I’ve been thinking a lot about photography lately, mostly my personal limitations in the field.

Over christmas, I looked through my mum’s album from her India trip, as well as the one that documents her Project 365. Her photography has gotten exponentially better over the past year, yielding pictures in India that I’m pretty sure will blow mine out of the water (note: I really need to get them printed). It’s funny, because I’m a great outdoor photographer, but you put me in a building with shaded light and I go to pieces. Can’t take a good photo of a paper bag, for the love of pete.

My friend Dani is a VERY good photographer. She sees things that I would never see and turns them into art. This year (she’s almost done her project 365, whereas mum has another two months to go) has seen Dani transform her photography into a passion that has in some ways changed her life. I asked her a few weeks ago if she thought that looking at the world from behind a camera made her withdraw from experiences. Her response was that in some ways it had, but that she had to engage in so many more ways in order to get good photos that life itself was a different kind of experience that she was having altogether.

Dani’s pictures are interesting. She struggles with people, though I think she may have nailed that one this month. But she had one photo this month that seriously made me want to leap through the screen. It’s so simple, but look at it closely.

Don’t you want to touch those ornaments? (I almost said balls, but seriously, that would have made me laugh too hard to be believed). Don’t you want to stroke it and see if its texture is what you think it is? My fingertips itch when I look at this photo (which I am totally going to buy from her eventually, cause I’m that person), that’s how bad I want to touch it.

Okay, here’s the thing: I like texture. I LOVE texture. I’m constantly wondering what things feel like. It’s not all that uncommon for me to ask someone I work with if I can touch a new item of clothing they’re wearing or (god forbid) their buttery new leather boots or bags. Oh, buttery leather. My own hair texture never ceases to amaze me – somedays it’s coarse and curly, others it feels like baby hair.

I’m pretty sure I’ve touched juts about every textured/stone/mosaic’d wall I’ve ever taken a photo of. It slays me that I can’t touch the paint on a canvas that I love, just to see how it’s done. Someone was at my house a few weeks ago and was admiring one of the pieces of art I have – “go ahead,” I said, “touch it. You know you want to!”. Sure enough, my friend really wanted to feel the curves and whorls of paint, to try and figure out how it was made.

I looked at my pictures from India when I got back and I noticed that they do not reflect texture well. In fact, I’m somewhat bitterly disappointed with those photos, especially now that I’ve seen how great my mum’s photos are. Maybe I’ll change my mind when I actually print them, but for now I’m just feeling… incompetent.

So here’s my quest: learn how to photograph (using a point and shoot camera, cause there’s no way I’m buying a $600 digital SLR) textures, specifically when I’m indoors. Unfortunately, I have no freaking clue where to start. I sense an internet research project coming up.

By this I guess I mean to tell you that I’ve decided (after entirely too many comments from Dani that I should really do this) to do not a Project 365 (a picture a day for a whole year), but a 7/52, or seven pictures each week for a year. That way if I’m, say, at Chateau Montebello and see some awesome stuff to photograph while out snowshoeing, I can use seven photos from that day, instead of trying to find a good photo every day of the year.

This texture thing is going to be a challenge. I hope by the end of the year I have it licked. Wait. I know by the end of the year I’ll have it licked. I just hope it’s not at the expense of a digital SLR!!

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