If I think back, my longest standing hobby must surely be photography. From borrowing my dad's camera (who was passionate about photography himself, I think he once won a prize for an owl picture, and he kept with black and white long after colour was all in vogue) to getting a first camera, to being bequeathed the old SLR, all manual, and the calculating that goes with having to do aperture and speed for every single picture. Going on to saving and buying an automatic SLR. Resisting the digital revolution until I could afford a DSLR - if there's one thing I couldn't stand about digital cameras it was the shutter delay so while I owned a non DSLR I didn't use it much and continued to use my SLR when most people would stare at this monster in disbelief that such things existed.
In between I seriously considered an apprenticeship as photographer as my career path (and thought better of it when I realised that I'd most likely spend my days taking photos of weddings and kids in the same old positions). Even when I still wasn't quite sure what to do with my life I'd decided that photography was to be my hobby. It wasn't ever to be my profession because sometimes, you have to guard your interest and make it special by keeping it as a hobby.
And what a hobby. Even before the digital age, I pressed that shutter button a lot. A two week holiday has been known to produce 10 rolls of 36 exp film. I recently threw out years of taking photos at tennis tournaments - I was into sports photography in a seriously big way when I was 15-17. Looking back, it's quite unbelievable just how many photo one person can take of Jonas Svensson's double handed back hand.
Now of course most of my photos are of my kids. I'm forever looking for a new perspective, a new angle, a new expression and I love creating things from the photos. Now that little Miss Snowflake is up on her feet good and proper my arms are occasionally free again to take along the camera. Of course I still often miss a perfect moment because I decided the camera was too heavy to carry amongst all the other kids' stuff.
When two of my favourite bloggers announced that they'd be doing ecourses on improving your skills to take photos of your kids I just had to register for the first course "Capturing the Moments". I know that I don't really have the time, but on the other hand this summer at least is in theory the one where I have more time than I will have in the foreseeable future, and really, sometimes you just have to go with it. Just seeing the trailer was so snap watering that I picked up the camera one evening and took a whole pile of photos.
And that's one of the great things about blogging - although I don't as such follow photography blogs, I've often been inspired by a shot by one blogger or another, and while I don't post many of my photos here, reading blogs has made sure that my longest standing hobby was alive and kicking. And I think the sharing of photos during the e-course will provide another boost of inspiration, new ideas and things to try out on its own, never mind the actual course that I hope will develop how I take photos and maybe even let me get on a better foot with the camera's manual setting.
The batteries are charged and the SD card has been emptied, it's all go for the start of the course at the end of this month!