Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

The Dark Horse Region

The Dark Horse Region
A View into the center of the Milky Way

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Nbr 4 - What I Like About This Shot - At the Spillway

There is nothing striking about it, nothing that stands apart from any other ordinary snapshot. In deed, that is exactly what it is, an ordinary snapshot. The person in the image always liked to clown around, he pulled such antics going back to his early years, and true to his nature, he just had to get animated for this one. It was a fun day that day, one we can remember with fondness.

Why I like this picture? Well, because snapshots are some of the most endearing and enduring pictures we can take because they capture life as we see it, as we live it. Snapshots reveal to us who we were. They capture our past, our families in candid moments, and they capture moments in the unique timeline history that leads to us now, at this very moment.

Sure I could have setup a speedlight and framed the image to produce a nice well lit portrait. But I didn't...I simply did what most people do, just took the shot because it was there to take. I have boxes of family snapshots, and you know I probably get more enjoyment thumbing through them than all the time I spend sifting through my so called Good Pictures.

Why do I like this picture? Well, it just so happens this is the very last photo ever taken of my dad. He was just shy of turning 91 and we were back in Oklahoma visiting for some much needed vacation time off. A few days later we returned home to Kentucky...barely a week after that...he died.

I like this picture for many reason, most which I cannot effectively translate into words. When I see this picture my heart is saddened for I can never again call to talk about the OU football game. We can no longer have those political discussions, and this election year would have been filled with all sorts of comments. A deluge of memories floods my thoughts, for all of the family I grew up with are now gone. I am the only one left, and this is the last reminder I have.

My dad was proud World War II veteran having served and fought on Leyte and Okinawa. With Veterans Day almost upon us, he still serves as a great example of one of the Greatest Generation. The hat he is wearing is a WWII Veteran hat. I have it now in my curio cabinet.

Often, memories are rekindled by thumbing through collections of snapshots. That is why snapshots are the best way to communicate your life to family members not yet born, so...take plenty of them not worrying about how good they are. It's not the quality of the pictures that counts, it is the quality of the memories they capture that counts.

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