I have no special talent. I am just passionately curious
Recently I was contacted to ask if I’d like to complete a home learning course with NCC. And despite my advancing years, I decided that heck yes, I would like to. I am always wanting to better myself, learn new things and soak it up. I truly believe that there is always something new you can learn, even in a field you know so much about. There is no such thing as knowing it all, and I love being surprised, confused and inspired. Don’t you?
NCC run home learning courses from childcare to life coaching to marketing to creative writing. All the courses are accredited and run by a course tutor who is on hand to support and guide you while you study at home. The home learning aspect of the courses obviously suits a person like me. I have four children, I work from home, I don’t have the time to go out to college, or night school. But I want to learn. I am passionately curious.
My first instinct was to choose the Creative Writing course. I have a degree in creative writing, and I thought that this would be a great course to revisit some of my old haunts, and one that I would probably do really well in. But I guess that wouldn’t have been quite the challenge I was looking for, no matter how much I would have loved it. Writing is my main, number one most enjoyable thing to do. As a child I was forever sitting with notebooks and pens and breathing life onto the page. I was always reading, and translating what I’d read into stores, poems and notes. I always dreamt that I would some day be able to call myself a writer… and these days, for about 60% of the time I can. But I wanted a course that would really challenge me. Take me to new places. Give me skills and knowledge that nobody expected to see in me. So I chose photography.
Growing up, my estranged dad was into photography. I do remember long ago photo sessions and complicated looking equipment such as tripods, lights and huge white sheets. I remember he would take himself off for hours at a time to indulge in his hobby and it always seemed so isolating. So self absorbed and solitary. And I could never understand his need to take photos of trees, or other inanimate objects, when there were real life people right there in front of him. I can see now that it wasn’t the act of photographing unmoving objects that appealed to him, so much as the desire to escape.
And when you are behind the camera, you can escape in a way. You can immerse yourself in a world of memories, of precious moments captured at just the right time. Those little sparks of someone’s soul, right there for all to see forever. What I now love about photography is the way that you can take a fraction of your life and preserve it forever. And as a parent, this is an amazing thing to be able to do, as life hurtles past at 100 miles an hour and your babies are no longer babies, but life is still just as busy and demanding as it ever was. To be able to stop for a moment and capture the beauty that is your child. Not a tree. Your child. That person. That soul. That smile.
I am no expert. I truly have no special talent. But i definitely have a passionate curiosity.
This year, I would like to learn how to take a good photograph. How to snatch the perfect image to sum up the perfect day. How to set the lighting, mood and atmosphere and transfer these precious days into lifelong memories. I would like to learn how to use my camera to it’s full potential and I would like to look back and say that I did indeed learn something new.
I want to capture that sideways smile that reminds me of the wonderful sense of humour my daughter carries around in her mostly serious body.
I want to capture my son deep in thought, remembering where we were, what we were doing, what we were feeling.
I want to remember the joy of throwing stones into the loch.
I want to remember the peace of an afternoon by the river, watching the slow ripples on the surface, and the trickles by my toes.
I want to remember the excitement, exhilaration and wild fascination at Disney Land.
Every day, ordinary moments, frozen.
They say that `a photograph is the pause button on life. And when I look at some of my most favourite photographs, I have to agree. The really good ones will take me right back there to that moment with a wash of emotions and memories, Smells, colours. Sensations. And that is what I want, if only for just one photograph. That is what I hope to get from the NCC Digital Photography course. Wish me luck!