Monday, January 31, 2011

Photos and thoughts

Lately I've been letting my photos speak for me, so I think it's time to let a few thoughts ooze out...just a few. But first I'll start with a picture and a story about my mini adventure. :)
Nutria, 1/28/11, Nob Hill, Carrollton
On friday afternoons if we are not busy at work my boss allows me to leave 30 minutes early, which means I get an extra hour of light for photography. I almost always head straight to one of several nature areas in my city. Recently, I had purchased a pair of rubber boots so that I could go deeper into the woods. So here I was last Friday afternoon standing at the edge of the pond in my trusty new boots, not afraid of a thing. I had been shooting a timid little woodpecker for a good 30 minutes. It was getting near dusk, and he was being extremely shy, staying in the shadows of one particular tree. I was using manual focus because the light was so dim, and my 55-250mm lens does not focus well in low light. Suddenly I heard a rustling sound. I looked down and four feet to my right was a beaver! Well, I thought it was a beaver, but learned the next day that it was a Nutria. A rodent! Glad I didn't know it at the time because I am really terrified of rodents. It's the tail, y'all! *shivers* Anyway, I was able to overcome my fear, get my camera back on the right settings and shoot away. This was the only decent shot that came out. I think he was more afraid of me and my clicking sounds than I was of him. An exciting way to start my weekend.

Hairy Woodpecker, 1/28/11, Nob Hill
This is the bird I was shooting when the Nutria appeared. Dadgum low light caused this picture to be kind of grainy, so I embraced the grain with a wonderful texture by Jerry Jones of Shadowhouse Creations. His button is on the sidebar of my blog. Anyway, this makes me more determined than ever to save up for that 400mm lens. Although I know that once I have that I will be lusting after the 700mm. I really need to get my lens lust under control. I think it's a sin. 

Hairy woodpecker
Hairy Woodpecker, 1/29/11, Nob Hill
The next day I had better light, but it's still not as sharp as I'd like.

Now for thoughts...I did promise those, didn't I?
  • I love my church and I love our priest. He makes me feel special, like I'm worthy to be though this is the way Jesus himself loves. It's nice. I'm a little afraid of the feeling, yet I'm drawn to it at the same time. It's so refreshing to have a clergyman practice what he preaches. He has stood at the altar on more than one Sunday and told us we should make others feel as though they matter, that they are the most important person in the room. That's the way he makes me feel. Perhaps he senses my need.
  • My mother was overly emotional yesterday, but I refrained from crying with her as I usually do. I felt a little more in control, talking her through it, although my voice cracked a couple of times because she's becoming like a lost child, and that's hard to deal with.
  • I wish I could start a career in nature photography, somehow. When I'm out in nature seeing all of creation and capturing it with my camera, my soul is at peace. I feel closer to God than at any other time. Sometimes I pray when I'm out there—out loud—and it feels right.


Starla said...

You ARE a nature just have to figure out how to make it pay!
I think your photos are so incredible because you feel at home when you are taking them. You are at peace there. It is where you belong.

Lisa said...

I've been feeling emotional today (in a good way) and this post really touched me. :))
Sounds like nature photography might be a ministry for you and while you're talking to God out there, He is all ears. :) Don't be surprised at what might come up for you. God is the Master of surprises and good things for His children.

hootnonny said...

Agree, you ARE a nature photographer! Like father, like daughter? (Yeah, I once read his blog!) And I think your priest is right!

Louisiana Belle said...

Thank you, ladies!! I heart each of you.

Joanna Jenkins said...

All three pictures are fabulous-- the colors and textures are striking. And like the others about, I agree, you ARE a nature photographer.
xo jj

lisa said...

I know these little guys (beavers) can be pretty destructive, but they are so cute!!!
I have to agree with Joanna, Gail. You ARE a nature photographer, and I hope you continue with it.

Kittie Howard said...

Gail, I have to agree, you ARE a nature photographer. It's just a matter of time before a way appears to make it pay and/or provide feedback that officially pulls you into a recognized circle.

I'm sorry about your mother. It's sad when the mother becomes the child, very sad (have been there.) Africans have an expression: The child nurses on the mother; the mother will nurse on the child.

I hate rats, too! Yuck! However, at first glance I thought it was a beaver, too.

All of your photos are fantastic. However, the first one of the woodpecker needs to be shopped out...the Smithsoneon sends out holiday card samples, mostly nature scenes, that aren't as pretty as yours.

mamatronic said...

I don't know where to start, Gail. First, that rat was cute. Makes you understand the urban legend about the lady who takes in a stray dog, only to find out it's a nutria. I've never seen one until your photo.

I think God delights in those who delight in His handiwork. And there you are: delighting in it, talking to Him, while He delights in you... How wonderful to have those times with Him.

The things you said about your mother really strike a chord with me right now. I'm glad to be there for every minute of my older family members' lives, but I do grieve sometimes for the loss of our old relationship.

How did you make a post with a picture of a nutria rat so beautiful?

Ghost Writer said...

I love it when you open your thoughts to those around you. Your photos are beautiful and show us what you like, but your post reveals to us who you really are.

My heart is a little hardened. I have even been called a curmudgeon before. I am quite cynical of organized religion so it is quite refreshing when someone feels the way that you do and are willing to give voice to those thoughts.

Be blessed my friend.


Mickey said...

Gail - LOVED the pics! What fun to be shooting as much as you are. But I especially liked the thoughts part of the post. It's so refreshing to see someone lay it all out there. To just let their raw emotion out. So frank and honest. And so brave. My wish for you is that someday you get to actually DO make a living at your passion.
BTW - love "lens lust". :-)

charlottes web said...

You are already a nature photographer! You really are so good at capturing nature!
I love your writing about your priest and how he is so Christ-like. You are loveable...I see that in your words and pictures.
Have you prayed about your desire to be a paid nature photographer? You are so avid in your nature photography.

Love to you,


Hula Girl at Heart said...

I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes when I'm tromping through the woods all alone in my muddy boots I feel so in touch with nature and so spiritual. Oh, and I have lens lust, too. It's hard to control, isn't it? I love your nature photos. They're wonderful.