DAY 365+43

unexpected ally

This is my contribution to Photo-Heart Connection this month 

My husband gave me a few macro lenses as a birthday present past December. One day, after all the Christmas celebrations, I went out with my camera, thinking of trying them. I was imagining all the wonderful photos I would take. I have always admired the botanical macros and flowers close-ups so I was ready to capture some fabulous images. However, as I walked by the park next to my home, I lost my inspiration. I wasn´t able to find nothing that fitted with what I had in mind and I felt  that my camera was driving me crazy, but I walked and walked and made several attempts

When I was back at home, I couldn´t be more disappointed. And that feeling increased when I edited my photos. Most of them were blurry, others were out of focus and the few that were not too bad (technically speaking) were simply awful. The flowers seemed strange creatures that frightened me and  some tiny details -
as stamens or sepals- looked threatening remainders of an unknown world, though I´d  usually considered them to be enchanting 

Even so, I went out with my macro lenses one more time, and another one but I didn´t obtain better results. I started to hate them because I couldn´t find myself in my photos and they were making me lose the pleasure I usually find while shooting and editing

Oh... I was so annoyed. I kept wondering why I could not take a great macro. One day the answer came to me from a little place inside me and was clear: you can´t take better macros because this is the very first time you use those lenses and maybe you need time, maybe you can need even more time than others and this is not a crime. And suddenly, 
 I became aware of the foolishness of this question

To be honest, once I acknowledge this, the whole thing made me feel stupid and arrogant. Once again, I was forcing (and punishing) myself because I was too far from my expectations

I have lived that way part of my life: always making the effort to be better, always discontented, always wanting more, always judging myself harshly. Nonetheless, I have learned to let go my perfectionism, to accept that I can get things wrong and also, that I can´t be good at every single thing. But those macro lenses made the perfectionist that still live in me to wake up and scream: I was so concerned by taking the perfect macro that I was forgetting to enjoy the process 

So I decided to relax and enjoy. I went out with my camera and my lenses again without any preconceived idea in mind about what I should achieve. I walked, breathed and had fun and when I was coming out of  the park I saw this little creature (only one centimeter length). It was taking delight in the warmth of the morning light and was also, absolutely still

As I was looking at it, I perceived the texture of the leaf where it was resting, the delicacy of its colors, the shadows and its velvety wings that were so precious. I simply focused the image I was seeing through my view finder and shot. When I heard the click, I knew that I had taken my first acceptable macro. 
Now looking  at it, I see  the moment when I trust my own eye

I still don´t feel very comfy with those lenses, but I know that I will improve over the weeks and I will find my own style 

... And if this doesn´t happen, I´ll  feel well anyway


Cheryl said...

Beautiful macro image! I'm so glad that you got to the point of relaxing and enjoying the process. Isn't it a fun journey that we are all on?

Sandra said...

What a sweet butterfly on a furry leaf! I love the transparency of the wings against the light.
Macro lenses need getting used to. I am still getting used to mine!
All new learning takes time and lots of practice. It seems that this photo came out really well and best of all, it expresses what you wanted to share!

Karin - The F Girl said...

I love this image, but even more love the words you wrote along with it. I so recognize the tendency to beat yourself up, to expect too much and be dissapointed in yourself about something really silly. We'll learn, eventually, every day a little more, to accept ourselves, our flaws, our bareness and realize that we are most beautiful that way.

It's kind of a beautiful process,don't you think, even though it can be so frustrating now and then. :-)

Leanne Barnett said...

It's quite a journey! Lovely shot & a great reminder that you need to be gentle on yourself- great photo heart connection.

Marja's Stamp Addiction en Marja's Creativity said...

Such a lovley and beautiful picture and thanks for your words.
lovely greet

Sarah Huizenga said...

Getting great macro shots does take time. I think because we understand the photography process and see how the macro shots work, we think we should be great at them right away. WRONG! I totally understand about perfectionism! I am finally feeling happy with macro shots that I am taking and I have had my lens for three years. Keep practicing and then put it away for a while play with other lenses and then come back to it.

Cathy H. said...

Oh, this is beautiful! It looks like I could reach out and feel the softness of the butterfly and the leaf. I, too, have struggled with my macro lens. I haven't used them in a while, you inspire me to dig them out and try again!!

Michele Matucheski said...

Glad you found the butterfly out there to give you some encouragement! Sometimes we do need that sign to let us know we're on the right path.

Kat Sloma said...

An amazing Photo-Heart Connection this month Zena. It's hard to be a beginner, sometimes, because we expect to just try something and be good at it. Being good at being a beginner, letting ourselves learn at our own pace, is maybe what we should focus on instead! Thanks for sharing with us this month.

tinajo said...

You´ve captured a lovely moment there!

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