Thursday, February 28, 2013

Finding Your Eye: Journey Of Fascination ~ Apologizing

This weeks photo journal assignment for Kat's Finding Your Eye: Journey of Fascination starts with a question.   Have you ever apologized about any aspect of your photography? My answer is "YES." Many times I have felt the need to apologize or make excuses for my photos.
When I first started this journey into photography I didn’t know anything about photography. I had a small point and shoot camera and just took snapshots. Through blogging I was exposed to some of the most beautiful photographs. I spend hours looking at blogs, mainly the photographs. I knew this was something I wanted to do. I fell in love with photography. I was fascinated with nature, especially macro images of nature. As I started sharing more photos on my blog and taking photo prompt classes, I began to compare my photos to others. That’s when I listened to that inner voice that said I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t have the right equipment or the knowledge to be good enough.

Do you want to hear what my definition of a real photographer was? Pay attention to the word "was" in that last sentence, I no longer feel this way. A photographer is:
  • someone with the top-of-the-line name brand camera and several expensive lens
  • someone that always, always shoots in manual
  • someone that never used auto focus
  • someone that knows everything about their camera and can adjust settings without thinking
  • someone that gets it right in camera
  • someone that sells their images

I certainly didn’t measure up to my idea of a real photographer.
I'm going to be brave and just share several secrets with you about my photography.
  • I own a Sony, not a Nikon or Cannon. When I bought my first dSLR camera, I was terrified that someone would ask me the brand I chose. I felt others would look down on a Sony.
  • I'd rather shoot macro images with my point and shoot camera, even though I have a nice dSLR camera and two macro lens. For one thing, I don't have trouble with camera shake or the hassle of a tripod.
  • I don't think I've ever shot in manual, I use the program mode, aperture, or shutter priority.
  • Here's a really bad one, I use auto focus a lot! On my Sony camera, I set my focus area and then let the camera focus while I use both hands to steady the camera.
  • I do not know all the bells and whistles on my camera.
  • Even when I learn about my camera, I have a tendency to forget that knowledge when I'm out shooting.
  • I have never sold an image and never plan to.
  • I rarely get it just right in the camera. I always have to add a little contrast or color adjustment or crop.
  • Yes, I said crop! I do crop my pictures, sometimes severely!
There it is, all written down in a list!  Now you see why I didn't think I measured up to my "photographer" definition.

Slowly, and I mean slowly, my confidence has been building. I now can say that I am a photographer. I now realize that I can take pictures with what I have. If I’m pleased with the images from my camera, why does it matter what name is across the front. I now realize that I can take pictures the way I want of what I want. My photos are an expression of myself not someone else. I’m now trying to focus more on the reasons I love photography. Most of time it’s not even the end results...the photo. It’s the inner joy I receive when I’m out with my camera capturing nature’s beauty. It’s the proud feeling I get when I try something new and it works. It's the pleasure I receive when I share the beauty of nature with others and I receive kind comments.
Building self-confidence doesn’t happen over night, I still have many moments when I feel unworthy. There are times when I find it hard to push the button and share my photos.

One last thing, all the images on this post were taken with a Fuji FinePix f31 point and shoot camera using the macro setting. I let the camera choose the exposure settings and focus, and then  I cropped. I will say I love these images. I'm proud of them. I am the photographer who took them.


  1. Cathy, reading this brought tears to my eyes, especially your last paragraph. You should be proud! I share your love of the tiny details of nature, and you capture them so beautifully. It's been a privilege and a pleasure to follow you and watch you grow in skill and confidence.

  2. Yes, you are a photographer and I love the images you've shared here! That second one is my favorite. I related to all of this so deeply and I commend you for your honesty. I am a home-grown photographer myself. I've always enjoyed snapping photos but, like you, I didn't learn anything about the technical side of things until I entered the world of blogging. I don't really enjoy the technical side either but just love the feeling of getting out there and capturing the beauty of this world we inhabit through my camera's lens. I enjoy the editing process, too, and I think it's wonderful that we have all these digital editing tools at our fingertips these days.

    I really enjoyed reading this post and hearing about your journey into photography. It's great to hear that you have the confidence to call yourself a photographer now, because you are one - and a darn fine one, too!! :)

  3. The first thing a photographer should learn it isn't the camera it is the photographer. Even the most experienced photographer hears this all the time, when their images are viewed, people will say you must have an expensive camera. They don't realize it is the eye and the person behind the camera that makes the image.

  4. Oh, Cathy! You are a photographer! It doesn't matter what kind, what mode, what settings whatever it is you use! You see the beauty around you and you share it with everyone! That is special! That is magic!
    Personally, I think some "photographers" are snobs. The ones that care about all that stuff! And they want to tell you all about it and how you would take better pictures if you had better equipment! whatever!
    I use the camera on my phone a lot. It's like a point and shoot. It takes pretty good pictures and it makes me happy!
    I enjoy the process of learning about photography and how trying new things and finding inspiration from people, like you!

    Click on!


  5. Oh Cathy, I love your last paragraph. Yes you are the photographer who took them and they are beautiful images. I also love your line 'my photographs are an expression of myself..'. I think that's the magic of photography, that it's an expression of what YOU see and how you see it, not about equipment and only about technique in that it allows you to express what you want.
    ps I only use autofocus too!

  6. My first digital camera was a Fuji Fine Pix. I loved that camera. I think that one was 5megapixels :) You could so be my older sister with our similarities. That bug on the leaf is awesome!!! Thank you so much for sharing your secrets.

  7. Your confessions resonated with me, Cathy! I still use my p&s most of the time -- it's so easy and convenient. I love your macros, especially that green bug -- wonderful capture. Yes, you are a gifted photographer, and you need to claim it.

  8. OOoh that mushroom shot is awesome. I love low POV shots and you must have had your cheek in the leaves for that one. I love how you put this story together-what you thought, vs what you do and who you are. Funny, I looked at a Sony as well, and was about to purchase it, but it had some glitch they couldn't figure out at the camera I ended up with a Canon.
    It sounds like you are content and at peace with your confessional list. How great is that? You go girl!!

  9. Awesome post! I just graduated to a new camera (a Canon) but I still love my little Point and Shoot, especially for Macro shots. I'm still learning the new camera and have a long way to go to understand it but am having fun and enjoying it and that's what makes me happy. You give us all a boost of confidence with your wonderful words and your gorgeous photos.

  10. You have come out of your shell as a photographer, Cathy. I like how you've evaluated your old definition and seen how it has changed as you've grown in skill and confidence. Beautiful images, regardless of the camera!

  11. well this is just awesome cathy! i wish i could hug you right now! such a great post on the journey so many of us take. so glad you found confidence in your photography, because it's something we've all appreciated for while now. :) xoxoxo


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