Category Archives: Pastime

Photography Gear to Help you Follow Your Passion

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This photo is part of the 100 Snapshots Challenge. It was taken in Chicago with my point and shoot camera.

I have always been a creative person. This creativity first manifested itself through writing. It was the easiest, most accessible way for me to express myself. As I got older, I fell in love with photography. My friends would constantly groan and make fun of me because I had to take photos of everything. When I participated in the “100 snapshots challenge” on Live Journal, my photographs began taking a more artistic turn; I discovered that there was more than one way in which I could express myself artistically.

For years I shot my photos with a small “point and shoot” digital camera. It was easy to carry around and I was able to take pretty decent photos with it. However, I found myself wanting to have more control over my images and wanting to try techniques that a point and shoot just couldn’t accomplish. When my husband bought me a Canon Rebel XSi for Christmas in 2009 I was off and running.

From the start, photography presented far more physical challenges than writing. Obviously I can’t get to some of the places that other photographers might, which is frustrating, but I have found ways around a few of the challenges that photography presents.

My biggest problem, besides the accessibility of some locations, is keeping the camera steady so I can get a nice, sharp image. Single Lens Reflex cameras, like my Canon, are much heavier than point and shoots, mostly because of the lenses. This means you need two hands to take a photo, which is pretty difficult to do if you use crutches or a walker to hold yourself up. Canon has lenses that come with an image stabilizer option, which is awesome and does help, but the feature makes them more expensive. Plus it is primarily for smaller movements, as opposed to the kind of camera shake I was experiencing.

To solve this problem, my husband came through once again, and bought me a tri-pod. I use the Vista Attaras FZ10. This tri-pod is stable enough for me to lean on if needed, which is quite important for me. Another feature I like is that it can be adjusted to almost any angle and height, making it easy to get steady shots whether I am standing, using my chair or want to get closer to the ground. An additional perk is the carrying bag that can be worn across the body or on the back of the wheelchair with very little assistance needed.

The last thing that has been essential to my success as a photographer is my Lowepro Backpack. I bought for my trip to Colorado. It holds my camera, all my lenses, as well as my laptop and anything else I might need or want while taking pictures on the go. I use this backpack whenever I might need to change a lens, even in my own backyard. It keeps all my accessories safe and at hand.

Colorado Moutain Landscape
This photo was taken with my Canon SLR camera on my trip to Colorado.

Photography is a great way to express your creativity and share your experiences with the world. Whether you choose a point and shoot or a SLR, I encourage you to give it a try. If you don’t know where to start, try the 100 Snapshots Challenge. The page has not be updated in ages but the list is still there and it is a great way to get those creative juices flowing.

…And The Author Wrote Back!!!

This is not just an ordinary shelf of books.  It’s a collection that I started four years ago.  Although the authors vary in content and writing style they have one thing in common … they’ve all answered the emails I wrote to them expressing my pleasure with their work.

I find that many of the new writers are much more open to communicating than ones in the past.  Here are three of my favorites and the authors answers:

“The Book Thief”, Markus Zusak  ….”the fact that my writing has also meant something to you is something that can never be taken for granted.  You write and think no-one will read it, let alone be compelled to write to you about it. You’ve made my day”.

“The Welsh Girl”, Peter Ho Davies …”Many thanks for your kind note.  It is such a pleasure to hear from readers who’ve enjoyed the book.  I was especially glad you liked that scene in the pub, it’s one of my favorites too” etc.  (he goes on to tell me of his new book which he is having trouble putting down on paper!)

“The Night Circus”, Erin Morgenstern … “I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the book!  It is indeed my first novel and it’s amazing that the response has been so strong” etc. (also talks of her new idea for a book and signs it “Cheers, Erin”)

Isn’t that neat?  I’ve found that about 90% of those that I write to have answered.   It tells me that published authors are just as needy of kind words as any of us … maybe more so.

Give it a try … it’s fun, it’s FREE, and, as Markus said …it just might make their day … and yours!

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