I once thought that having a baby would make me a better photographer, having a little model to photograph whenever I wanted. The reality is that having a baby did not improve my photography skills... it actually made them sloppy. The composition of my photos may be fine but the quality is definitely not.
A baby makes the hours shorter and days go by faster so I feel that nearly every photo I have taken in the past year has been rushed. Most photos you see on this blog are taken with my iPhone or Olympus point-and-shoot. Those cameras are quick to grab, simple to use, and usually nearby. The photos look fine because they are small but if you viewed them at full-size, you would see how noisy and unfocused most of them really are. I also have to rotate and crop most photos on the computer because I didn't take the time to compose it right in the camera.
I don't use my DSLR (aka "my good camera") unless I specifically make it a point to. Unfortunately, over the past year I have developed a tendency to "shoot fast and fix it later." Photoshop can do amazing things (though it is time-consuming) but it can't do much to fix bad quality. My goal has inadvertently become "make it good enough for the blog" when it should be to make it good enough for all purposes. Many of my favorite photos only look good printed as a 4x6 (some don't look good printed at all) so I could never print and display them larger. I am now slowly trying to correct the habit of snapping rushed, poor quality photos.
I'm lucky to have a sweet photographer friend here to go on photo outings with. We have gone to a few scenic places on the island and have even photographed a couple sunrises (all still on my growing list of blog posts to write). We still have a lot more sights to photograph before one or both of us move away. Cameron happily tags along with us, taking in the new sights and experiences.
This week we went to photograph the plumeria grove at the Koko Crater Botanical Garden. The plumerias bloom more in the spring but there were still enough to make the trip worthwhile. I'm trying, especially lately, to slow down and focus on quality. There is an art to getting a photo right in the camera so that you don't have to spend much time editing it on the computer.
These photos were all taken with my DSLR, shot in manual mode at a low ISO - this is a big step for me! They did not feel rushed at all and I even thought about composition while shooting so that I didn't have to crop or rotate the photos afterwards - another big step! Even Cameron was content walking slowly through the crunchy leaves and picking up fallen flowers. She never poses for me and rarely smiles when I want her to but she is still an adorable model :)
"Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving.
What you have caught on film is captured forever... it remembers
little things, long after you have forgotten everything."