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A Journey in Photography Begins

How do you begin when it's been so long coming?

By Tim LawsonPublished 5 years ago 3 min read
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A Footstep Frozen in Time - by: Tim Lawson

So, you might say that I've been on the start of this journey for quite some time. You see, I've been taking pictures most of my life, although as much as I wish it could be more than a hobby, that's all it has ever been, and even then, only a small hobby at that. I love taking pictures, and I'm alright at it. I wouldn't say I'm a great photographer, but I can produce a decent shot now and then.

My problem, though, is just that...the decent shot. Like I said, I've been taking pictures since I could hold a camera and I never really stopped, but I never seem to get better. I won't blame it on lack of a good camera, or bad teachers, and not even on how busy all my jobs have kept me. No, my problem is simply that I haven't devoted the time I need to in order to become a better photographer.

I took three semesters of photography in college and I loved every minute, though I don't think I learned much more than basic camera functions and darkroom production, and I will say that I miss the darkroom, especially in the new digital age. Since college, though, I have never actually taken the time to put toward improving my photography beyond mediocre.

I might say I need a better camera, or the right conditions, or the opportunity, but I won't. Why not? Because I'm tired of making excuses. So instead I'll say that I need to finally begin my journey. I need to begin this journey I've been stalling on for so very long. I need to actually go out and become the photographer I want to be. Now there's another problem...where do I begin?

I think I should start small, maybe decide on a short project and go with it. Research what others have done, tips and tricks, and find my own way in it all. So that's decided; I'll do a short project. But how short? Not a week, that would be too short, and not a year, that is far too long. I think a 30 day project sounds about right. I think 30 days sounds like a good number to learn an aspect of my photography and my camera in the process.

Now the hard part...what should I focus on? Should I focus on macro, landscape, astro, animal, portraits, street, architecture, or what? This is where it gets really hard to decide. You want to do it all, you don't want to limit yourself, but you don't want to lose focus at the same time...confused yet? I know I am. Regardless, I think I'll focus on the outdoors. But what outdoors? I could say so many different subjects to focus on but I think I'll keep it simple.

Trees. I'll focus on trees for the next 30 days. I will have one good photo every day for the next 30 days of trees. I like the thought of that. I can take a close-up of them, I can take photos of groups of them, I can be close, far, high, low...the options are so plentiful. I think that this will be a good project to begin with, not because trees are easy to catch, or because I will only focus on one aspect of them. I like the idea of trees as a beginning project because it allows me to play around with settings across the board and yet pushes me to focus and present that one good shot daily.

So tomorrow, I have my mission—I'll begin to improve my skills in photography and I'll do that by focusing on a wide array of options available to me, all this while focusing on a single subject that, in itself, is so varied.

I think this is a challenge so many of us face; how to begin something we truly enjoy and find peace in, especially when it's something that you have been doing for so very long. I think all we can do is break it down into pieces and, instead of trying to put the whole puzzle back together at once, we need to begin with a good foundation, like building the border. Once we have something we can focus on, something that isn't too complicated or overwhelming which might put us off from completing the project.

'30 days of Trees' begins. If you want to follow along, keep an eye out here on Vocal, or go to one of my photo sites and see how I do. I'm always open to well-intended criticism and comments. So here's to the next 30 days and the skills I hope to learn, and improve on.

—Donnie

camera
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About the Creator

Tim Lawson

There isn't much to tell about me. Well, there is a ton to tell about me. I don't know how to put it into words without writing a book, or not telling enough of the story. So, I'll just leave it at that & let my writing tell the story.

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