Putting the Camera Away | Mikaela Joy: Savannah Lifestyle Photographer

Yesterday I brought my camera with me (as always) as we went out on a boat with friends.  The day was destined to be full of wake boarding, smiling friends, and beautiful scenery and I was going to capture it all.  I donned my bikini and my camera strap (a setup for some odd tan lines) and started my day.

We started with tubing and jet skis, just cruising around the ocean.  I had my camera to the eye the entire time and I got some good shots, too. I was enjoying myself, but after a while my husband started to get annoyed with the camera.  I don't blame him, it's been pretty much glued to my eye since I got it. I handed it off long enough to let someone else get some pictures of us tubing, and then it got put away.

Of course, just when my camera went into the bag we arrived at Dafuskie Island, this beautiful place with mossy trees hanging over the ocean, a low-key restaurant with live musicians, and people everywhere.  There was a little kid in american flag swim trunks chasing around a little girl, a rottie that kept getting himself wraped up in his leash, people playing with footballs and frisbees, and so many different picture opportunities.  I went exploring around the place a couple times by myself and ended up coming back and asking Robert to unlock the boat where my camera was.  He said no, and told me to just relax and enjoy the day.  It was harder than it sounds.

I didn't take pictures, but here's what I did do without my camera--

  • I watched the lighting throughout the day.  I was out from golden hour to golden hour, and payed close attention to how the different types of lighting affected how people and objects look.
  • I looked for interesting composition.  I tried to view the world as it would be seen in the little rectangle of a picture and thought about how I would place things within those limitations.
  • I scouted locations.  I don't know the area well, so whenever I set up photos I tend to gravitate towards the same locations.  This gave me a few new ideas.
  • I thought about exposures and how to set them up in different lighting conditions.

So even though I didn't technically practice my camera I did prep myself for future shots.  This is my obsessive style of learning.

When I did get my camera back it was perfect golden hour lighting and the tide had gone out leaving a beach full of beautiful cranes next to where we docked the boat.  I decided that to kill some time I was going to chase them around on the beach and try to get some pictures.  What I didn't realize was that the beach that they were on was pure mud and that I would end up ankle deep in an oyster bed if I tried to get to them.  Needless to say, it wasn't such a successful adventure.  I ended up back at the dock feet covered in mud and it wasn't until I rinsed them off that I realized I was bleeding.  A lot.

It turns out one of the oyster shells had put a pretty deep slice into my pinky toe.  I also learned that oyster cuts are the worst when it comes to infection.  My plan was to clean it out and super glue it, but the hubby had more sense than I did on the matter.  We spent the rest of the evening in the emergency room, where they wouldn't even give me stitches due to the risk of infection.

We got home late- tired, covered in salt and mud and hungry, and I came out of this whole thing with two important lessons:

  1. Don't walk in oyster beds.  I don't care how careful I think I'll be, just no.
  2. It's good to put away the camera sometimes.  So next time I won't fight it so much.  I won't stop learning the craft, I'll just do it without the camera.

I suppose I could add a lesson #3 in there that said something about listening to the advice of my husband more often, but no, I think that might be taking it just a little too far, even if he turned out to be right this time.