How I Came to Love Shooting Things

I lived my first 50 years rarely photographing anything...not that this stopped me from acquiring cameras...the gift of a Brownie as a young girl...a Minolta 35mm I bought when I thought I might get serious...an Apple QuickTake 200, my first digital model (never could resist a new Apple product)...a Pentax point-and-shoot to replace the unused Minolta...even a Leica Rangefinder I inherited from my Dad. 

There was only one problem:  an underlying belief...buried below my conscious awareness...a belief that it was more important to have an experience than to photograph one...the one I would be missing because I would instead be fiddling with camera settings.

Intending to take exposures, or so I told myself, I bought camera bodies...I bought lenses...I just didn't use them.  

It was November 2006 before I came to understand I could appreciate an experience while I was also photographing it...I was in Italy...I had borrowed my husband’s point-and-shoot camera, thinking it would likely languish in my carry-on bag the entire trip.

This viewpoint shifted the moment I took my first image...maybe it was the camera...maybe it was the location...OK, it was me...suddenly, I was captivated by the beauty of nature, architecture and history I could capture through the lens...I surprised myself by taking 2,500 photographs on that month-long trip.

Today, I take a camera everywhere...the difference now?...I actually use it...I even shoot mainly in manual mode and mostly RAW images...and, yes, no one could be more surprised about this than I am...

Kathy Bridges

Image Credit:  Image taken by Charlie Thomas, 2011.