Photo Thoughts

Sylvan/silvan – pronounced (Silvuhn) 
noun: a spirit that lives in or frequents the woods; adjective: related to the woods

I subscribe to a daily e-mail that brings me a word a day to enlarge my vocabulary. I’d be happy if I could remember the words I already know or the words I knew before I turned 50.

What would I do without Google, where I can type in something like “pottery, dead, ashes” and eventually get the word I was trying to remember – “urn”.

But I was drawn to the word I received the other day – “sylvan”. I’m thinking of having t-shirts made that have the noun definition of sylvan with some little wood sprite romping in the woods, perhaps on skis or horseback.

Trees this time of year are actually more fascinating than when everything is all green and leafed out. You can see so much more detail in the bark and the angles and bends of the branches.

As I wander through blogland, I’ve seen some beautiful tree samplings. Skoog Farm has a great photo in her banner and Lady Fi captured trees during a solar eclipse. The photos KC has with her bike amongst the trees or her dogs jumping over a log on Romping and Rolling in the Rockies catch my eye. And how about the heart wood photo Lisa took on Laughing Orca Ranch? That’s just a few that I’ve seen lately.

Trees standing alone against a big colorful sky bring out different reactions and feelings than a group of white birch standing in the snow. This weeks Sunday Stills assignment addresses this emotional reaction that can occur when you see a photo. I can’t wait to see what people come up with for that.

I think it’s magical, the technology that can capture an instance in time. And even more remarkable is the talent behind the camera that has the eye and the knowledge and the reflex to make a photo pop with personality — to draw you into a landscape, an experience, or photos of people that show so much more than just a portrait.

Emotional Reaction = Huh?

I’ve wanted to mainly concentrate on my writing but I’ve become increasingly frustrated with all the photos that would have been so amazing if they weren’t blurry, too dark, too bright, focused in the wrong area, something distracting ends up in the foreground or background, and so on.

I know that even professional photographers take 100’s of photos, with only a few being “good enough” to use. And I had hoped that my photography skills would improve by trial and error. But many of my bad photos are due to ignorance and not knowing enough about my camera settings and how to override them when they are screwing up my pictures.

Lately, because my cameras and I rarely get to see the sun, my photos are especially blurry. My camera tries to compensate for the poor lighting with an extremely slow shutter speed. Once in awhile the “mistakes” create some interesting pictures (taken while driving to work).

And other errors, like unwanted shadows, can be interesting…

But most of the time, things like this are just plain irritating. I have found myself screaming at my camera, “Stop thinking for me!!!”

Unfortunately, my camera just smirks in reply.

But let it be known that the days of Maery being outsmarted by her camera are drawing nigh. I will rein in this camera folly and bring peace to the Rose kingdom once again. Huzzah!

In other words, I’m going to get out the manuals for my two cameras.

Similar Posts


  1. Hey Maery, there is a photography club called Sandhill Photo club (or something like that) that meets in Elk River. I know a few of the members and they are really neat people. You might enjoy the group. Let me know if you would like more info:-) I have always thought your photography shows great emotion, so my vote is for you to pursue it even if it does mean reading the manuals:-( Awesome pics of Lain! It is such an added bonus to have your subject be willing, cute and someone you happen to adore. Love your t-shirt idea ~ there might be someone we know that could help that idea come to fruition:-) Looking forward to Wednesday! Kathleen

  2. Maery Rose…I love your mistakes and the portrait is incredible. I would not do a thing to it…. I don’t read my manuals either…but I do take almost 100 pictures a day when I have both cameras. Thank you for the words about my banner shot of the tree. It is in our back pasture and has been dead for almost 20 years. We leave it there for the birds.

  3. The mistakes are very cool! Wow! I guess it’s ok to *sometimes* have your camera think for you!

    The portrait of Luke and your son (?) is bursting with energy and personality! I love it.

  4. Kathleen – You’ll have to tell me about the Photo club when we get together.

    Lori – Mistakes are sometimes much more interesting than the planned photo but I still want to understand my camera setting better. Indoor shots seem to often be grainy or blurry. I’m starting to wonder if I need a stronger flash. Not sure if my camera will allow that addition though.

    KB – The photos are of my son taken awhile back. The horse is actually Murphy, before he was sold. Thanks for the compliment!

  5. I love your wild driving shots! My camera outsmarts me on a daily basis. Either that or I constantly miss picture opportunities because my brain is off on some sort of vacation.

Comments are closed.