Photo: Dragon Egg at Sunrise

“Dragon Egg at Sunrise” 29.02.20

I’d dreamed for a long time about getting a DSLR, but somehow it was always out of reach – rent, food, business expenses, coffee and brunch – seemed somehow to push it down the priority list. What could I ever do with a camera that hasn’t been done before? How could I justify spending so much money on something that won’t bring a return? Would I ever be able to learn how to use it? And besides, I had a perfectly good camera on my phone.

My primary book project at the start of this year was a story that would be illustrated with photographs of handmade dollhouse scenes. This, I decided, was finally an excuse to buy myself a DSLR. After a bit of research, I settled on a secondhand beginner camera that would fit my needs and not be too much of a stretch financially – the Canon 1200D. It came with a bag and some accessories, and even a book on photography to get me started.

There is something to be said about waiting, though. I’ve often taken photos on my phone that I’ve looked back at and thought would look better if I had a “real” camera, or imagined photographs I could take while out exploring Aotearoa.

While waiting for my camera to arrive, I planned my own little photo field trip to explore the . I’d go to Moeraki first thing in the morning, then drive the back roads up to Ōamaru.

I missed sunrise, but was pleased with this picture, which I feel shows the Moeraki boulders in a different way: peaceful, with a hint of mystery, perhaps the calm before the storm. The boulder on the right is my favourite as I cannot help but think of a dragon’s egg when I see it – no matter how many times I visit the beach, with current guest in tow. I love the smooth texture of the sand in this shot.

Unfortunately, it was on this very first trip that I dropped my camera and cracked the lens. I have replaced the lens now and since that accident always double check that both the drawstring and the buckle are firmly closed. Lesson learned!

Now that I finally have a DSLR in my hands, I feel like it’s one of the best investments I have made for my creative spirit and artistic eye. Photographing – framing the shot, capturing a moment or an image that has spoken to me, producing an image that reflects what I see and how I feel – is nothing short of joy.

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