I’ve always been exposed to basic forms of photography. My mother, typical parent that she is, loved to document every moment of my and my brother’s childhood. Her collection of photo albums in the study of my childhood home is rivaled only by that of my uncle’s California home guest bedroom stocked with family photos and video recordings of his own. One of my earliest memories involves me visiting Vancouver and being given a disposable Kodak camera. I remember taking off my mittens – the kind with the yarn attached to the wrists to keep the pair together – so I could better wind the film and maneuver the tiny little box that would eternalize the images of the pigeons in which I had spontaneously taken interest.
And who could forget those horrible school photos with white backdrops, block letters that read “2001,” and buckets of plastic combs? Those years in elementary school where children would line up and squirm in whatever outfit their mother chose for them was probably the first time I realized that a lot more components (and direction…”chin up and to the left a little more…”) could go into taking a good picture.
Since then, I’ve tried my hand at different cameras and angles and lighting and iPhoto effects. I somewhat regret not taking art or photo classes in high school to explore more of this type of artistry in greater depth. For years I’ve observed in awe (and a tinge of jealousy) at my photographer friends and how comfortable they are with knowing what will look good in a frame, let alone maneuvering the equipment they capture the image with.
I’m glad to say that this “Seeing Red” assignment was quite enjoyable. The hands-on nature of the project with its minimal requirements left me with limitless chances to explore. While I had fun and, let’s be honest, felt really cool walking around downtown with the Nikon D7000, I’ve pretty much resigned to the fact that if I ever get there, it’ll take a while to develop my eye for good photography. But in the meantime, I think I’m going to enjoy exploring the features my new discovery just as much as I enjoyed taking instant photos of Vancouver pigeons.