Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #133: My photography journey

I guess I’d have to say I’ve always been a lazy photographer.  When I was married to my first husband, who was an excellent photographer, besides being an engineer; I had an SLR film camera (this was back in the olden days before digital photography), but I had trouble mastering all its ins and outs, and when we divorced I left it for him.  Since 1991, I have used Canon point-and-shoot zoom cameras, and got some pretty good pictures with my original camera which is long gone.  When I went to Cambridge, England in the summer of 1991, I was a picture-taking fool.  I went to Costco and got a bunch of photo-department envelopes which I carried in my luggage.  When I finished a roll of film, I put it in an envelope, numbered it, and wrote on the back of the envelope where the photos were taken.

Once I returned home and had everything developed and printed, it was easy for me to put everything in albums in chronological order, and to identify all the places the photos were taken.  After 30 years, those old color photos have faded somewhat, but they still bring back lots of fond memories.  I did a big post on my blog, with a bunch of the photos I took on that trip.

Cambridge view
Myself, in 14th Century doorway, Trinity Hall, Cambridge-I’m 5’6″ tall

A much younger, thinner me!  This is where we lived, while taking a class called “Medieval English Society”, and we took field trips nearly every day to the surrounding countryside to visit ruined monasteries, castles, and country houses.  Since my first husband and I visited England in 1984, I have been fascinated and awed by the beautiful English countryside, with its fields bounded by hedgerows and low stone walls, and beautiful old cottages along narrow streets and lanes.

Orford view
Town of Orford
Oxburgh
Formal Garden, Oxburgh Hall

The city of Cambridge itself is still owned and maintained by the University, and just walking its streets was wonderful, knowing that people like Charles Darwin, Alan Turing, and Isaac Newton walked the same streets in their day.  This picture is the entrance of Peterhouse College, the oldest at Cambridge.

Cambridge-Peterhouse
This is the door to Peterhouse College, Cambridge. It’s the oldest College, started by the Bishop of Ely in 1284.

I got a kick out of the old/new contrast in this shot-that lady is pretty scantily-dressed, which was somewhat unusual to see on the street in a staid, 600-year-old university town.  It was the summer, however, and Cambridge had temperatures in the 80s, as I recall.

One of my favorite places was and is the city of Ely, and its cathedral and the ruins of the monastery of Bury St. Edmunds.  We visited in 1984, and I had fond memories of the place when I went back in 1991.

Ely Cathedral
Tower, Ely Cathedral
Bury St. Edmunds
Abbey ruins, Bury St. Edmunds
Bury St. Edmunds
House, built into the ruins of the abbey at Bury St. Edmunds, Ely

I learned that the locals around Ely had, since the Abbey was abandoned after Henry VIII reduced the monasteries, scavenged all the old sites and used the stones to build new buildings.  This happened all over England, and you can see old stones in newer houses if you look closely.

I was delighted to find, when playing around with my Harry Potter Wizarding World app, that when they made the Half Blood Prince movie, they used shots from the 16th-Century wool town of Lavenham for one of the places that Harry and Dumbledore visit.

Cambridge-Lavenham
High Street, Lavenham. A wool town.
Lavenham
Building in Lavenham, wool town in Suffolk

Since that trip, I have gone on vacations around the US and Canada, and captured some landscapes and seascapes, and until very recently all my photos are taken with my Canon point-and-shoot cameras, of which I have had three.  I have been quite pleased with the photos they take, with most of the work being done by the camera itself.  I was born and raised in Seattle, and have paid attention to the architectural styles of the older buildings in the downtown area.  I have been especially fond of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods

of the late 1920s and 1930s, and Seattle has some beautiful examples of “exterior decoration” from the period.  Unlike many who visit downtown, I look up from the street to see what the buildings look like.

OldFedIMG_0764OldNorthernLifeTower

Since I live in the Pacific Northwest, I always have beauty within a short drive.  We have waterfronts on lakes, rivers, and Puget Sound near us, and the Pacific Ocean and Strait of Juan de Fuca a bit farther away.

SilverLake1

Silver Lake is right down the street.

IMG_2592

The Skagit River is just north of us, and it originates in the Cascade Mountains.

Dungeness SpitRocks sand surf

The Dungeness Spit National Wildlife Refuge is one of my favorite places, on the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  But I always remember to not only capture the wide vistas, but the vistas right at my feet.

Rocksbig logs

I have been to, and photographed in the past few years, very cold places…

GlaciersBigAndSmall

Hubbard Glacier, Alaska, from the Crystal Serenity cruise ship, 2016

And some very warm places…

IMG_0772IMG_0760HulaLadies2

Kilauea Volcano erupting, 2018, and some delightful hula-ladies in Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii.

Lately, I have been taking most of my photos with my iPhone XR phone.  I used to poo-poo the people who went everywhere with their phones out taking pictures, but I have totally changed my viewpoint on that.  I can’t believe how great the pictures are that my phone can capture.  And I have decided to upgrade my phone this year when the new models come out, so I can get a better camera than my cheap model has.  Now, whenever I spot a likely subject; which may be in the Asian grocery store, or my own back yard, I just whip out my phone and take a picture on the spur of the moment.  And my phone takes excellent video, too, causing me to abandon my dedicated video camera!

2B796011-74A1-4FFB-98E2-566B22613B08

Japanese doll display at Uwajimaya Grocery Store in Seattle.

IMG_0687

Kikyo on her window perch.

So my photography journey has been a long one, and I hope to be able to extend it a good deal longer.  Now that I have a camera with me wherever I go, I can capture more of my life for me to go back over and reminisce about, and share with all my readers and followers here!

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