Sunday, October 14, 2012

Finding a New Hobby

When young Andrew was to enter the work force, he wanted to be apprenticed to learn photography but his father steered him into retail sales instead. That didn't last long, but he'd lost his chance of apprenticeship. He became a film editor, which must have helped satisfy his artistic urges. All his life he also took photographs, most of them very good. There are some wonderful framed blow-ups which we've always had on our walls: a London bus at night (with Tardis in background, I swear); young lovers in Central Park, New York; a colourful New York street scene; and an Australian landscape. He gave one of his sons a stunning framed blowup of Mt Warning at twilight, as a wedding present.

When digital cameras were invented, he wanted one of course. I got him one for his 80th birthday. (We went to the camera shop and he chose the one he wanted, then I put it on lay-by and paid it off over the next six months.) He enjoyed it for the rest of his life, and took some more good photos. Also I used it sometimes when his hands were too shaky; he explained the shots he wanted me to take. And then I sometimes borrowed it to take other snaps. He left it to me (along with most of his other possessions).

I was given a box brownie when I was 12. I didn't have much idea of how to compose a photo, just snapped friends for the record. As photography was an expensive hobby in the days of film, I didn't continue with it when I got older. But now some things have coincided. 

In July a friend created the Photo a Day Challenge on facebook, with a month of people photographing trees. I didn't; I was one of the people who enjoyed looking at the results. The next month was rocks, and well into the month (Day 27!) I suddenly realised I had some rocks I'd like to photograph. Andrew was in the nursing home. My two older stepchildren had been and gone; the younger was yet to arrive. It was obvious Andrew was dying, just not exactly how long it would take. It was good, in the times when I was not bedside, to have something nice to do to take my mind off things for a few minutes. 

Andrew died on September 3rd and after that there was a lot to attend to in various ways. That was the month of birds in Photo a Day Challenge. I didn't have any bird photos, nor time and inclination to take any. I didn't even tune in that often to admire other people's. But now, in October, as widowhood settles in, the theme is flowers — appropriate for Spring in Australia. I missed the first week, but since then I have been enjoying the challenge of finding the flowers and attempting to compose beautiful and/or interesting shots. (And now of course, one can manipulate them on computer for better results.) It's lovely to have a new interest, just at the time when I need something.


  1. I enjoyed reading about your journey with Andrew and his with photography. I love that rock photo. It looks like a heart, though not. And the flowers, what a beautiful way to punctuate the post. Two blooms of the same stalk.

  2. Thank you, Linda, for taking an interest. I must admit I was quite unconscious of the symbolism in the two photos I chose here. Thank you for pointing it out.

  3. Photography is a wonderful hobby. No matter where you are, you will find something to take a picture of. And taking them with Andrew's camera will make it all the more special. I can't wait to see some of your pics. The flowers are beautiful.


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