Discover Challenge: The First Time…

The first time I picked up a ‘proper’camera, I knew it wouldn’t be the last. The camera in question belonged to my son, and it was a second-hand Canon DSLR with a kit lens. It was heavy and ugly and cumbersome but it gave me my first real taste of what photography had to offer beyond the basics of point-and-shoot. I’ve always owned a camera, from my childhood Kodak Instamatic 33 through a variety of basic 35mm film cameras and on to similar-level digital compact cameras. And at the time, what I had was enough.

But when one day I wanted to become more creative with my photography, I found it increasingly frustrating that all my images always looked so ‘flat’, with no depth. What I was looking for, although I didn’t know at the time, was a ‘shallow depth of field’, where the chosen subject stands out sharp and clear in a pleasingly blurry background. So I played about with using my son’s DSLR for a couple of days, and immediately I was hooked on the style of images it produced…

And that was the start of my never-ending search for the perfect camera for me – my problem ever since has been that although I absolutely love the stunning image quality I get from APSC size sensors, bigger sensors inevitably need bigger lenses, which I’m not so keen on lugging around with me, which means the camera stays at home more often than not. They say the best camera is always the one you have with you, and so sadly for me, that camera is not likely to be a more traditional-sized DSLR.

But I’ve settled instead for a far more svelte Micro Four Thirds system, with a medium sized sensor in a medium-sized camera body and medium sized interchangeable lenses. I’ve not quite got DSLR quality in my images, but for me the compromise is enough. With a couple of fast prime lenses I can easily achieve the beautiful blurry backgrounds I love, without having to sacrifice too much on kit size. I’m still not completely happy with the particular ensemble I have right now, but it’ll definitely do for the time being… until the next thing comes along, of course! 🙂

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Discover Challenge

Intro to Poetry: Day 10

My last day of this 10 day Intro to Poetry course, and the prompt is ‘future’ written in the form of a sonnet.

I find I’ve been (and continue to be) truly upset by both the result and the immediate after-effects of the recent EU referendum. I do realise that emotions are still running high on both sides but the divisive aftermath reminds me so much of the ongoing fallout from the Scottish Independence referendum, where the dust has still not fully settled almost two years on…

The Human Cost…

Since Britain voted out I’ve felt upset

In one fell swoop the country’s on her knees

I’m sure one day we’ll all come to regret

The bonds of Europe broken with such ease

I wonder why the politicians chose

To set a referendum, stakes so high

Just playing with our future I suppose

A game of power built on lust and lies

But now we’ve made our democratic choice

Decision made we find there’s no clear guide

A racist undercurrent’s found a voice

With hateful undertones of past divide

We’ve left the EU at whatever cost

However much is gained, much more is lost…

 

Intro to Poetry: Day 9

Today’s prompt word is ‘landscape’ using apostrophe, or using the second person to address the subject directly…

Scotland-landscape

Landscape…

Sketching from memory

I capture your openness, your moodiness,

Your complexity, your depth –

We are as one; we belong together.

Landscape of my life

You draw me in as I draw you

Intro to Poetry: Day 8

Today’s prompt word is ‘pleasure’, and I’ve learned three new terms to go with it – anaphora, epistrophe, and simploce. Apparently anaphora is a repetition of wording at the beginning of each line or verse, epistrophe a repetition of wording at the end of each line or verse, and simploce the use of both at the same time.

Hmmm… I understand the theory, but feel a bit uncomfortable with trying it out in practice – but what the hell, in for a penny, in for a pound! So I’ve chosen a topic to write about where hopefully a repetitive rhythm might help add to rather than detract from the meaning – where the pattern of words becomes itself part of the poem – and have jumped straight in with both feet… 🙂

Walking through the Years…

Through leafy green woodlands in springtime I walk

Through daffodils and bluebells and showers I walk

Through soft sand and seashells in summer I walk

Through fresh breeze and seagulls and salt air I walk

Through dry-crinkled leaf-fall in autumn I walk

Through ochre and crimson and whipped winds I walk

Through white-cold air freezing in winter I walk

Through snow-covered landscape all wrapped up I walk

Through all four main seasons for leisure I walk

Through years and through decades, for pleasure I walk…