I can hardly believe I’ve entered the “final quarter” of my 366 Project. Only three months remaining! I’d been feeling like I’ve got this in the bag, until I scheduled partial knee replacement surgery for early December. My first thought: “What will happen to my 366 Project?!” Well, there may be a few shots of my knee—before and after—but I am still committed to completing this!
During the month of September I learned a couple things about taking photos of birds, namely it does really help to increase my ISO (film speed, for you non-photogs) so I can also increase my shutter speed. The photos do have more “noise” (less crisp), but it certainly helps with birds who are moving or flying, as birds so often do. I’m going to keep playing with this and see how it goes!
The second thing I’ve learned is that it does indeed make a difference if you have a lens with a bigger “reach.” I’ve been experimenting with a nifty new “toy,” a 150-600 mm used lens I bought. The lens is super large and heavy (I won’t be backpacking with it, let’s just say that) but it does what it’s designed to do…get right up there and personal with my little feathered friends.
On the people front, I continue to try new “tricks” when taking photos of my daughter. As I’ve mentioned, she isn’t always the most willing muse but if I get clever, “Do you want to go see the spaceship?” I’m definitely more likely to pique her interest.
The other trick is I try not to “wear out my welcome.” I’ve always been envious of moms (and dads) whose kids pose for the camera—easily. No bribery necessary. My kid is not that kid. But if I catch her at the right moment and in the right mood…and I’m quick about it, I can usually get a few good shots. Of course if she’s really into doing something (like throwing water balloons with Dada), I have a lot more chances to get it right.
No matter the season, there is always something happening in my garden or in the natural world around me. Sometimes it’s really subtle and you might pass by if you weren’t on the lookout, like when plants flower before they go to seed. I am a big fan of spring and autumn—they are each dramatic in their own way, one season bringing new life everywhere you look and the other flashes of brilliance before quieting down for winter. The lesson is to look, look for the subtle changes, the tiniest of details.
And the final lesson is pretty obvious. Get out there! Take a few minutes to stroll along the lake or sit on a park bench. We all (me included) get so busy with our days that we lose awareness of our surroundings, running from here to there with our gaze locked onto our phones. Take some time, get out there and look!
And with that, here’s September!
It’s all about the journey,