The end and the beginning
So, today marks the 365th day of my project to take a picture a day for 365 days. I'm frankly surprised I did it, because I have things up in my room like a half finished knitted vest, a partially quilted blanket, and a few other unfinished projects. Sometimes, having a deadline is inspiration.
This picture was Day 1, and I think the purpose behind this was just to practice metering. I think it was the first time I used a setting other than auto. This was also to be a basis of comparison for later pictures. In the height of fall, because of the way the wind blows, our back entrance is usually a very thick blanket of leaves. So, not too inspired, but hey, you have to start somewhere.
I had lots of thought about what I wanted to take for my last picture. It's a blue moon tonight, and I could have done another moon shot, but I got a really good one last night, so I decided against it. Someone suggested taking a picture of my camera. Yet another picture without a lot of fanfare; ordinary moments.
I learned a lot about my camera and taking pictures. I learned the best time to take pictures, and what I'm drawn to. I learned that I have so much to learn, but that there is immense pleasure in the work of taking pictures. I learned how enjoyable it is to take sixteen pictures of a bowl of applesauce just to get the right one. I learned about how much beauty there is in the smallest of things. I learned that so profoundly that my next project, Lord willing, is to take a year's worth of pictures with a macro lens.
Most of all, I learned why I love to take pictures. It's in the moments. There are moments that I just want to stop and freeze. I want to hug them to myself like a child holding a toy. There are things in my memory from childhood; things I wish I had pictures of. There are sunsets, flowers, rain storms, people, and places etched in my memory, but without accompanying pictures. Maybe it's the latent historian in me, but I take pictures because of the moments. Life is made up of moments; gifts from a good God who created this world.
Last Friday, I was looking a photography book by an artist who takes mostly pictures of fat naked women whose bodies are full of tattoos. I don't know why that is art, and I'm content to be unsophisticated enough to wonder. I take pictures for the moment, not the art. I'm sure my pictures reflect that, and that's okay with me.
In retrospect now, the open gate in the first picture is a little symbol, an open door to something I really hope to enjoy for many more years to come.