Taking Backyard Photographs

waterfall in the smoky mountains

We like to hike, and explore, and generally find inspiring people. Basically, we’re all about adventure, here at the YBA headquarters.

But we also just like to take pictures.

Tim is a professional photographer, with years of experience under his belt, but I’ve only ever used a point-and-shoot camera. When I was younger, that meant disposables (remember those!?) Now, I mainly use my smartphone camera. But Tim’s been teaching me about composition, focus, lighting … things like shutter speed, aperture. Technical details that have actually made my amateur shutterbugging just a little bit better, until I can afford my own fancy equipment.

We’ve got a photography session scheduled for this weekend. We’ll be going for a nature walk (honestly, most walks in these parts are nature walks by default) and taking macro photography of whatever we find! Stay tuned for a video on this in the future.

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I often use this blog for Knoxville-focused topics, but today I thought we could talk objectively about what we do: we find inspiration and stuff that makes you go, “Oh, cool!” from behind the lens of a camera.

dandelion seeds

What happens when you stop to capture the moment? More than you might think.

You become attuned to the magic of light. Photographers are, at their core, light-chasers. Sunsets, sunrises, the golden hour … that perfect shot can be distilled down to light.

Behind the lens, and after, when you view the photos you’ve taken, you notice details you’d never have seen. Your own eye is a subjective camera, and you subconsciously edit your view as you go. A camera records everything that’s there, without judgement.

Photography forces you to slow down and really see your world, appreciating it right here and now, instead of dismissing what’s in front of you for what’s around the bend. It’s the ultimate expression of living in the now, to do a photo session.

Of course, you spend quite a bit of your mental energy on the past in photo editing, but that’s ok, too. You relive memories and plot how you’ll take better pictures in the future.

That’s our contribution to The Maker City. We make films, and capture images, and write blog posts. We’ve got a lot to look forward to, as well! A date with some goats, parks to explore, more photography sessions and behind-the-scenes explorations of distilleries, artist studios, and other stuff we haven’t even thought of yet.

It’s easy to scroll through all those smartphone photos, dismissing them as an overabundance of digital information. A sign of the times. But take a second to pause on those surprising images that leap out from all the rest, and appreciate that moment in time you preserved.

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