It’s been a few days of walking around in warm and cold air, of looking through binoculars and camera lenses. I love a scene that is broad with distance, and I love an up-close and detailed look as well. And I definitely enjoy taking photos of things that stir me.
I have a new appreciation for photographers who sit in the cold snow to capture that perfect wild life shot. Those photos do not happen by chance. I have a new appreciation for how cold their hands must get as they adjust the settings on their cameras. And I appreciate those who notice the world around themselves, allow wonder to envelope them, and then spend their lives in professions that inform us about the world we see and don’t see in our daily lives.
An interest in birding was first tickled when I was in South Africa visiting my friend Cindy. As we drove around the game park, she often interrupted my search for large animals by directing my attention to the many different birds we were passing along the way. I didn’t become a birder, I just began to pay more attention to birds. And now, years later, as I find myself content in sitting silently, I think I’ve become a novice birder, or more accurately, a super-novice birder.
My love for taking photos of scenery has expanded to a desire to capture images of birds, but as amazing as the iPhone scenic captures are, bird pictures are a no-go without better zoom capabilities. And so began the search for a camera. I settled on a nice bridge camera (something between a point-and-shoot and a DSLR camera) and rushed out to sit at a favorite spot.
It was freezing, the wind made my eyes tear as I tried to look through the viewfinder, and my fingers were getting stiff as I fiddled with different settings. That was happening a lot, the stiff finger thing, because I really don’t know the camera too well. But I snapped some shots and was pretty happy with my first round. Actually, I didn’t snap some shots, I snapped a LOT of shots. Sitting on the rocks, way above the water, I could zoom right in to get close-up shots of beautiful moments. I could also just watch as though I was right next to the various ducks. I loved every second of it.
And often I totally forgot about the physical discomforts because my attention was so fully on the watching and the photographing. And there was a merging of doing and being and it became a meditation. And I was full.
It’s been a happy start on this new path, even though there was some swearing as I worked to figure out how to get my camera hooked up to wi-fi for easy picture uploads, and also as I began the process of working through the instruction manual. I still have a long way to go.
This seems like a perfect way to enjoy the surroundings and to share with images instead of words…although somehow there are always words leaking out.