Thursday, 19 November 2015

First outing with my new camera

Strawberries in October - a first for my garden
Well it's been a busy couple of weeks but, in between household chores, clearing out the loft space and scanning photos of our 1991 camping holiday, I have found some time to begin to get to grips with my new camera. 

Until today my experiments have been confined to taking photos in the house and garden, most of which have already been discarded. There is so much more freedom to experiment with a digital camera than with the old film cameras. Not only did my first Brownie camera take a mere 8 photos to a roll of film, but it would be ages before the film was processed and the results seen. Even when cameras took 24 or 36 photos per roll it was far too costly to "waste" many if any shots on experimentation. Now I can take as many photos as I like and just throw away any I do not want to keep. 

A wise owl watching over Ruskin Park

Today I took my camera to a local park. This was a new experience for me, to go somewhere for the purpose of taking photos rather than just using photography as a way of providing a record of something that was already happening such as a holiday, a meal with friends or Christmas with the family. 

Even though its only a few minutes away and I pass it regularly, it felt really strange to be going to a park on my own just to take photos, I am used to visiting such places with family or friends. Although no one was around I was surprised how awkward I felt going into a playground to take photos of the animal statues that are there. If my younger grandchildren had been with me I wouldn't have given it second thought and would have quite happily taken numerous photos of them and of any of the objects in the surrounding vicinity. 

No one told me that there is a gate!
Why can't I come in too? 

I was also amazed at how vulnerable I felt walking around on my own with a fairly expensive camera on a strap around my neck, even in the middle of the afternoon. I doubt that I will be doing much night time photography! 

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Starting a blog - why now and not before?

Since retiring I have been thinking about writing a blog but until now have done anything about it. This is for several reasons, one of which is down to how busy I have been since retiring. I know that most of my retired friends and colleagues say that they can't understand how they ever fitted in work and I must admit that this is something I have wondered and said too. How did I manage to work full time for so many years alongside being a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, and daughter-in-law and still have time for hobbies and a social life? But of course I didn't! Or at least I did when I was younger and fitter but not as I got older, work became more pressurised and family commitments changed. Hobbies fell by the wayside and my social life shrank. On retiring, I promised myself to catch up with old friends and to take up again hobbies I used to enjoy plus pursue new ones and so this how I have spent many pleasant hours over the last two years.

The main reason, though, for not starting a blog is that I didn't know what to blog about. I'm still not sure exactly what I intend for this blog but I have been spurred into action by being given an early Christmas present - a new all singing, all dancing digital camera.

Whitely Bay 1963
One of the things I began straight after I retired was scanning and digitising all the old photographs from our many albums. So many memories and I am only up to 1990! This week, I found an album in our loft which contains photos that I took on my first ever camera at the age of 10 during a school trip to Whitely Bay and Newcastle. One of the my photos won first prize in the school's photo competition. Not that there were many entrants as very few of my classmates owned or had access to a camera!

Boat on the River Tyne 1963
I still have my first camera along with several others I have owned since, each one having more facilities and able to do more than the last. But in recent years I have just been using my phone to take photos and whilst these photos are of a quality at least equal to my previous digital cameras, I really would like to take even better photos. I would love my photos to be as good as many I see posted on a daily basis in the Facebook groups I belong to. Considering how many photos I have left to scan, reason suggested that I concentrate on this task before attempting to further develop my digital photography skills. But my husband thought otherwise! 

Bridge over the Tyne 1963

So I now have a new digital camera, given to me this week so that by Christmas I will know how to work it! Having already spent hours reading the instruction book, accessing and following help information on the web in order to get this camera up and running and able to upload photos directly to the Cloud, I suddenly realised how many new things I have learnt and discovered since retiring. It occurred to me then that perhaps I had found something I could blog about on a regular basis. Lets's see!  

I once had to blog about my work on an on-line course so I am not completely new to using Blogger but that was three years ago. So my first job is to re-learn how to use the software!