Get­ting com­fort­able be­hind the lens

The Compass - - PUZZLERS - Melissa Jenk­ins melissa.jenk­

It’s been a year since I was in­tro­duced to The Com­pass read­ers as a new re­porter/pho­tog­ra­pher, and I am glad to say I’m still go­ing strong.

This has been a year of ups and downs, back­wards and for­wards, slips and falls. But I am here, con­tin­u­ing to keep the pub­lic in­formed as best I can.

Last year I crit­i­cized my­self for my pho­tog­ra­phy skills — or should I say lack of skills (oh look, I’m still do­ing it). Well, I am no Steve McCurry, but I think I have im­proved my tech­nique, and the re­sult­ing pho­tos are much bet­ter. I am much more com­fort­able be­hind the lens, and hope to con­tinue im­prov­ing.

Much to my sur­prise, I have been com­pli­mented… Well, maybe I should back­track a bit.

I had the hon­our and priv­i­lege of cov­er­ing this year’s Kiwanis re­gional mu­sic fes­ti­val in Car­bon­ear, a feat I ques­tioned if I could do.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love mu­si­cals, op­eras and tra­di­tional toetap­ping mu­sic. In fact, I of­ten mouth the words, and imag­ine my­self up there per­form­ing ( just like old times). But for this event, I pri­mar­ily pho­tographed per­form­ers. And I ter­ri­fied me when my edi­tor told me this would be my project.

I was not dis­ap­pointed in some of the shots I took. Oth­ers, well they went in the vir­tual trash on my desk­top.

Af­ter post­ing some of the bet­ter pho­tos on our websi t e (cb­n­com­ I had par­ents and friends con­tact me to com­pli­ment on them.

While this was tak­ing place, one of the an­nual edi­tions of Hori­zons (a busi­ness insert in TC Me­dia’s New­found­land news­pa­pers) was re­leased provincewide. I was shocked to see one of my pho­to­graphs on the cover. That’s a long way from not know­ing how to use the flash this time last year.

Be­lieve me, I still have lots of room to grow, and the tech­ni­cal side of a cam­era is some­thing I am still learn­ing. But I haven’t been quite as anx­ious lately when I am told I have to do a photo fea­ture or to not for­get to get a “few good snaps.”

Al­though I don’t con­sider my­self a pro­fes­sional with the cam­era, I am much more at ease these days plac­ing the words “re­porter/pho­tog­ra­pher” next to my name pro­fes­sion­ally.

— Melissa Jenk­ins is a re­porter/pho­tog­ra­pher with The Com­pass news­pa­per in Car­bon­ear. She can be

reached at melissa.jenk­

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