Monday, 4 March 2013

Photographing France

 One of the pleasures for me of living in France has been the opportunity to photograph things completely new to my experience. I have very few expectations or pre-conceived ideas of most of what I photograph. Oddly enough, that's different to how I see and feel about things when I'm not behind a camera lens. In those moments I'm more likely to judge, compare, get the head working.

 When I'm behind my camera I get to feel and just BE. Things just ARE. Usually I'm seeing things positively when I photograph them.

I've really only caught a tiny portion of France on camera. I'd like to do more visiting but that requires a financial investment and I'm not quite able to do that yet. So far I've captured some of the beauty of Brittany, Normandy, Ile de France, Poitou-Charente, Provence and Centre, the Loire Valley. 

Aside from the countryside regional variety to be found in France there's the history to explore and interesting characters to discover. The later only happens spontaneously. I'll do better with that when I've mastered my new camera.

Last year my trusty Nikon D60 that I bought in December 2008 in the hopes of spending time in Paris with Nicolas(well I got the camera but not the man) decided to malfunction. More specifically, my favourite lens died. 

While saving up for a decent DSLR I purchased a Nikon S1000. It has been a disappointment despite all the hype. This compact and I don't suit each other. I need to look through a viewfinder not at a screen. I need to KNOW that what I see is exactly what will be taken with no time lag. I need my camera to function well in low light. Yes it's small and fits in my handbag but it's not a pleasure to use.

For six months I've saved up and finally last Saturday I collected my Nikon D3200 from a shop in Paris. I'm determined to master this camera beyond point and click and using various scene modes. I'm also keen to explore the dimension of movies. It's not a video camera but it does shoot movies. Wouldn't you like to read my blog occasionally AND watch a little movie?

Cameras and me are an inseparable pair here in France. It helps me document my 'journey' for myself and people close to me who can't join me on it. Digital photography means I can afford o have this as a hobby and it means I can publish books of photos. I already have  a good collection of photos of France that could one day find themselves inside a professional, saleable publication but there's more to be done and this new camera gives me the hardware to achieve better shots. I've just got to get my personal software around how to do it and that'll take practice as well as reading the manual and any specialised books I can find.

Later this month I'm off to visit the Paris Book Fair and next month I'll be heading back to Michigan USA for work so there will be an incentive to look for different shots and play with settings. It doesn't come naturally, the technical side, so a bit of effort is required.
It's a joy to share my photos with others. Hope I'll feel the same about any future little movies.


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