The Upward Swing

The Upward Swing

I was originally going to title this first entry of 2012 “The Year of Living Anxiously” but I decided it wasn’t worth dwelling on events of the previous year that have come and gone and that I’ve thankfully overcome. I will say however that one of the best ways of dealing with uncontrollable anxiety is as simple as discussing what’s triggering the problem with your loved ones, close friends or a health professional. With that said…

This year I made it my mission to start pursuing my interests and one of the first things I’ve done is dabble in photography. I suppose it might have something to do with my passion for writing but for someone who was once very averse to even appearing in photos, I have always held a strong interest in the art despite my lack of discipline or training. I own a bunch of coffee table books from different photographers and themes including an Annie Leibovitz book that I shelled out a lot of money for on eBay than I probably should have. I don’t actually own any sort of coffee table though.

Canon EOS 600DTwo years ago I learned about the 365 project that many people do from an acquaintance and I started doing it myself but stopped after about twelve days or so and then forgot or abandoned it for whatever reason. Curiously enough, I stumbled on another acquaintance’s project precisely on January 1st of this year. A sort of spark lit up in me and even though I didn’t own a real camera, I decided to make do with my Galaxy S II (which by the way I have since sold and replaced with a Motorola Photon due to the Galaxy’s flaky GPS).

As the days went by, I eventually upgraded from my camera phone to a real point and shoot, a Canon PowerShot SX230 HS. Although this was a massive upgrade from my phone, after a trip to New York in December I left with a strong liking for an SLR once I saw what they were capable of. Coincidentally, I took another trip to Colombia earlier this year and I purchased a Canon Rebel T3i in order to take some nice pictures while I was there.

I spoke to a woman while I was in Colombia, a fascinating doctor who somewhat unbelievably was able to read me like a book laying in the middle of a sparsely furnished and equipped library using a device that measured the “energy” throughout my body using my fingertips. She mentioned, among several other things the importance of doing what I enjoy and even said that a photography class (something I’ve been meaning to sign up for) isn’t entirely necessary since one really learns by practice. To illustrate, she asked me if my photos had improved since I started and interestingly enough, that same day I spoke to her was the first time someone “favorited” one of my photos on the site I use to share and upload my pictures of the day.

I’m happy to say that to this day, I’ve diligently kept up with my 365 project and even though the quality of my photos varies considerably each day from awful to not bad and I’m by no means a talented and trained photographer, I’ve been having a great time doing this and it’s come to the point where I feel almost compelled to find a picture to take each day even if it means one of poor quality.

I still want to learn about the minutiae of SLR photography so I have two books in my Amazon shopping cart I’ve been meaning to buy, one called Digital SLR Photography All-in-One for Dummies and a book devoted specifically towards the ins and outs of my camera titled David Busch‘s Canon EOS Rebel T3i/600D Guide to Digital SLR Photography. If anyone has any better suggestions, please share.  I also purchased a video training series by a photographer named Brent Mail.  He has a very comprehensive free e-book on SLR essentials but I find it tedious to read these types of books on an e-reader, especially with something so hands-on like a camera.

If you wish to follow my 365 project, you can check it out on Flickr (Edit: I’ve set up a page where you can see my 365 project right here on my website.  You’ll still have to visit Flickr for all of the rest). I only ask that whatever criticism you have, please make it constructive and please keep in mind that I’m still very much a “noob” when it comes to the fundamentals like shutter speed, aperture, ISO, etc.

This photography thing is one of a few interests I’d like to jump into, the others being cake and pastry making and learning to play the guitar. For the time being, I’m studiously snapping away and searching for new career opportunities in hopes of finally starting fresh this year with a new job.

Four months in, I still have faith that this year is going to be a great one not only for me but also my close friends and loved ones and so far it seems to be heading in that direction. I sure hope the upward swing continues.


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