overexpose, underexpose or have bad composition or focus.
At one point on outreach I stopped and thought about just how far I have come and that helped to change my perspective a little. Sure – I'm nothing close to even being a good photographer – but I'm so much closer than I was before! It's encouraging to compare how lost I felt each time we had an assignment during that first quarter and how much more confident I am now.
The other day Jon had us go out and take photos showing action in Brantford. It was a repeat of an assignment that we had had during the first quarter but as I got out there and did it, I noticed that I was much more confident in what I was doing than I had the first time. This time I actually enjoyed myself and was able to produce a couple of photos that I was pretty pleased with. That same day as we were sitting in class I took a photo of a steaming cup of tea and even though it's not the perfect photo – I was amazed that I had successfully taken a photo, with all manual settings, that I was fairly happy with and could never have dreamed of taking just a few months ago.
It's a process and sometimes it's hard to see when there is improvement because I am so zoomed in to the situation as it is now, but to look back and see how far I have come from that pure white shot to one that I exposed pretty well and that warms my heart is huge!