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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Photo-Heart Connection ~ September 2012

In celebration of imperfection...
 
 
 
As most of you know, I'm a macro addict. I am totally obsessed with the details and beauty in nature. To improve my skills I recently took a macro photography class. I was so enthusiastic at first;  read the lesson, get outside, find an object, and practice to get it perfect!  I pushed to get the perfect macro image, perfect light, perfect composition, and perfect focus spot every time. Did you notice the repeated word perfect?  I pushed to hard and as the month went on, I began to lose a little of my passion for macro. After all, this was hard work, very hard work with lots of details and camera settings to keep in mind. I think during the third week of class my shots were getting worse, not better. I struggled to find different subjects to photograph and post. I didn't want to keep posting the same old thing. I would walk around and all I saw were acorns, leaves, lichen, and mushrooms. I'd already taken hundreds of pictures of them.  I don't want to sound like I didn't like the class, because I did. It was a positive class with positive feed back. The teacher provided helpful suggestions when he critiqued our photos. I just put way to much pressure on myself to take the perfect shot every time.
 
This is why an out of focus photo of a mushroom touched me. I had my camera on the ground trying to shoot the underside edge of the mushroom and the light. As you can see my focus was off and the mushroom is blurry. I took many pictures at this angle and did get the one I wanted...the focus at just the perfect spot. The picture that meant the most to me though, came as a surprise when I uploaded them to the computer. There in that unfocused mushroom was a heart and it was the only picture that the heart showed up in!! A gentle reminder to me that I love nature. I love it's beauty, it's details, and the little surprises that are captured. I learned a lot in this class, but more importantly I learned to give myself a break. I wasn't going to flunk if I posted a less than perfect image. It was after all a class in which I joined to learn. If I were perfect, I wouldn't need the class or the help. I don't have to always capture the perfect image. I don't even have to post perfect images on my blog. I just have to love what I'm doing!
 
I'm linking this post to Kat's September Photo-Heart Connection. Click on the button below and read how others have connected to their photography this past month!  I think you'll enjoy the photos and the stories behind them. There's also still plenty of time to look through your September photos, find one that touches you, and share it on Kat's web sight, Kat Eye Studio.  Please join us!!
 

15 comments:

  1. This is such an incredible connection, one I relate to. Although I have never taken a how to class, I so know that frustration with macro. It has taken me many, many photos of blur and yuk to begin to understand shooting how to shoot this macro world I love so much. I adore that little heart and how the light is coming through as if to say don't give up hope! xo

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  2. What a great message! I almost feel that mushroom was a message to you to "take heart". As photographers we tend to obsess about getting the shot, but being out in nature can be just as rewarding. I'm glad I stopped by your little corner today!

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  3. Good for you... Too many things in life happen that way... the quest for perfectness many times causes us to lose sight of what we were questing after.
    precious grandchildren and an awsome mushroom tooboot.

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  4. I loved the angle of the shot you took. What a surprise to see the heart. I missed it at first, read your blog and scrolled back up to the shot.

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  5. It is so cool that you allowed yourself to just enjoy learning, and that you relaxed on that idea of the "perfect" shot. I agree with Rosemary's comment about that quest for perfection detracting us from our real purpose.

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  6. A story that I can certainly relate to, having a perfectionistic personality as well. That desire for perfection has kept me from attempting things because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to do them perfectly. And who wants to live like that? So I loved your story and your "imperfect" image - which is perfect to demonstrate you message, with the added surprising bonus of a heart of light.

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  7. Awesome post about abandoning perfection!
    The photo is fantastic!
    I would love to learn macro-photography and will need to look into classes, too.

    Wishing you all the best,
    Mary (from September Photo-Heart Connection)

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  8. I love the light in your picture, Cathy and how that little sunlit heart appears to give you its message! Have a beautiful weekend! Sandra

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  9. Fabulous photo heart connection. Beautiful image and I really enjoyed reading your post. I'm really glad you got the joy back and that that's so beautifully reflected in this image.

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  10. Very awesome lesson to learn. I wouldn't think this image "wrong"....I like the focus on the sun. The fact that you found the little heart, was pure bonus. I too tend to go all out, even if the grade doesn't matter. Sometimes I'm too hard on myself in the act of trying to grow. I like what you've captured here.
    BTW-somehow I missed "following" you. (my bad) I thought I was, and I wasn't, so I just added on. Have a great weekend.

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  11. Hi Cathy, I love your post and w love the photo too, and I also will make you a compliment about your main head photo on your blog, for me its stunning.

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  12. I've learned the same lesson you did -- if there isn't joy in the process, the product is seldom worth all the pains. Lovley.

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  13. I love the journey you've been on and that you've embraced all the elements, imperfections and all.

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  14. Love this, Cathy! As soon as your page opened up, I caught my breath. That light, and oh, boy, do I connect with your mushroom. I seem to be rather out of focus myself as well lately. I'm just now beginning to fiddle with all the settings, and truth be told, they overwhelm me most times, so I'm connecting with this as well. Great, great post!

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  15. Cathy, I love this shot, and to find the heart in the mushroom - what a wonderful surprise! I do think we usually think we have to be perfect in everything we do. Your post proves that maybe the "technically perfect" shot isn't always the "perfect" shot. (I'd love to know what macro class you took. I've been looking for a good one since macro is my first love too)

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Thanks so much for stopping by!!