creative soul-bearing

Last week was an amazing week for me… my 7d… my lovely, gorgeous, new Canon 7d arrived in the post and I didn’t open it for a whole week! I was absolutely petrified as I didn’t think I would know what to do with it! It is one of the most silly things I have ever done. Why on earth would I be scared of a camera. I guess in a way it is about what it means. It is a step up. A very big step up from my little 400EOS and with it, comes commitment and responsibility. I Know it is not a child, but it is a commitment to take my photography to another level; to learn more, devote more time to it, to market myself more, to get better at it… There are so many ‘more’s, it is unreal. However, when my manual arrived that I purchased at the same time, I finally found a whole evening where I could devote my time to nothing but my camera, and then shortly after a whole day that I could devote to my friend, her grandson and my daughter, oh… and not forgetting my Camera! All is now well with the world. I am nowhere near knowing exactly how it works, but one of the very interesting things about it is that having read the manual I am now so much more comfortable with using the Manual setting than I was before. I tend to always use the AV setting, as I take lots of portrait type shots and that allows me to concentrate on my depth of field and getting lovely ‘blurry’ backgrounds and well focused heads and eyes… There is so very much to learn. I have discovered so many things that the 7d does that the 400 does not alongside the 36 points of focus and the incredibly high ISO settings… the 400 only goes up to 1600 whereas the 7d goes way beyond that to 5000 ( think… or is it 3k…hrmmmm) – well, my memory is not what it was and for the sake of simply being able to finish this blog in one, I am not going to go and remind myself, I will report back later.

So, as I said, all is well with the world. I took some lovely shots at Escot but I have yet to post process them. I don’t think I will have to do an awful lot to them, but it is a job for this evening I think, and once i have done them I will of course post a few. We had such a good time – we actually got to see the red squirrels being fed and the otters. I love the otters but because they are in captivity I never get a good enough shot of them and to see them in the wild you need a minor miracle and a great deal of patience. I don’t know if you have figured this out about me yet – I don’t have a full bucket of patience readily at my disposal!

Anyway, now that I have my new camera, I was reminded that I had been invited or it was suggested that I should have an exhibition of my work… WOE! Really? I thought. Then just yesterday someone said they would happily show some of my work in their shop… okay… I thought… well there is obviously something going on here, and I am kind of thinking that there could be something quite fun to do here. I could show some of the beetles bugs and butterflies or I could go against every bone in my body and do some self portraits – something I have wanted to do for myself for a long time, though never thought I would have the nerve to show them. I am still unsure about whether I would or not. It is a little bit like bearing one’s soul and takes the photographic process to another level. The photography then does not purely rest in the art form or photography, it becomes art in itself, there is more creativity in it than simply reproducing an image before you. I don’t know if that makes sense at all. If I was to stage something and take a photo of it, it would be art… something I had created. If I simply take a photo of a ladybird it is simply a photo of a lady bird. If I was to turn that into paintography using photoshop, again, it would be art – something created not merely replicated. So in the same vein, if I take a photograph or a series of photographs of myself, wishing to convey a certain message or make a statement, then I have set that photograph up and have created the space for it to exist, and without a doubt, that would hold a certain message to whoever saw it. But, if I simply took a photograph of a flower, that would not convey any message… other than ‘what a beautiful flower I see before me’. Does that make sense? So, if I create something and then show it to the world (or more likely in a small local gallery) then I am bearing my soul to the world, especially and even more so, if the topic matter is self portrait…The pull to do something like this is very strong and yet it is also, like many things in my life past and present, my unbearable lightness.

Am I ready for that?

I guess I will only ever find out if I do it.


Baby ‘beautiful eyes’ Ava

As I sit here and eat a sumptuous bowl of spicy lentil soup and warm up for the first time today, I am reminded of all the sumptuous babies that have recently or are just about to come into the world. I have a couple of shoots planned for friends and have recently taken a few updates of growing babies. A friend of mine has a little baby girl who is almost six months old now. She is beautiful, as are all babies, smiley and simply gorgeous. I adore her! I get to see her every week and occasionally I get to photograph her too.

Here she is, the chubby little monkey. I decided to give this photo to her mother, and have got it blown up into poster size… Can’t wait to give it to her.

Baby photography by Christina Dithmar Photography, natural and available light photographer based in Taunton, Somerset

5 month old baby Ava