Ya gotta be out there.

Originally posted to ontheroadagainagain.com on October 18, 2014

It’s a beautiful fall day at Ha Ha Tonka State Park in central Missouri. Fall colors are nearly perfect. I’m on a hike with two friends, Pete and Bill. I met Bill yesterday; Pete I’ve known most of my life. They each have a camera with a 12″ lens that takes 30 frames per second while I’m taking pictures with an iPhone.  In a few days they’ll go home and share incredible images from the trip with their colleagues at the camera club. And I’ll have a couple shots on my phone that might not even make it to my computer . . . to say nothing of Instagram.

Why am I not more like Pete and Bill? I’ve taken my share of photos over the years. I’ve had pictures published in national magazines. I have an SLR camera (in a bag at home). Years ago I even processed my own film and had a ball enlarging an image a hundred times just to see if that dot at the end of the pier was a person. 

Yet here I am shooting with an iPhone wishing I were more like them. Every time I get home with a bunch of “beautiful” shots, I dread the task of separating keepers from outtakes, then adding the right tags so they can be found a year later when I’ve forgotten where I was or with whom I was hiking. The idea of posting them for others to see intimidates me so badly I want to lock the phone’s memory so they can’t possibly escape. So there they stay. I’m even wondering if I should take any more.

Hold on a minute, GrandpaLyle! There’s little doubt that others are taking wonderful pictures. There’s no chance that iPhone images can compete with those captured on cameras that cost thousands. Yet you’re not chopped liver. What you see and record has value ‑ perhaps only to family and friends ‑ but you’ll never know if you don’t put it out there. 

My attempt at iPhone photography

So here’s a photo I took at Lake of the Ozarks. It represents a moment in my life that’s worth remembering. Putting it out there for y’all to see may be an even bigger moment for me. 

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