Magic Through The Lens

For the past few weeks I have been in search of a new lens through which to view and record my journey. I am an innocent where cameras are concerned, and have seen beauty in many of the photos taken with whatever camera I happened to possess. I have been undemanding even when it came to recording my art, though I admit to some frustration over lack of clarity in my images of drawings and sculptures. For this reason I was open to my friend, Kendall’s, suggestion that a better camera was in order. My art deserved it. Her encouragement prompted me to begin the search.

Due to having owned Olympus cameras in my past, An Olympus xz-1 roused my interest and I read about it and searched for it in several local stores. I am not a shopper and am not brave when it comes to internet purchases, which is why I ended up purchasing an Olympus TG-1 with the understanding that I could take it back within 30 days. Call it an experiment, or call me a little dense for taking home a tough camera: water proof etc. It is a better camera than I’ve been using, and once I got past my initial sense of intimidation, I had a glorious time taking my first photographs. Magic seemed  an undeniable element, I walked outside to find my cat, Sunny, lounging in a tree as if pre-arranged. From Sunny I went on to the beach, let the dogs run free while I happily photographed seagulls on piers, Music dog peeing, the children of a gentle father. I stayed for the sunset and went home replete, delighted with the renewed vitality found by viewing the world through a brand new lens.

The next day I took photos of art before sending some images on to Kendall for her valued opinion. My innocent joy was not prepared to hear words such as noise and pixilation. I knew nothing of these undesirable elements. She did praise my eye, and thought the art images were better than before, but thought the camera not good quite enough for my vision. I was let down a bit, but had to admit I had noticed limitations when it came to close up shots. Besides the camera was heavy; I couldn’t imagine lugging it around Paris.

There was another possibility that Kendall had mentioned: a Canon s-100, and true to the magical aspect of this journey, when I took back the TG-1, the Canon was there, simply asking for me to “give it a try”.  Something fearless had been awakened in me by the ease with which I had bought, experimented with, and returned the tough camera. Why not? This time there was no intimidation. I was shooting the little Canon almost before it was out of the box, and I thought I could see the difference. Kendall did, even with the art.

I did see a qualitative difference in the sculptures, but not so much with the drawings. The whiter I make the paper through editing, the less clarity I see in the lines. I am pretty sure that is my need to learn more about recording my art and editing my images rather than the camera’s inadequacies. I continue to experiment.  And I continue to carry the canera with me in hopes of magical moments. Such as this one…


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One Response to “Magic Through The Lens”

  1. Kendall Says:

    I laughed my way through this whole post! The Olympus was OK, but the Canon is better, and while maybe you aren’t yet satisfied with a camera for the drawings, you couldn’t hope for better than that picture of the sculpture. The red leaf floating in space is a GREAT picture, Leif. Any photographer would be thrilled with the magic of that one. I know it is daunting, but you’re prevailing, and your work really should be documented and preserved with respect.

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