Friday, October 31, 2008
A thousand words worth
Sixteen or sixty? Say both words with less than perfect enunciation and they can be mistaken for each other. And if, in my sixtieth year, I look at my life from the corner of one eye, I can almost believe that I am sixteen again.
At sixteen my passion was photography. It was a passion played out on a budget, with cobbled together darkroom equipment in a bedroom blacked out with plastic sheets and prints rinsing in the bath. It was a passion that I wanted to be a profession. Perhaps I didn't want it bad enough, but in 1964 no one wanted an apprentice photographer and so I became a draughtsman in the construction industry and, eventually, migrated to the IT business.
Somewhere along the journey I married and, with the advent of a family, I lost the darkroom and, as the family grew, my camera bags began to shrink. As the equipment shrunk so did my passion for photography. Then, around 1998, I laid hands on my first digital camera. After a thirty-four year downward slide a ten year climb back started and now, in my sixtieth year (and my sixth digital camera) I am producing pictures again - perhaps not great pictures, but good enough to be better than those from 1964.
In his "Last Lecture", Randy Pausch talked a lot about realising one's childhood dreams - he realised a lot of his and he helped a lot of other people realise theirs. And my point is this - its never too late - my dream may have had to wait for forty-four years, but it almost feels like I am sixteen again, and loving it.
So, don't be surprised if I plonk down a few pictures on these pages. My excuse? Of course, each one must be worth a thousand words! Here are two thousand from the other day:
Location: Castle Hill, Canterbury, New Zealand. It was a brilliantly sunny day in the middle of spring. The last snows were melting from the mountains and the scene was almost monochrome, except for the lone walker in red. So I turned the picture into black and white but maintained the splash of colour, centre frame. (Nikon D80 - f9 @ 1/125 sec, 100mm zoom)
On the same day, I rounded a corner to find my daughter taking in the view:
(Nikon D80 - f7.1 @ 1/320 sec, 44mm zoom)