I am typing this as a person who has a phobia about flying insects but has developed a passion for butterflies, specific moths, ladybirds and possibly some I have yet to meet. I still have my phobic moments which are notable to anyone within hearing distance but when I see the detail and the beauty I can repeat the song we were taught to sing as children 'All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, all things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all’ I can remember sining this in school and Sunday school yet the truth doesn’t fade like a fairytale does, the truth of creation all around us is evident today.
Despite my inbuilt phobia with flying things nature has given me an escape to indulge in natural beauty without the fear of being judged or rejected. If I am not meant to take the photo the butterfly will do what it often does, flutter out of sight to reach a safe place but only because this is a natural instinct which I can cope with. I have learned to wait until they land and then slowly approach but some are so sensitive they can feel fear from metres away. If I manage to take the shot the feeling is incredible as I know how often my subject has left the scene. I know that when we go through our camera cards and find a reasonable photo we have been privileged to have captured that moment of trust.
I was mulling over a few experiences which happened recently and realised when we have been I have developed a nervousness about taking photographs of people. The shots I used to delight in taking have suddenly placed a barrier in front of me. I am afraid someone will shout or react in a way I couldn't cope with. I seem to have gone back into myself as far as people and social situations are concerned and feel uneasy when I am presented with situations like this.
Dad doesn't have the same fear of taking people shots which has only just started to affect me in a real way. I know I am shy in social circumstances and feel this is becoming a trait in my photography. Perhaps my love of prime lens has added a block whichIi didn’t have when I used a zoom lens much more. There is no doubt I can be at one with nature, despite my fears, a spider hiked a ride on my ruck and the rest is left to your imagination when I found him back in the car! I still put the ID books out of my room at night as I can’t think of the details of all things that fly or crawl in the darkness of the night! My love of nature and conservation has given me a new approach to focus on subjects which present challenges in order to count the number, determine the habitiat or find something we haven’t found before. They may fly away but unlike people they can't hurt with their words or reactions. My self consciousness has raised its head with people but enjoying nature raises my spirit in thanksgiving!
I wasn't feeling the best yesterday so I decided to take a walk on my own and found new scrubland, very close to home. I wandered about with my camera, thinking a lot but mainly looking for butterflies or dragonflies. I had just read a chapter in my book where the man was searching for green-veined white butterfly and how he had become confused with ID specifics. I spotted a white butterfly, I didn't care which one as I really needed a photo of anything I could find in this derelict field. I saw a dragonfly but it couldn't land in the wind. I saw enough to to see he looked to have a red body. I got stuck in thistles trying to keep up with him to see if he would land but to my dismay he got away. We will be searching this ground again before the workmen change the scene (for the worst) A patch of land, home to nature will soon have bland bricks and mortar.
I uploaded my photos to let dad see my white butterfly and to my amazement it was the green-veined white I had just read about earlier that day! I have kept all the photos as this was a first sighting for me. The first few shots were quick fire incase he flew away but then I found I could take better ones although I was afraid to move to the other side of him as I knew he really would fly away. I used to just take my iPhone especially if I was alone but things have changed and I don't feel as self conscious with my DSLR. My iPhone was easier to take those sneaky shots and I still wouldn’t leave home without it but I feel I am crossing another bridge in photography in more ways than one. Is my journey starting a fresh or is this the place I needed to find to restore my faith in this world?