I was walking around St James’ Park the other day with a friend. We do this walk sometimes, to get some exercise, and it gives us a chance to catch up with what’s going on in the other’s life, although this was actually the first time we’d been able to meet up for a couple of months.
As we were walking, my friend said to me,
“Is that a heron?”
I turned and looked, and it was. I even said to him,
“I really should take a photograph.”
But I didn’t. Why not? My photographer friends will kill me when they read this.
As non-fiction writers, conventional magazines (and some e-zines) often ask us to provide photographs to go with our articles; and, of course, it is much less expensive to take your own photographs than to (a) pay someone else, or (b) buy them from somewhere. (It’s also cheaper to get them developed yourself, rather than have to take copies of photographs people have lent you, as I know to my cost. You can’t always be sure that you will get them back from magazines so it’s best to have copies you can return to whoever was kind enough to lend the photographs to you.) It’s also quicker to take your own photographs than have to ask someone else to send you theirs.
So why didn’t I take the photograph? I didn’t have my camera with me, but I do have a reasonable camera on my Smartphone, so I could have used that. I wasn’t specifically thinking of writing an article or a blog about the park when I saw the heron, it’s true, but the fact that he is featuring in this blog proves a point: if you see something of interest, take a photograph.
My writing course features a whole module about taking photographs and which type of camera to use. And since studying that, I really have tried to improve.
One of my work colleagues has even made me a crib card with the centre cut-out (to resemble the viewfinder on a camera) giving me prompts as to what to consider when taking a photograph: foreground interest, leading lines, rule of three, diagonal lines. I can’t remember the others. I’ve even downloaded a book on my e-reader to help me improve my photography. (I’ve actually downloaded about a year’s worth of books, and keep downloading more, so it’s no great surprise that I haven’t read that one yet.) So am actually keen to try to develop this skill.
I regret not taking the photograph of the heron. I suppose am just not confident with a camera yet. I will keep on trying and someday soon, you’ll see photographs included in my blogs. And I’m going back to the park to see if I can see that heron again…
Love and Light xx
Another colleague took this photograph for me, but it’s not as close as when I saw him…
©Susan Shirley 2013
I once bought a lovely Canon Digital SLR with extra telephoto lenses. Then I signed up for an OU course in digital photography. The first thing they said was “Never, never, never go out without your camera”. Naturally I didn’t want to drag that thing all around Sainsbury’s so I bought a super little pocket camera and I never leave home without it. The trouble is that by the time I have got it out of my bag, whatever it was has gone.
Hope the heron returns
Sheppy x x x x x
I’m in. Love your blog. Send me links as they come up. Sheppy x x x x x
Thank you! I will. I’ve seen the heron again (can’t tell you how long I was there the other night!) but he just wasn’t close enough. I will keep trying.