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Monday, February 13, 2012

Love. . . Photography

Mapua wharf, February 2011

Back when I was a teenager, a much older and wiser friend once told me "I take photographs because I can't paint." I have remembered that statement of his for all these years, even though he is no longer with us. . . I take photos for a variety of reasons, but yes, one of them is because I can't paint!

Even in the days of black and white or coloured film and large clunky cameras, photography was a relatively quick and easy way of preserving a memory or framing a scene, or zooming in to focus on one small detail. But so many shots were missed due to fretting about the cost of the film, or the price of getting it developed and the disappointment when only 3 or 4 out of the film of 24 photos were actually worth keeping!

I still remember my excitement at getting my first ever camera, for my 9th birthday. It was a Kodak Instamatic, it took big film cartridges, and used "flashbulbs" with 4 flashes each.

Me as a Brownie in Wales, aged 9 in 1980 (Photographer: L Waude)
From that I graduated to an old Zenith SLR that used to belong to my grandad. It was totally manual and each time you pressed the shutter release button the viewfinder blacked out until you "wound it on" again! Next was a Minolta SLR in my early twenties, and then a Canon SLR in my mid twenties. I held out against getting a digital camera in the early days as the photo quality was so grainy, but eventually in 2004 I joined the throng and got a digital Canon A80 "compact camera". Finally in December 2007 I got my current camera - a Canon EOS 400D digital SLR. And it is still going strong!

Since then there has been the cellphone camera revolution. No longer do most cellphones produce tiny grainy prints - the latest iPhone 4S has an integral 8 Mega-pixel camera, which takes better quality photos than many older cameras! As of January 2012, the Apple iPhone is now officially the world's most popular camera. As the following article reminds us, "The best camera is the one you have with you."

So, I use photography to capture a beautiful scene, because I don't have the skill to paint it. . .
Waimea estuary, 2012

to record various cooking and creative exploits
Sushi by Sonny Jim and friend, 2011

Modern Quilt Wrap
to remember a special moment,
Sonny Jim and me, 2001 (Photographer: D Rosie)
After our Civil Union, 2008 (Photographer: K D'Souza)
to record the not-so-great moments,
Sonny Jim with fractured tibial plateau, 22nd January 2011
to chronicle daring adventures. . .
Sonny Jim at Adrenalin Forest, Christchurch, early January 2011.
and to snap "funnies" wherever I see them :)
Auckland, April 2011
Christchurch, January 2011
And now, I am using photography for my latest project - a "photo-a-day" blog running from 29th January 2012 to 28th January 2013. You can find it here. The only rules I have set myself are that I have to take the photos myself, and that they must be taken on the date specified. My aim is to challenge myself to think more creatively and try to improve my photography skills. But I can't promise that the quality of the photos will always be high. . . especially given that more often than not, I have my cellphone with me rather than my digital SLR, and as we all know: "The best camera is the one you have with you!" But it will be a literal snapshot of a year in my life, and as such I hope it will occasionally be interesting, in amongst all the mundane stuff ;-)


  1. Great post Kate - welcome to the club!

  2. Thanks Kris. . . Yes, I am finally coming out as a photographer ;-) albeit one with much to learn!!