Some of the most beautiful buildings are those that can harness natural light and bring it inside, giving the illusion of being outdoors. Churches in particular are good at this, often being tall buildings with lots of windows. La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona makes you feel as if you are walking in a forest, with the light filtering down through the trees.
St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican, though done in a completely different style, is also amazing in this respect. The windows up high in the famous dome let heavenly rays of light come shining down.
Of course, natural light is part of what makes landscapes so compelling. In Ireland, the light is always changing as the clouds move, sometimes intense and sometimes soft. It’s part of what makes the “forty shades of green!”
The world outside my window is very snowy right now, but one of the things I love about Ohio is its variability. I love that we get four true seasons every year, and I appreciate each one! My appreciation of winter is growing limited at the moment, but I know it won’t last forever.
My inner world is even more complex and crazy. I am an introvert, a storyteller, a scientist, a dreamer, and most of all a nerd. Here are some of the things I’ve shared on this blog that give you a glimpse into my headspace.
Most photos I take with my phone, so I often quickly touch them up with Google Photos editing and maybe a little cropping. If I’m making a scrapbook with them, though, I usually put them through Historian, a photo editing software designed for scrapbookers.
Most of the time, I like authenticity in my photos. The Sagrada Família in Barcelona has been under construction since 1882, and won’t be completed until 2026 or so. (Construction had to be halted briefly last year due to the pandemic, and who knows how it will continue to affect progress). So when I visited in 2012, all the pictures we took had large cranes and other construction equipment in them. While I wanted to document the historical progress of the basilica with my photos, I also gave into temptation and edited the cranes out in one photo!
So instead of a slightly tilted, overly busy image of the facade of the church, now I have a beautiful photo that allows one to focus on the fantastic details that Gaudí designed.
My parents bought me my first camera, a Canon Powershot A500 series, when I was a college student spending a semester in Spain. We paid a ridiculous amount of money for a 512 MB SD card, which helped me take a lot of photos and not worry about film. This was the start of my photography journey! I have no formal training whatsoever, I just like to have fun and record memories.
Next I got a crash course in wildlife photography with a week long trip to Ecuador and the Galápagos. It was a great place to learn because the animals on the islands have no natural predators and will just stand there next to you while you photograph them. During this trip, I started to think more about channeling my grandfather, who was an avid amateur nature photographer.
I really got into photography because I am a scrapbooker. I came back from the week-long Galápagos trip with hundreds of images, which I then made into a beautiful scrapbook.
We were gifted a Canon Powershot SD870 for our wedding, which I used to take pictures on our vacations for many years. Returning to Europe was particularly fun because I could practice what I’d learned since Spain, with slightly nicer equipment.
Starting in 2015, I’ve stopped using digital cameras entirely and just use my phone to take photos. The convenience is worth the relatively low quality (funny considering that my phone has a better camera than that first Powershot did). Since I’m not traveling anywhere at the moment, I’m trying to find inspiration around my home (not hard with two kids to photograph!)
So, here I am, meandering along on my photography journey, learning more from my fellow Lens-Artist participants every week. I have grown a lot as a photographer since that first camera and trip to Spain; someday I hope to find time to make scrapbooks for all these photos I am taking!