Nature Photographer

You should call yourself a nature photographer, my son recently told me.

This was a compliment, and it prompted me to study the content of my photographs more carefully. He and his wife are professional wedding photographers, and he owns a camera shop. In other words they know a great deal about photography.

Photos have been a part of my life for many years. I have always said I take photos because I cannot paint! There is something magic about capturing a moment in time. I started when I was 10 years old.

My first camera was a Kodak camera. It had a cartridge that dropped in the back of it. It would take twelve photos. Later one could purchase a twenty-four picture cartridge. The flash was a four-use cube. It would turn with every photo taken. The directions included in this fancy camera box told users to always put the sun behind you ( the photographer) so it could shine directly onto the subjects.

It was great fun. Developing photos could be done via mail, or the local photography store. Going through the mail was cheaper, but slower. I sent mine off through the mail. It would take up to a week or more to get them back. How exciting it was to see just how they turned out!

On the back of each photo I would write it’s own description with the date, names of people (or animals), and the place it was taken. Finding old, family pictures with no details were frustrating and not of much meaning to me. So I spent much time getting the details correct. So much time, that I quite saving every photo I took and kept only the ones I liked best. I think this did as much as anything to develop my eye.

The most exciting camera I owned, and wish I still had, was a used Canon AE1 purchased at a camera shop. It was a great camera that taught me a lot about film, lighting, settings. It took my skill to a new, fun level. I started then having film developed at camera shops. Talking to the owners taught me much about film, light, and settings. All the photos of our five children were taken with that wonderful camera. It captured a large portion of life for me. I began entering my photos in local county fairs. Seeing a ribbon hanging beside a photo was very exciting! The back closure finally gave out so I set it aside, and left the joy of photography for a while (having a house full of teenagers took every moment of time). I am sorry to say I think lost it in the shuffle of our last move for I have not been able to find it. I may yet!

Later, family and business trips required a working camera. The Minolta Freedom Zoom 140EX was the one of choice to record these fun times. It was the first digital camera I owned. It came with us on our big six-week family outing out west years ago, where it fell from the roof of our truck and that ended that. However, I do still have that camera. Think I’ll take it to our son’s shop for repair.

Then came the Iphone. Photography has never been the same. I used it for years. Compact, easy to carry, nothing but keeping the battery charged was required. It did set me back on the path of picture taking again, and I am grateful.

The days of buying cameras are over now, as our son has helped get me outfitted with a wonderful camera and accessories to keep me busy for a long time. The Olympus OM-D camera works well for me. I use mostly the 12-100mm lens, and a fixed 300mm lens with a monopod. This camera can do more than I will ever be able to do, but it is fun learning. I have also taken several photography classes to improve my skill. I recall one teacher saying that photography is not complete until it is printed and shared with someone you love. My family gets a good many photos in the mail of times we have shared together!

So, as I have studied my photographs, I realize my son is right. I do take many nature shots. We live in the country. I see a lot of nature everyday. He is right, I am a nature photographer.

These photos tell a story (don’t all photos?), of the deer as I interacted with them through the lens of the camera. What story do they tell you?

15 thoughts on “Nature Photographer

  1. Well… they were all be protected by the last deer to run.

    “Hey Dad… there some paparazzi lady taking our picture again! I bet we are going to be on her blog… give her our best view then let’s run off. Do you think she will follow us , Dad?”

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your story, Mitzy, about your relationship with photography. Like you, I grew up in the world of film photography. I was pretty serious for quite a while and then more or less ignored it for a couple of decades. It was only nine or so years ago that I rediscovered my passion and have pursued it ever since. It took me several years before I felt comfortable calling myself a “photographer” rather than simply someone who likes to take pictures. From your description, you definitely deserve to call yourself a nature photographer. You take your photos with forethought and intentionality and that makes you different from many folks who whip out their cellphones to capture a moment. I really like your deer sequence and the way that the one buck stands firm as the others turn and run away until the final moment when his resolve weakens and he joins them.

    • Thank you for your kind remarks, Mike. I laughed about your remark not wanting to call yourself a ‘photographer’, because I made myself type that. I too have a hard time calling myself one. I took the courage from my son. And I say to you, you can take courage also, because you are a fine nature photographer!

      Perhaps we should have a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly challenge!? Blue Rock Horses Frederick County, Virginia bluerockhorses.com

  3. I enjoyed reading your story about your photography journey and was excited to see you shoot with an Olympus. For the past couple of years, I’ve been eyeing the micro four-thirds cameras but haven’t pulled the trigger. Great pics of the deer. You should consider joining in on some weekly photo challenges (if you haven’t already).

    • Why thank you, Ingrid. That is a compliment to me. Actually, it was your recent blog post anout picture stories that inspired this blog. I wanted to add your blog and link, but that was beyond my ability this early morning. Could you add it in a comment?

      I like my little micro four-thirds, but I’m not really that smart about it all. My son guided my purchase, and I am pleased.

      I would be delighted to start on a weekly photo challenge, but don’t know where to start. Any suggestions?

      I so enjoy your blog and beautiful photos!

      Blue Rock Horses Frederick County, Virginia bluerockhorses.com

      • I’m happy to hear you found my post inspirational. Photo challenges are a great way to either review what photos you’ve already taken or to inspire you to get out and photograph a particular subject. It’s also a great way to interact with other bloggers.

        I would start with my friend Terri to engage in a photo challenge. She posts the theme a month in advance giving you time to put something together.
        https://secondwindleisure.com/photography/sunday-stills-photo-challenge/

        If you need help with anything or have questions, pls feel free to email me directly (email address is noted in my sidebar). Happy shooting 📷

      • Thank you kindly, Ingrid. Sound interesting! And thank you for offering your help. I’m sure I’ll take you up on it.

        Blue Rock Horses Frederick County, Virginia bluerockhorses.com

  4. Your son is right, you are a fabulous nature photographer! How times have changed. In high school I took a photography class. We took the pictures, developed the film and printed the pictures. One of my favorite classes I took and so much fun. Keep posting your fabulous nature pictures Mitzy!

    • Thank you, Diane. I’m so glad you like my photos. Wow, how neat to do and learn that processing of film and photos! I’m quite sure I would’ve taken that subject had it been offered in our school! Thank yiu for taking time to stop by, read and comment. It means much to me. 🍁

      Blue Rock Horses Frederick County, Virginia bluerockhorses.com

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