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SPEAKING OF NOT BEING A PHOTOGRAPHER

Cindy Maddera

A few weeks ago, when the leaves were at the brightest of Fall foliage, Michael said "Hey! I should take you to this park I know where the trees will make you fall (ha!) over with wow!" He didn't really say that, but it was something like that. It just so happened that was also a Cabbage weekend. So parks are always a good idea, but I also used this as an opportunity to resurrect my old Nikon. I've been slowly trying to get back to using this camera. I thought buying a new fancy purse to carry it in would help, but I find that I'm just lugging around an extra heavy bag. I really heavily on my iPhone as my every day camera. There's nothing wrong with that. The phone takes great images and fits in my pocket (or bra strap) but it also makes me a little lazy because I don't pay attention to the technical side of taking a photograph. I thought this trip to the park would be the perfect time to get out the Nikon and take some pictures. And every single picture I took that day was total crap. Even after editing. I couldn't even edit these pictures into something decent. I felt pretty stupid and really disappointed. I have this fancy pants camera that could use a new lens, but I can't justify any upgrades for it because I don't use it or really know what I'm doing when I'm using it. I got mad at myself. Real mad.

When Chris and I bought our scooters, we didn't test drive them. We just bought them and had them delivered. The guy who delivered them handed over the keys and gave us a few instructions. Chris jumped on his scooter and took off. I jumped on my scooter and almost crashed into a car. I couldn't turn and that initial jolt of speed and not being in control scared the beejezus out of me. Less then ten minutes after delivery, the scooter was parked in the garage and I was sitting on the bed crying because I thought I'd made a terrible mistake. I had just spent a lot of money on something I couldn't use. This vision I had of myself being a Scooter Girl was an illusion. A joke. I was a fake, a failure, a fraidy cat and with those thoughts swirling around, I got up and got back on that scooter. I read the manual and the motorcycle driving test book. I did a countless number of figure eights in the school parking lot down the street. I passed my motorcycle test with flying colors. I made my vision a reality.

After my attempt to edit those awful pictures, I picked up the manual for that camera and read the whole thing. Then, I read Karen Walrond's book, Beginning FocusI took all this information along with me on our weekend getaway to Hermann and made the Nikon my main camera. In fact, whenever I started to use my phone, Michael would ask "where's your other camera?" and sometimes I would roll my eyes while pulling the camera free from my bag. I didn't take the most amazing pictures that weekend, but I did a good job of taking better pictures that weekend. I do not see myself as one day becoming a professional photographer, but I do see myself as one day becoming a good photographer. I'm working on making that vision a reality.