Yesterday my husband and I went on an ecumenical “Stations of the Cross” walk through a neighborhood in the city of Rochester. I thought it would be a great opportunity to take some photos. The exercise showed me that there are definite limits to what my camera and I are able to achieve. I use a little point and shoot digital camera, which is easy because it is entirely automatic. I don’t have to worry about focus, which is good because everything always looks out of focus to me as I snap each picture.
I was immediately intimidated on the walk because there were many professional photographers and college photography students with their wonderful cameras and huge lenses. I almost didn’t take my camera out, but I am trying to take photos at every opportunity, so I did try taking some shots. I learned a few things.
First, it is always a pleasure to see the unexpected. At one point, my husband said “That man has a lamb.” I looked where he was pointing, but only saw a blur. I snapped a picture in the direction he showed me, and I can now see this:
This may be the only time I ever see a man holding a lamb in the middle of the city, so I am so happy that I can see it on my computer screen. It may not be a particularly great photo, but for me it captures a sight I would have missed without my camera.
The second lesson that I learned is not as pleasant. Crowds are hard to photograph. I tried to focus on one or two individuals, but most of my photos just look like a messy, uninteresting bunch of people. I will have to do some work with the enlarged images to see if there is anything worth saving in these crowd shots. I have a feeling there is nothing. I think the combination of my small camera and my low vision may keep me from being able to make anything usable in a crowd shot. Perhaps some of my blind photographer friends will have some suggestions.
My favorite photo of the day is a picture of some teens holding the cross during one of the stops.
The picture doesn’t quite capture the reverence I felt in their manner, but for me it comes close. There was a photo in this morning’s paper of teens holding the cross, and it showed such a great use of light that I felt discouraged. Then I remembered that this is part of the learning process. I am just beginning to explore the dimensions of my new lower vision world. Things are not going to be easy, I shouldn’t expect them to be. I want to rejoice in the fact that I have low vision in this 21st century, when there are new products and discoveries every day.
And, I didn’t fall once during the walk. My husband did, at one point, remind me that it might not be a great idea to take photos and walk at the same time. I was careful and I enjoyed the walk immensely. It showed me that my reduced vision doesn’t have to stop me from participating in wonderful events, or from taking pictures of them.