I’ve mentioned in previous blogs that I’m becoming a rather geeky camera nerd. My sister is quite the photography artist – you can check her out at The Back Yard Bird Nerd and we really enjoy going on photography adventures from sun up to sun down, all over the wonderful nature centers and parks we have available to us in Texas.
I was able to step up my camera game this past weekend when I took a half day class with Master Photographer Jim Feig and learned some new techniques and how to use some of the features on my Nikon D5300. So what better time to go on a Sister Birding Adventure than the very next day? We ventured over yonder to Houston, Texas and went to a couple of new spots to see what we could see.
My goal for the day was to take the training wheels off my camera and not shoot a single photo in Auto Mode. I was going to experiment with shutter speed and aperture priority settings and I vowed not to give in to temptation to take the easy way out and go back to Auto. I will admit it was a bit intimidating and I had a few mishaps, but I also had a few gems come out of the day. Overall, I took over 1,200 photos and only kept about 30 of them.
As I was going through photos, I came across this photo of the Blue Grey Gnatcatcher and if you know anything about cameras you can see what I did wrong. I wasn’t allowing enough light into the camera but some how, some way, I was able to capture this little guy and I love the way he looks rather dark and slightly ominous with the dark back ground. I also love the way the branches in the photo frame the main subject and provide such detail to the feathers and his cute little face.
When I saw this photo, my first thought was that my settings were all wrong. Next, I thought about how sometimes when you think all is ruined, you get something unexpected and beautiful where you didn’t think there would be anything salvageable.
How many of us have been in situations in life where we thought we had really screwed up, where we were sure all was lost and life as we knew it was never to be the same again? Moments like that can really take us down a peg and cause us to fall down the rabbit hole of self-doubt, negative self talk and self-destruction.
Sometimes, though – if we can choose to see it, something beautiful, meaningful or worthy comes out of times like that. Sometimes we find new inner strength we didn’t know we had. Or we find out who the friends and family are who will really stand with us during the hard stuff. Sometimes, we just come out the other side of the hard stuff feeling like we grew and changed into someone of great character and substance.
Then sometimes, you just wind up with a great photo when your settings were all wrong.
Life….and photography are funny like that.