How I’m spending my dash

Just over a year ago, I blogged about the passage of time and our perception of it. The older I get, the more I fear a day when I’ll look back and wish I’d done things differently. I don’t want to be like the character in one of the novels I read this summer:

“He found himself infused with an almost overwhelming sense of regret – for many of the things he had done, but most of all for those he had not.”

Peter May, Runaway

That’s one of the reasons I’ve rekindled my love of photography. I need something to occupy my thoughts and my time that isn’t related to my business.

I’m a bit disappointed with the NYIP Travel Photography course, finding it more geared to those who want to pursue a career as a travel photographer than someone like myself, who just wants to take better photos.

On the other hand, The Art of Photography was exactly what I needed and wanted to take my skills up a notch! I’ve come to understand that anyone can take an ordinary photo of something beautiful, but a good photographer can create a beautiful photo of something ordinary. It’s now easier for me to see possibilities in the world around me, though I still have a long way to go! I’ve uploaded some of my assignments to my Flickr account, if you’d like to check them out.

Not wanting to lose the momentum I gained from the course, I’ve started the CY365 Photo Challenge. The daily prompts are just what I need to keep my creative juices flowing. I’m posting my photos for the challenge on Instagram and having a lot of fun with it. One of my photos has even been featured by the challenge organizer! (That’s mine on the top left.)

And of course, I’ve been reading – a lot.

I’ve kept several of my photography books from the 90s, and recently decided to re-read Photography for the Joy of It by Freeman Patterson. Although there’s more about film and darkroom work than I remembered, I found the sections about “learning to see” very helpful at this stage in my hobby. As it happens, Patterson is from New Brunswick, so I only have to cover BC, Quebec, Nunavut, Yukon, Northwest Territories, and PEI (actually, that sounds like a lot!) to complete the Canadian Reading Challenge.

If you’re also working on the Canadian Reading Challenge – and even if you aren’t – I highly recommend Room by Emma Donoghue, who is from Ontario (I loved the movie too).

I’ve also spent time this summer with friends and family. As Linda Ellis says in her poem, The Dash, that’s what’s really important in life, and it’s too easy to let it slip between the cracks, especially for introverts like me who don’t tend to initiate social activities.

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