I’m not a naturally artistic person.

At least, not when it comes to pencils, paint, clay – or even Lego.

My creativity is expressed through other means. For the vast majority of my life this was through words. Either acting out somebody else’s or pinning my own down onto paper, and subsequently a keyboard. That’s explored (or at least it will be …) elsewhere here.

I’m a great believer in the “reason, season, lifetime” approach to life relationships. I know it seems to be a bit of a hackneyed cliche nowadays, but accepting that not everyone is your best friend forever and the people who are special to you right now may not be with you in a year, 5 years, 10 years time is something that everybody needs to learn. That’s not to say that they aren’t special or important. Quite the opposite. When a relationship changes, when its impact on your life alters in some way, its easy to lose sight of the fact that this is, actually, okay. I feel that I could write more about this … but I’m not going to.

The point I’m going to great pains to make is that the enjoyment I get from taking pictures – including the frustrations thereof – stem from becoming friends with someone who isn’t in my life any longer. She introduced me to “relatable” photography, I suppose. I’d always been lucky enough to have simple point-and-shoot cameras growing up. You  know, one step up from the disposable ones, back in the days when you had to take the cartridge or the roll into Boots to have it processed and you felt swish if you could afford to have it returned within a week …

1011574873Then one day, after I started a “proper job” in 2008 I treated myself to a *gasp* digital camera. I wasn’t going to kid myself that I was going to choose (or even afford) an all-singing all-dancing great big SLR – way out of my league – so I bought a GE A835. Mainly because they were on offer in Argos. Rock and roll.

I tell you – I loved this little guy. I took some awesome photos with it over the next few years … I promise you.

I was, ahem, lucky enough to have some heart surgery in July of 2009. My 3 month recuperation were spent at my parents house in France (yes, really) so used that time to,  I suppose, practice and see what I liked and what I could do with my new little tech buddy.

The fallout of which can be summed up here: Flickr Collection. There are about 300 photos in that collection alone, and I’m not asking you to go through them all (although be my guest – my photostream is open to everyone!). Luckily for you, I collated the ‘best’ into a photobook (via the awesomeness that is Blurb) as a present for my parents the following Christmas.

In fact, there were so many photos that I liked, I made another book the following year …

In the words of French & Saunders … lucky bitches.

DMC-FZ38-K_1WebA1001001A11C18A01148C78892And then … for my birthday a good few years ago, my other half and my bestie gifted me a Panasonic DMC-FZ38.  Which is one of these monkeys …

This is a “LUMIX hybrid super zoom digital camera”. More importantly for me, it comes with something called “Intelligent Auto”, which basically makes it a swizzy point-and-click. But the amount of other settings to fiddle around with – both preset and manual – makes it a good camera for a ‘beginner’ to learn with.

That was my intention … to get to grips with apertures and exposure and shutter and ISO and all that other malarkey that’s so very, very important when it comes to all kinds of photography, not just the digital kind.

And I kind of … didn’t. If I’m honest it just seemed too hard. But I’m going to get back in there. I may not ever be a fantastic photographer, but if it helps me take ‘better’ photos then it has to be a good thing, right? Right.

I may even do some kind of course … You never know your luck …

There’s another device with which I regularly use for my photography: my phone.

Its only in the last few years that I ‘upgraded’ myself to the wonder of a smartphone. Being the sensible, level-headed person that I am (and how much I hate hype) I eschewed the iPhone and its kin, and went for a BlackBerry Torch in May 2010. It had a 5 megapixel camera which took … okay pictures. Not too shabby. Obviously no settings to fiddle around with. But I was still able to take such shots as these:

And then this year I realised (with a not small amount of glee) that my contract for that phone was up and I was able to upgrade. And upgrade I did, to a Samsung Galaxy S4. Sorry. Its not a phone. According to the Samsung website it is a “life companion”. Uh-huh.

It comes with not one but TWO in-built cameras – one rear and one front. The main camera (in the rear – ahem) is a whopping 13 megapixel resolution, with auto focus, with the front camera being 2 megapixel. Not too shabby.

I have to say that this phone-type-camera is … fantastic. I cannot begin to say how much I am enjoying the pics that I’m taking. So far that I don’t think I’ve used my actual camera for a good couple of months (the shame …)


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