I love, love, love photography. Seeing a beautiful photo and knowing that I took it makes me feel like an artist. I was interested in photography in high school and college, but forgot about it in the hustle and bustle of raising little children. It was only when my eyesight began to deteriorate and I found an online group of blind photographers that my love of photography returned.
I have been taking, cropping, and editing photos since I learned about this method of “seeing” the world through photography. A lot of my photos are absolutely terrible. Once in a while, I look at one of my photos and think that it is really good. This makes me want to do something with that photo, get it out into the world somehow. I have been sharing my photos through this blog and have received some good feedback.
I recently read the book Dream Manager and began to talk to my family about their dreams. I gave each member of my family a blank Dream Book and asked them to begin to write down their dreams. Of course, I want to set an example by keeping my own Dream Book. Since my birthday, I have been thinking about and writing down my dreams. Several of my dreams have to do with photography – improving my photographs, having photos included in a show, selling my work, writing a book with my photos as illustrations, and developing a class for low vision photographers.
I have already taken tiny steps toward improving my photos and have opened a shop of my photo note cards on Etsy. When I look at my note cards, I feel a mixture of pride and embarrassment – I love my photos but worry that they are not professional enough to try to sell. Regardless of my worries, I want to expand my little shop from the three sets of notecards that I now have “in stock.”
With so much emphasis on photography in my Dream Book, I thought it might be a good idea to upgrade to a better camera. My little point and shoot is portable and easy, but it is not very high resolution and I am sometimes disappointed in the quality when I try to crop. So, today I went to a photography store to look at DSLR cameras. I had looked at what some of my blind photography friends have posted online about the kinds of cameras they use. I had looked at features of various cameras online. I felt somewhat prepared. I explained my low vision situation to the salesman and he seemed to listen. Then, he showed me two cameras. They were both good cameras, but both were lower resolution than I had wanted. He assured me that they had as high a resolution as I would need. Hmmm. I asked about another brand, a brand that a couple of low vision photographers use. He said that they were good, but directed me back to the two choices he had already given me. He didn’t even take the other brand out of the case.
The cameras that he showed me were more expensive than I had expected, after researching the brand of DSLR that I thought I wanted. I don’t know how much the store was charging for the cameras I thought I wanted. The salesperson did not talk to me about those, even thought I asked. I had hoped to examine and try several types of cameras but really felt pushed to make a choice between the two he was offering. No matter how much someone else loves a camera, I want to be sure that I can use it. A DSLR is a big investment and I want to be sure I am buying the right one. I asked to try the cameras he had out and he did hand me one to look at. He told me that the battery was about to die. I tested it out a bit and handed it back. Even though the salesman was nice enough, I felt kind of foolish.
I left the store feeling a big disappointed. How does a person know which camera is going to be right? Especially with my vision continuing to deteriorate, I want to make a good choice. I don’t want to invest in a camera that I will not be able to use. I felt overwhelmed and foolish and kind of stupid. I decided that I am going to focus on getting as good as I can get with my point and shoot. When I am careful, I am able to get some beautiful photos. I don’t need to jump into buying a more expensive camera.
I looked through all of my photos today, put some on a flash drive, and took them to be printed.
I now have a big pile of photos that I love and I am going to use them to make some more notecards. I will beef up my shop on Etsy with these new cards. I will keep working on improving my photography and editing skills. I know that the best way to get better at photography is to practice, practice, practice. I will keep asking questions and learning. I will keep thinking of more tiny steps I can take to make my photography-related dreams come true. And, I will keep dreaming. Someday, my photos will be in a show. Someday, they will illustrate a book. I am on my way.