Saturday, 5 April 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: Express Yourself

Do you love to dance, sing, write, sculpt, paint, or debate? What’s your favorite way to express yourself, creatively?

Sunset in Dagenham
One of my brilliant sunsets taken in London.

Perhaps it is creativity, perhaps just keeping myself busy. Dancing is not my thing, I have too many arms and legs that are oversized and do not like to co-ordinate. Of course I can sing, we all sing somehow, the problem being that not all like to hear my voice and some even say it is off-key. Perhaps I am a born rapper, just talking to the music, I am a good talker, non-stop sometimes – you see the problem. Debating is not my thing, no-one understands my point of view, so I am left with sculpture, or  painting. I do not sculpture. I live in the wrong place. If I had grown up perhaps in the Abruzzi region of Italy and had connections to that Michelangelo bloke, I might have made it, but growing up in East London the only stones we had were those in the garden that were a nuisance and the only Italian name in the area was the owner of the local café, so that chance was non-existent. Painting? Yes I could paint, but my talent was not recognised, even my Picasso similar efforts did not make the grade.

I am left with writing. I have gone into details, often, about how my talents are still unrecognised, even yesterday when I convinced everyone that I am not jealous of those that have achieved success.

There is something not on this comprehensive list of expressiveness: photography. This just sort of happened. When I was younger, the only photos existing in the family were holiday photos. It seemed it was only worth taking a photo if you were dressed in your swimsuit with a background of sea waves. There were the family photos of me, mum and dad. One person was mostly missing on these photos, mum or dad as they were taking the photo. It was all done with a Brownie Box Camera which I still have. The films were taken to the chemist shop afterwards to be developed and there was an impatient week waiting for the results. The results were sometimes surprising: a blur caused by vibrations, perhaps a white blemish due to light entering the camera and even a head missing. These were my beginnings. Is it a wonder that I am still waiting for my Pulitzer prize for photography?

As the years progressed we even had coloured pictures and an instamatic camera, although the subjects of the photos were still people on holiday. One day I met Mr. Swiss and married. Mr. Swiss is always interested in new things, and he brought the first digital camera home, I think it was a Leica. I was still not interested until the new generation of digi cameras appeared. He progressed to his second and I inherited the old one. I discovered that you could take photos of everything everywhere and even upload them to the computer. That was the beginning of my fascination for photography. The camera had its own place in my handbag and it was my permanent  companion.

With time I progressed. I bought my own digi camera. It was no longer a hand-me-down, but my very own. Of course I was advised by Mr. Swiss, but I was now let loose on the population, on the countryside and on the towns. Nothing was safe from my lens. I was clicking all over the place. I had a few fall-down, trip-up accidents during the process. Whilst I was concentrating on the subject, I might have taken a step for a closer view and did not realise that I was not standing on flat ground. Luckily I did not break anything, just a few photo-scars to prove how my talent was developing.

Then came the day when I enrolled for a photography course. We were a mixed bunch, each one with a different camera and we learnt that the idea was not just to press the button saying automatic or scene, but to twiddle the settings yourself. To be quite honest, this was somewhat confusing, especially as it was all in German. I have a good command of the German language, but photography jargon was something completely different. Somehow I learned something and my next jump was my own DSLR camera (Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera). That is the camera that the experts use. It is not the camera, but the lens you apply. I have two lenses, one for long distance and one for shorter distance. Now I can take a photo of the crow perched on the tree in the distance without bothering him. The problem is they do not sit still waiting for me but often fly off. I have not yet take a photo of my bird in flight, so Mr. Pulitzer is still waiting.

My next lens on the list is a macro lens, the one where I can take a photo of an ant where he is smiling and waving and perhaps carrying a biscuit crumb in his hand. The ants in my garden are becoming impatient, they want to be in the picture, but I am still saving for that one. Photography can be an expensive hobby, but a rewarding one.

So my days of family photos on holiday, blurred at the edges and ruined by a white light creeping in on the edges are now disappearing. I now attain perfect sunsets. Sunrises are not so much my thing, I am usually sleeping when they happen. And now I must go, one of my felines is dancing to some music on the radio and he wants me to take a photo.

1 comment:

  1. There was a time, years ago, that my expression found outlet in music. I did try writing, too, but was never very good at it. Like you, I found my true outlet for expressing myself through photography.