Using photography as a way of being able to improve my sense of wellbeing seemed very natural to me. I have found it to be a marvellous way of being able to enjoy not just the creative processes of photography, but also being able to enjoy the immersion of myself into the natural world around me during these photography adventures.
The immersion into the natural world is a practice that the Japanese carry out and is called ‘forest bathing‘ and is “proven to lower heart rate and blood pressure, reduce stress hormone production, boost the immune system, and improve overall feelings of wellbeing” (World Economic Forum 2017).
THE GROWTH OF MY INTEREST IN PHOTOGRAPHY
The taking of photographs has been a part of my whole life in one way or another. I remember my father owning a Kodak ‘Box Brownie’ camera and observing his interest in photography. Some of the photographs in his collection date back to the early 1900s. Sadly, many photos from the collection have been lost, or given away by my father, or misplaced during the numerous moves we endured during my childhood. I do have copies of some of them though and, in particular, a black and white photograph which features huge bales of Australian merino wool on a large horse-drawn wool wagon on its way to Sydney, New South Wales, to be sold at the Exchange Wool Sale Rooms. The photograph appears to be dated 1930. I believe the person featured in the photograph to be my great-grandfather, but cannot be sure as both my parents have passed on now. It must be remembered that photo-taking and the printing of photographs during my father’s life and my own early childhood and early adult years was not generally undertaken as frequently as we do now.
NB: The Box Brownie camera was introduced as a way to make photography affordable for the masses which meant the everyday person was able to take photos anytime and anywhere. I found this interesting YouTube video published by Oshawa Museum July 10, 2012. It states that Kodak Brownie cameras had many faces and it also covers some of the basic history of the Brownie from 1901 to the 1960s.
PHOTOGRAPHIC CAPTURE OF FAMILY HISTORY
In my own family I am one of the photo-takers at family events which means that I am often behind the camera and not in many group photographs. It has become clear to me that the recording of family history, through photo-taking, is very important. This was never more evident than after the tragic death of my son Ben who was killed in a single vehicle car crash on the 5th November 2009. It was then I realised the true value of my photographs. All that was left was our beloved memories of him, and a wonderful collection of photographs that I had taken over 25 years. I so appreciate having many family photographs, particularly of my children, from their baby and toddler years, through primary and high school, the teenage years including 16th and 18th birthdays, their 21st birthdays, my daughter’s wedding day, her work graduation days and photographs which feature my son up until his death at age 25.
Recently, my daughter said that she better understands now both the importance of family photo-taking, and why I had always wanted to ensure that our family moments were recorded via a photograph. This revelation came about not just after the death of her own brother Ben, but after a number of deaths both from her husband’s side of the family and her own side of the family as well.
It pleases me greatly that my daughter understands the importance of capturing precious moments in photographs of loved ones; how these images can serve as a catalyst to storytelling by family members; how these stories add richness to one’s family history and a depth of understanding about where we come from. We are now both photo-takers and the custodians of our family history via our photo-taking.
TIME TO MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY
My daughter, in 2015, became interested in mastering photography as a serious hobby. I saw this as an opportunity to develop my photographic skills and knowledge, and a way of sharing a common interest with my daughter. My photo-taking skills with regard to using my entry-level EOS (Electro Optical System) 1100D Canon DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) camera had not been completely developed; to be honest Auto mode was all I had managed over the years. Time to be brave and use the Manual mode on my camera! NB: Just recently I purchased a new camera and lense being the Sony A7 Mark II and Sony A FE24-240mm F3.5-6.3OSS on my daughter’s recommendation and just love this camera and lense! Hence the decision to make 2017 the year that I am really going to make a big effort to fully understand the workings of my camera and become familiar with Adobe Lightroom 6. My daughter and I enrolled in a short CAE course to learn the basics of digital SLR (Single Lens Reflex) photography with Krystal Seigerman which proved to be a good place to start our photographic journey together.
USING LIGHTROOM 6 TO DEVELOP RAW IMAGES
Below is a ‘Tim Grey’ YouTube video which shows how to resolve organisational challenges in Lightroom (published 18 June, 2015). He explains and demonstrates how to optimize photographic workflow to ensure a photograph needed can be found, and where it should be. I found it very helpful. Tim Grey also has numerous videos available which cover the ‘ins and outs’ of Lightroom thoroughly. Worth a watch, and especially good for both novices of Lightroom, like me, and professionals who just want to pick-up some extra tips.
Over time my photo journaling will hopefully embrace landscape, street, portraiture, night and moving object photography. At every stage it will be very much about learning and experiencing this wonderful, fascinating world. I hope sharing will encourage others to take up photo journaling as a way of being able to reflect on daily life; to live in the moment; to capture precious moments shared with loved ones; to be creative; to experience the natural wonders of the world and most importantly – to enjoy life!
Have fun with your photography…
Please click here to view page on Landscape Photographs taken by Karen Robinson
Please click here to view page on Garden Photographs taken by Karen Robinson
Please click here to view page on Seascape Photographs taken by Karen Robinson
© Karen Robinson – January 2017