Tuesday, April 27, 2010

into the great wide open

As part of my trip home on the weekend, I persuaded my mother to part with her DSLR camera for a few months so that I could learn to use it. Photography has been an interest of mine since I got to take a black and white photography class in my grade eleven year. We learned how to use SLR cameras and to process and print our own film. My parents bought me my own camera as a graduation present--an old 35mm Praktica, made in the German Democratic Republic. It suited me well, but eventually the light meter went on it (and the film counter never worked properly) and I got sucked into the world of digital point and shoot cameras. (Which is not a bad world to be in, per se, but it does make for some lazy photography.)

I've been pondering the purchase of a digital SLR for a while now, and I think this is the year to make it happen. I'm hoping that I can re-learn a lot of the stuff that I used to know about photography by using my mom's camera; if I can't, it will be good to know that before I blow $700ish on the Nikon D5000 that I have my eye on...

One of the appealing things about the university here is that there are a number of hiking trails behind the school. The very first weekend that I moved into the residence here back in 2000, my new roommates and I went on a hike to the waterfalls. We were led by a guy named Ben, who was tall and good looking and said things like, "You can trust me. I'm a geography major." (This was a lie. We definitely got lost at least once that day.) I had not been back on the trails since, until today. I convinced one of my co-workers to take a break from his article writing and enjoy the sunshine. Unfortunately, this rather backfired as it snowed for a good portion of our trek, but it was a very good time anyway. The waterfalls are not on a steep incline, but they do go on a good ways, and they are very rocky. I got to climb out along the rocks and stand in the middle of the falls, which was very cool.

I don't spend nearly enough time outside. Part of this is where I live--can you really blame me for hibernating during a Northern Ontario winter?--but part of it is my own nature, which likes the comfort of being inside. I need to change this, though. I can't even describe the way that I felt today, standing out on the rocks with the water rushing all around me. It was, for lack of a better word, amazing, and it was exactly what I needed--it cleared out my head for me, and I've been substantially more productive all day as a result.

I didn't get a lot of pictures because I was too busy looking at everything, and I'm not thrilled with the pictures that I did get. I have a lot to learn about photography. But it's a starting point.

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