Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shutter Happiness

Back home I have a file cabinet, tubs and several photo albums full of pictures. On my external hard drive, thousands. Yes, my name is Lois, and I’m shutter happy.

I’ve only had my lovely Canon 40D DSLR for a couple years, but in that time I’ve taken advantage of all the storage a memory card has to offer, versus a 35mm roll of film. I still remember my first really great camera. My uncle splurged and gave me a snazzy Olympus film camera for Christmas/my birthday one year, and that’s when I started to take the view through the lens seriously.

My first victims that night were my grandparents, and I quickly burned through a roll before the night was over. The next day, the cats were my models. The majority of all my photos would have to be of them, and I bet I still remember all their names.

In college I was known as “the girl with the camera” because it was always around my neck as I walked across campus, either for work or for The Wayne Stater, the college newspaper. It was also during this time that I was dubbed “Ubiquitous Photographer Extraordinaire” by the Arts & Humanities dean. I took that title seriously because my photos were either going to get published, be on the college’s website or brochures or be archived for historical purposes. I wanted people to appreciate my work, and I wanted to be able to pat myself on the back at the end of the day for successfully exhibiting my carefully-planned composition and what I saw looking through the lens. Devin will tell you that composition is probably my best quality in producing a photo. I leave all the technical jargon related to aperture and shutter speed up to him. I can set it on the camera, but explaining my settings to someone is near impossible for me.

A wonderful part about dating a fellow photographer is connections. He’s a member of the Elkhorn Valley Cycling Club, and I’ve been taking photos of the team’s races for three years. Never previously introduced to the sport, other than rooting for Lance Armstrong during a Tour de France stage many years prior, I began to develop an understanding of the emotions and the sacrifices that go into training and making that pay off on one’s way to the finish line. And it is now captured in my photos. I love going through the memory cards at the end of a race and seeing all the facial expressions, the determination with each pedal stroke.
The team members liked the shots from the start. These past couple weeks have been even more amazing, as so many people have expressed interest in the photos. They’re not only connected to the EVCC website and my Facebook page, but also on other cycling websites, area cyclists’ blogs and as riders’ Facebook profile pictures. That makes the late nights of sorting through hundreds of shots rewarding because all I did was show up, hoping I was fast enough to catch those guys and gals. The riders love them, their families love them, and luckily they’re all digital.

I dread the day I have to go through all those memories and choose to toss or continue hoarding them because so many more have been and will be made in the years to come.

Here’s to another day, another 8 GB of photos. *Cheers*