Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Camera Ready

My mother is an expert photographer. Well, maybe not an expert, but she's certainly accomplished. Of course, it helps that we lived next door to Peter Stackpole, who is well known for his LIFE Magazine photos of the Golden Gate Bridge and the building of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. He taught my mother quite a lot about photography over the 15 years or so we were neighbors. The home we lived in was one he built. It had a darkroom inside. Mom would go in there around 7:00 in the morning and emerge around 7:00 at night. I think making black and white prints was her favorite part of photography.

I never liked being photograph. (Ironically, neither does she.) So I didn't really develop the habit of having a camera around. I wish I had now that I have so many amazing photographic opportunities about me daily. As I make my way around the property doing my "morning rounds" to feed the dogs, horses, and chickens, I all-too-often hear myself think out loud: "Oh, I wish I thought to grab the camera."

Mornings are beautiful here. Some days in the spring and fall I see fog squeeze up through the canyons as it rises off the river. It's usually so white and billowy looking, I wish I could bottle it for the next day. I love how the fluffy whiteness contrasts with the deep evergreen silhouettes of the hills behind it.

The deer like to sleep in the "foyer" of "Chick-mo Hen-itentiary" (the chicken coop). I remember the afternoon I came across a spotted fawn curled up in the wood shavings. It didn't spook when I entered, which made me wonder if it was okay. If I had my camera, I probably could have captured it's sweet little face on film.

The turkeys right now are everywhere. The Toms are quite large and battling it out for who gets to be the Big Tom on Campus. I'd like to snap a few photos of that too, if only I would remember to grab the camera on the way out.

There's a woodpecker right outside our kitchen window that drilled a hole in the trunk of the tree large enough for he and his companion to fly in and out of. He (or she) spent months making this "tree cave". I don't own a video camera. But, if I did, that would be something the capture of film.

I'm trying to learn to be camera-ready. It's a new habit I need to form so I can  share with you the everyday beauty God puts in front of me each day. Now, whether or not the photos are any good is up to you. Remember, Peter Stackpole taught my mom about photography. Not me.

Keep your eyes open to the everyday beauty God put in front of you.

Here's something more about Life photographer, Peter Stackpole.


  1. I love this post. I have been taking photos for many years and almost never go anywhere without my camera. To help you remember to take yours out with you, you may want to consider placing it near the door, where you'll see it on your way out.

    By the way, thank you for visiting my weblog: www.kellyfbarr.com and reading my writing, and thank for the kind, encouraging comment. I hope you will continue to stop by and read.

    1. Thanks, Kelly. That's good advice. If I follow it I might get more photos up on the blog this summer.