www.whyville.net Feb 20, 2011 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Shooting Nature

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I love being able to step out the front door and rearrange this or that, or to capture something amazing. I enjoy getting down in the dirt with the cactus thorns - literally - to get that one shot, that one amazing image that only I see. I love capturing the beauty that nature offers, and no one can say that I'm not proud when I get an "Oooh" or an "Aaah" out of it.

Yes, I think I've always had an interest in photography. It's a wonderful thing, being able to catch the sun just before it dips down below the mountains in the west. Or, the dead tree across the street, glistening in the sun like an icy statue. Or the prickly pear in the front yard, dangerous and yet a thing of magnificent beauty, is one of my favorite subjects.

I think I've always enjoyed taking pictures. When I was young, I would beg my mom to by me the little Kodak point-and-shoot disposable cameras. If I got hold of one, I took pictures of everything; my stuffed animals, the backyard, my family, even stupid things like the crumbs on the table. But I loved it all the same, and it was even better once I got the film developed at Costco. I was able to see my masterpieces - not really masterpieces at the time - and I loved it.

When I was about eight, I took all my photos and compiled them into a tiny scrapbook. I still have that scrapbook, and I love flipping through it, seeing the shots that my eight year-old self captured.

It wasn't until I was about eleven that I started really striving to get photos that were simply amazing, or breathtaking. I got my first camera; a little digital Canon point-and-shoot thing. It didn't take the best pictures, but I still tried. When I was 12, I did get some really cool pictures of the beaches in Cozumel, and the snow outside our house in Texas. I constantly complained that my camera, with its dinky memory card, only held about 20 pictures.

When I was 13, my dad gave my sister and I the old digital Kodak camera. It was around three years old, but it was a really, really good camera. I was thrilled! My new camera took almost professional-quality photos, compared to what I had before, and soon I was going out every afternoon at sunset to take pictures. I no longer had a point-and-shoot camera, and my love of photography was able to progress a little further. It wasn't really an outlet for anything; I simply enjoyed being on the roof, squatting down to get the perfect picture of the sunset at the perfect angle. My photography is probably still considered amateur, but I aim to improve.

I've become almost obsessed with photography. I want to pursue it further. I want to be known all over America for my beautiful photos, if I can. But I'd also be happy with just me and my camera, capturing nature's beauty one shot at a time.

Here's some photography taken out front of our house in Arizona.


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