The Station: Part II

Photos by Noelle

The photography meetup instructions were to be there no later than 6:30am on that Sunday morning. I probably should’ve left everyone a note “Come anytime between 6:30am and 7:30am, because the Zephyr is never on time”, but why spoil the anticipation. As it turned out, she presented herself, full of hydraulics and steam, at 7:45. As everyone grumbled about the delay I quietly sipped my coffee and admired her individuality. “Arrive whenever you want, honey. Nobody’s going anywhere until you get here.”

I have avoided a number of the meetups because I don’t have a camera. Just an iPhone. I have found all the lenses and tripods daunting in this group. No one has ever said a word to me or done anything to make me feel awkward, this is my own shit. I know it doesn’t matter on an intellectual level, but emotionally, I’m thirteen years old again getting beat up at the bus stop for not fitting in with the other kids. Cheap clothes, pudgy, dirty finger nails, greasy hair, nothing remotely fashionable, current or hip. I have probably never fit in, at any point in my life, but whenever I lack confidence I’m that poor, little girl, scrambling not to be noticed. Not that an iPhone isn’t hip or sophisticated. I’ve got a six, but in my mind I often feel this oddness of being the only one there with a phone and no paraphernalia.

Photography aficionados are a hearty and welcoming bunch. They love trading information and working their craft. Everyone is going to great lengths to set up their equipment and find the exact right angle and I’m just looking for a pole to lean against. People are trading tips and current Lightroom techniques and I haven’t a clue what any of it means. I look at my finger nails. They’re clean.

It’s weird the stuff we hold onto. The knee jerk reactions that are so deeply hardwired they feel like they belong to someone else. A few weeks before when the event was posted I sat and thought about it for a good long while. I’ve photographed this train station before, last summer. Click the link below if you’d like to see that series. I have an artistic eye that exceeds, more often than not, my lack of better equipment and software. It seemed silly to still be sitting, hunched down, on the school bus hoping no one would notice me. So I clicked the RSVP ‘yes’ I would go.

Everything changes with one genuinely, heartfelt choice that invites in newness. Histories can change on such small things. Just a click and my younger self is redeemed, as easy as walking through a station door.

Photos by Noelle

18 thoughts on “The Station: Part II

  1. I was wandering, why don’t you have (or buy) a camera, if you’re interested in photography. A bag full of lenses; a tri-pod and a flash are not a must. A good, small camera is enough.

    • I actually recently bought a simple point and shoot, but I find it much harder to use than the iPhone six and the photos aren’t really any better. I can also ditch and edit on the fly, which I really love. I do want to buy a more sophisticated camera and take some classes, though. One of the many things on my list. Right now I’m funneling funds into self-publishing my meditation pieces. But you are you are right, I could do a lot more and the interest is there to invest in the hobby. I’d make use of anything I learned or bought. Thanks for the support, my friend.

  2. Good for you Noelle. It’s hard to let go of our ‘old stuff’ None of us like to see it rise up in us. But you saw it and still moved forward. Thats all we can do. I find each time I do, it gets a little easier. Glad your fingernails are clean ha! Your photos look amazing and very professional. Who needs a fancy camera??? 🙂

    • Easier or somehow more familiar. LIke “Oh yeah, I’ve been here, I know what to do.” And thanks for the encouragement. So far, I’ve found the iPhone works well. There are definitely things I can’t do and at some point my own evolution will demand I move further along that path, but for now, I am happy with what I am creating. Blessings, my friend!

  3. Your camera work is always professional and expresses your unique view. You aren’t alone in feeling that you didn’t fit into the “scene”. Let it slide away and it doesn’t matter anymore. Perhaps some of your inner vision and strength comes from that young girl.

    • I’d say it a lll comes from that time in my life. I am a remarkably resilient character and I think that’s what I want to bring to my work. Thanks for stopping in.

  4. I always think it is the person who click the camera who makes the images great. Camera is just a medium..Your images are lovely – I would not guess they are from phone camera 🙂

    • Thanks, coming from you that is a most welcome compliment. I also think that is where I got to with my thinking. That it was a foolish lack of confidence, on my part. I think we grow in whatever we are doing when we stop telling ourselves we don’t know what we are doing.

  5. I enjoy your writing style Noelle, I chuckled a couple of times reading this one. (I was laughing with you, I promise 😉 ).

    At the risk of sounding like there’s an echo in here, I also think the photographer has more to do with the quality than the camera (or lens), and here you should have nothing to worry. Composition can make or break a shot, I’ve seen you nail this many times. Not to mention there are countless great photos taken from iphones. There’s no shame in it. There’s also enough post-processing options out there these days to make enough adjustments to suit 99% of us.

    But on the other hand I have the utmost respect for the photographer who manually sets up his or her shot. I have a SLR and have taken classes, I know the hundreds of details that can be adjusted, and the near-limitless ceiling of costs that can be associated with the nicer lenses. Oy. So, respect to that group for sure. That’s no doubt harder to accomplish, but in my opinion not necessary to capture a good shot. It’s just a hobbiest route from point A to point B. Similar to why people still have chickens or go fishing… Sometimes it’s just more fun to do things the harder way, right? 🙂

    • I have nothing against my fellow camera men and women. I admire their equipment and skill. I think it has been a journey to not be daunted by that equipment and all that they know and just put myself and my work out there. I have been working on a book to self-publish and it gives me immense satisfaction to know I feel confident enough to use my own pieces.

  6. Love the line about looking at your fingernails to check if they’re clean. I think we all get feel like that 13 year old unconfident version of ourselves sometimes. But like you say it just takes spotting it and making a conscious choice to walk through a new door. So glad you did, loved both the piece and the photos.

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