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I became a bit of a photo buff on my 40th birthday.  My friends and family all pitched in and bought me a digital camera.  Was worth a fortune back then.  It was a Kodak 3.2 megapixel and I was smitten right from the word go.  You can’t even begin to understand my devastation when Kenny Kodak up and got a loose options dial.  Now I know that doesn’t sound like a big deal but trying to hold the camera AND keep the dial in place at the same time became just too hard to do so I retired him.  I still have him.  I couldn’t bear to see Kenny hit the scrap heap.

In the space of a few years I’d taken thousands of photos on him.  Being financially strapped quite often, I would make a disc of photos for my nieces and nephews of their weddings rather than have to find the spare dough to buy an expensive present.  I’m not just being cheap, I also prefer home made presents.  This has now been upgraded to a slideshow and coffee table book.  But back in the days of very few digital cameras, I would take photos of the ceremony and then rush home before the reception and print up a wedding card which carried their very first wedding photo.  If I do say so myself, I had a much better eye for it than I ever expected so when Kenny retired (I don’t like to say the dead word) I went out and brought myself another Kodak… and another one…. and another one, till I finally gave up and decided they just weren’t the same as that first baby.

I have a Fuji DSLR now as well as a small Sony for carrying in my handbag but am about to upgrade to a new DSLR to do my photography course starting soon.  People are exceptionally loyal to brands and of course, as discussed in Marketing.. It does get in Mrs Marsh, there are usually two major players and we generally align ourselves to one, regardless of what the product is.  This time I’m talking about Canon and Nikon.  I’ve decided to wait to complete more of the course before I update as I’m getting conflicting ideas of the best.

Once again, I’ve digressed a bit off my original thought. So, getting the best shot became a bit of an obsession with me.  I wanted to be quirky and different and the best (yes my Leo tendencies are showing again) so I would go to a lot of lengths to get the right photo.  At one of my nieces weddings, the reception was held on a river boat in Mulwala, Victoria (Australia) and the scenery was just amazing.  At one point I looked out a window and saw someone standing on the upper deck so had a great idea.  I had the bridal party go up on the upper deck with their champagne in hand while I hung out of the lower deck window, being held by my legs to ensure I didn’t fall in the water, and took a photo looking up at them.  Pity help anyone who walked past me at the time as I’m sure it wasn’t a pretty sight but I got the shot I wanted.

I’ve spent time in the mud getting the up shots I’ve wanted.. even at weddings (not up skirts.. up shots).   I learned to wear clothes that either wouldn’t show the dirt or dresses that would cover my dirty knees.. I’ve even brought a blanket to one wedding so I could lay on the ground.  Pick the amateur.. I’m sure a professional would have so much more dignity than that.. and still get a better shot.  Still, a girl has to do what a girl has to do.

I went to a wedding a while back, where I was sitting being a good girl, not snapping crazily for a change when I realised the photographer was down the back having a good old conversation while the wedding was taking place, so super snapper to the rescue, I started getting the shots needed.  Trouble was this time, I was NOT dressed to do it. Still got some nice ones, much to the relief of the bride who got next to nothing from the photographer.  At one of the recent weddings I photographed, I stopped a ferriswheel so I could get the right shot in front of it… Oh okay, I asked the guy running it if he would and he did.. 🙂

So anyway, since I shifted up here to the Blue Mountains, I’ve fallen in love with the scenery.  How could you not? It is the most beautiful place, with mountains that just go for as far as the eye can see, smothered with trees of majestic proportions and smatterings of waterfalls.  A photographer’s dream.  I got the great idea after being here a year or so, that I should start to get some black and white photos when people come to visit that showcased the mountains and eventually I would make them into a large collage canvas for my wall.

Great idea, but getting the shots isn’t as easy as it sounds.  There are so many safety barriers up in the usual touristy places that you have to go a bit out of your way to get the good shots.  I had a heap of people up in 2009 for Stuart’s 21st and decided to take them out at sunrise to see one of my favorite places for photos.  I wasn’t planning on taking any so we all piled into the car, in our pyjamas, knowing full well it was so out of the way no one would see us.  Mmmmmm.. okay, how was I to know it was rubbish day and the truck actually picked up from up there.. or that some fools use that hill (and trust me its steep) as their morning bike riding exercise.  So here we are, a group of 5 middle aged women, in their flannies and dressing gowns on top of a hill watching the sunrise and getting sprung by every man and his dog.  sigh.

I’ve taken some great shots in that area, in the mist, sun, wind etc.  To get the REALLY good photos though, you have to make the people you love most in the world sit on the edge of cliffs.  Well that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  In actual fact, I have found a series of places that look more dangerous than they are. The effect is fantastic and awe inspiring… the effort a lot less than it looks.

I have limits as to what I will do to get the right photo though… Snakes…. not a hope in hell..  There is no such thing as a good photo of a snake so they will not be on my camera…  I won’t skydive to get that awesome shot of hurtling to the ground at breakneck speed..  Knowing my luck, the camera strap would get caught up in the parachute chord and I have no intention of getting a posthumous award for photography thank you very much.  Bungee jumping? same deal.. of course I’d have to tell the operator my real weight and would lie, so would be splattered as a result of my vanity.  Swimming with sharks, eels, piranhas, stingrays and other such delightful sea critters…. oh and I don’t scuba dive either.  I panic and hold my breath watching someone on television swimming underwater.

I think I’m okay with most other things though.. although, wild animals that eat me alive are possibly not my choice of subject either.  What lengths have you gone to to get the perfect photo?  Are there photos you desperately want to capture? Let me know.. for now I’m about to go try to get some more photos of my dog.  I have to do it while he’s asleep because if he hears the camera in my hand, he turns his head away.. He’s shy lol..

Happy Snapping.. Livvy 🙂

Lachlan at Hargreaves lookout

Anne overlooking Megalong Valley