Through a Different Lens
I think of my camera as a translator; revealing the world in new and different ways. When I walk through the woods, I see my surroundings through my eyes and through the camera’s. They are two very different viewpoints.
I spent a couple years as a newspaper photographer back when film was required and black and white photography was the only option. I pursued long, happy hours in the darkroom learning about the different ways that film sensitivity, focal length and shutter speed revealed the world.
Later when digital cameras became available, I was delighted. Finally, everyone could be a photographer and learn to love photography as I did. For many years I taught photography through the local adult education program. It was so much fun to share and follow the evolution of understanding as each individual mastered the basics.
Nowadays as I wander slowly through the forest, I use the lens to focus and really see. How blue is the sky? Have the leaves filled out in the trees above? That is a truly amazing insect! Look at the patterns created by the clusters of flowers. Is that chipmunk actually watching me watching him?
My little camera has a strong zoom lens and it also serves as my binoculars. The animal crouched far away on the lake shore is a beaver. The tree over there is an oak. And the bird paddling slowly away that I can just barely see through the branches is a baby merganser.
Discovery, exploration, wonder—these are the things that fill my heart and head when I wander with my camera.
I have learned to carry a headlamp because photography leads to noticing new things, lingering along the trail and ultimately arriving back at the roadhead after dark.
I take some good pictures and a very large number of bad ones; but mostly I just enjoy the process of exploring the forest and seeing it through a different lens.