Lily joined our club shortly near the end of our 2019 meetings.  Read her story.  I'm thinking that we can relate to the photographic journey.  Old things are a favorite of mine too, and flowers calm me.  Read and leave a comment to welcome her.
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"I’ve always found beauty where others didn’t- a trait that led me to be a 7-year long member of (and eventually Chairman of) the Middletown Township Historic Preservation Commission. I started out taking pictures of old barns for fun; then old houses and structures to build a much needed computer database for Middletown Township.

I am fascinated by the Japanese philosophy of Wabi-Sabi. Here in America we are so quick to throw things away when they being showing a little wear and tear, but to me that is what gives many things character. I’m learning from the Japanese how to simplify my life, appreciate nature, declutter and embrace serenity and tranquility. Some of my photos reflect this concept by including rust, peeling paint, dying or overgrown plants, etc.

I am what you call an Aphant- I have a blind mind’s eye. This contributes to me having a poor autobiographical memory. Many people like me use photography as a way to document their lives. I have always been that annoying mom who follows her kids around with a camera. Now that my kids are older I’m beginning to take pictures of other things. As you’d imagine, not being able to visualize things that aren’t there makes it difficult to compose shots in advance. I will pick a nice park and go there with my Nikon D3200 and a few lenses, not always knowing what to expect until I get there. I look around for inspiration and let the surrounding speak to me. I see details that others walk past because I have fewer distractions. I quiet my mind and block everything else out because ALL of my senses are blind.

Right now I am very much into macro, as my newest lens is an AF-S Micro Nikkor 40mm 1:2.8 G. I recently purchased a focusing rail to use with it to perfect my pictures. I do photograph a lot of flowers, some with insects. There is a dichotomy in my work between beautiful and ugly things. I am still working on finding my style. In both the Wabi-Sabi and the macro photos there is a contrast of sorts, and I like that. I also like to throw in a bit of abstract art. Some people don’t understand or appreciate what I see, but some images move me almost to the point of tears. It doesn’t have to be a recognizable “thing” for me to appreciate the beauty in it.

I don’t have any formal training. The only art class I’ve ever taken was in college many years ago, and it was not related to my major. I’ve only taken a basic 1-night photography lesson at Allen’s camera. So please bear with me if I break some rules."

-Lily Padua