Someone once told me everyone has to have a hobbyâ€¦ something to do to escape the stresses of day to day life. It should be something that you totally relax in doing, even if there is physical activity involved. Something that causes you to re-center yourself mentally and physically and allows you to be creative. And who cares if you donâ€™t do it exactly right by someone elseâ€™s standards, itâ€™s whatever the outcome may be that you are happy and satisfied with that is right.
Since then, I searched for what would make me happy. Life takes so much out of us, and with the added stress of D management, we need something to help us â€œescapeâ€, if you will. I used to think it was music. I tried my hand at a few songs â€“ writing lyrics, composing sheet music, etc, but after a while, it wasnâ€™t enjoyable to me. I love singing, but writing my own stuff just didnâ€™t seem to jive with me fully for some reason. Iâ€™ve tried drawing, painting, sewing, even writing, and none of it seemed to relax me. They were always something I always seemed to end up having to make time to do. So, after thinking really hard one day of what a great past-time would be â€“ something that wouldnâ€™t require me reminding myself, â€œHey, remember that ________ project you started? Well??? Are ya gonna finish it??â€. One thing kept coming to mind.
Pictures. I have always, since I was little, loved to have a camera in my hand. It didnâ€™t matter that at the time all I had was a simple point-and-shoot camera with no control whatsoever over the picture other than the 35mm speed film I used. Even then I had no clue. All I knew was that when I saw something, I wanted to capture it. Of course, it never really worked out, except in a few cases. I still have a picture of a beach pier walkway that I took when I was a young teen that I had taken with black and white film. I donâ€™t know why it stood out to me, but it did and I kept that picture. That picture is what made it all â€œclickâ€ in my brain. If I have always had this passion for pictures, why not build upon it?
So, thatâ€™s where my journey with photography began. I went out and bought a Nikon D60 camera and signed up for a short photography class through an online college. I finished my course last year, but really, it didnâ€™t teach much. I learned so much more from going and getting a few books, especially "Understanding Exposure" by Brian Peterson. Nothing about aperture and focal length and all of those manual settings made sense until I bought his book. Now, I love shooting in manual with my camera. Donâ€™t get me wrong, point and shoot cameras are great, especially if you are just getting a quick snap of something. Even the D60â€™s and most DSLRâ€™s have auto settings for that kind of thing, but being able to be in control and to use the camera to create art that you are satisfied with is amazing! So far, the picture to the right is my most favorite shot I have ever gotten. The background is perfectly blurred out and in the big version, you can see the detail in the butterfly, right down to the fuzzy hairs on his trunk and head.
The best thing about it (as with most digital cameras), you can instantly see the picture and find out if it needs a re-shot. I still find myself forgetting to reset something and the exposure will be off, but as I learned yesterday, sometimes, that can be a good thing. This picture was an overexposed one (duh, right?), but the cool thing about it is it looks like a watercolor picture to me. True, this is my vision of it and not everyone may agree, but the truth of the matter is that seeing them makes ME happy. It brings me joy to see that I can use a device as complicated as a DSLR can be to capture the nature God created for us to see in ways that look so real. Real enough to touch. It amazes me the emotion that pictures can convey to you if you let them.
Now, if I need a mental break from things, diabetes or otherwise , I grab my camera and go for a walk. Some days, you can go and never find anything really â€œexcitingâ€ to photograph. Then others, you can go and find tons of things and come back with lots of photos to sort through.
So, what are your hobbies? What to you do to â€œescapeâ€? What do you do that makes you relax and seemingly forget all thatâ€™s going on around you?