The Joy of Photography, Part 2

Picking up where I left off about the joy of photography, there are at least 2 more, somewhat related, primary sources of joy in photography. The first is in taking the photos. As an aside, it is interesting to me that different terms are used for this part of photography – “taking a photograph” and “making a photograph” are the traditional terms now supplanted by “capturing an image” or “creating an image” – these are the new digital world terms. Whatever one calls it, getting out and shooting photos is a wonderful endeavor for me. I shoot heavy; by that, I mean I take lots of images. Film is now cheap! What was once a limitation, of sorts, is no longer an issue. The cost is now in the time it takes to edit, code, and archive the images, instead of buying the film. But, I digress. Working with a camera, or more commonly for me, multiple cameras, finding the subjects, focusing on them (still not always easy even with autofocus), controlling the exposure (including the frequent use of manual settings on automatic cameras), and being there in the decisive moment is a personal challenge. Capturing or taking an image or photo at just the right time, with all the right settings, is both a technical and artistic challenge. I can tell when my brain becomes “dialed in.” Sometimes, I can feel that it takes time to warm up, as it might with any sport or endeavor, to get into the right mindset. Different parts of my brain get engaged to focus (sorry, couldn’t help the pun) on the creative tasks required to get good results. Some types of photography require more effort than others. Sometimes, one can control the staging of a shot, as in a portrait or still life; other times, it is a matter of tracking the action at a rock concert, with flying birds, or flying aircraft. Therefore, the joy of getting into photography mode is refreshing to me. Which leads me to the next aspect, the mental exercise of a different part of my brain than I use on a daily basis as a trial consultant and business owner. I enjoy the time spent with a camera as a diversion, as a way to see the world, as a way to convey what I’ve seen to others. This, like any hobby or recreational activity, is like recharging one’s batteries. It is a stress reliever and helps clear the mind of certain distractions which later enables enhanced focus (there I go again) on daily life and work. Sharing photos taken along the way is also a joy – check out my Facebook feed, my courthouses website, or some of my other photos at

Recently, David and I went on a “dream vacation” to Great Britain, the land of The Beatles, with two longtime friends.  All of us shared photos with each other, resulting in over 10,000 photos among us!  While David took professional quality photos with real (and real expensive) cameras, the rest of us busied ourselves taking amateurish photos with our iPhones.  What a difference a camera and a professional photographer make!  Seeing the photos I took inside the Cavern Club, where The Beatles played hundreds of concerts during their early years in Liverpool, compared to David’s photos of the same place, are all the proof anyone needs that David is the “real deal” while most of the rest of us are mere hacks.  David enjoys taking photos of scenery and wildlife far more than he enjoys taking photos of people.  The time he spends outdoors taking photos is a time of happiness for him.  David’s photos have graced our Christmas cards for several decades.  Many recipients of David’s lovely Christmas card photos have told us that they save the cards and use them, year after year, to decorate their home for the holidays.  That’s a great compliment indeed!  Seeing the world through David’s eyes, as evidenced in his photographs, has been an honor and privilege to me for many years.  Hearing the fast clicking of his cameras’ shutters is an indication, to me, that something fantastic is happening!

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