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.