My mother is a Wizard of OZ fanatic, so at a very young age I watched this movie a lot. Everyone knows that the last line of the movie is, “There’s no place like home.” But before she says that line, Scarecrow asks Dorothy what has she learned. She replies, “Well… I think that it … That it wasn’t enough just to want to see Uncle Henry and Auntie Em. And it’s that if I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any farther than my own back yard because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with.” I learned this lesson with the assignment that our photography group choose at our last meeting. We choose to take pictures of the beach.
You might think, sure that is easy. You live in a beach town and you can just drive a few minutes and be there. Everyone doesn’t have that luxury. However, I decided to challenge myself a little. First of all, my 18-200 mm lens was in need of some repair and is in the shop right now. I only had prime lenses to shoot with for this assignment. Then I decided to use just my 50mm lens, which on a crop sensor camera is equivalent to about an 85 mm lens for a full frame camera. Then I choose to go to a beach that I have never been to before. Well if I have been there, it was when I was very young and I don’t remember it. I don’t really venture down to the Virginia Beach Oceanfront during tourist season much. I prefer to visit that area of town when the tourist have gone. It would have probably been pretty easy for me to go to that area of town and find plenty of things to photograph. I decided, however, to head to Sandbridge instead.
I wasn’t sure if I was going to find anything interesting to photograph, and I had no idea where I was going. If it were not for GPS on my phone, I would have really gotten lost! I went to a park at the beach called Little Island. They had areas to park your car and access the beach, as well as a bath house and a fishing pier.
I really enjoyed my time here at Sandbridge, and I would love to go back when I have more time to take some more pictures. As I was starting to drive home though, I passed a church. I love white country churches with black shutters. I just had to turn around and go back to shoot it.
So what does all this have to do with Dorothy’s lesson? Well sometimes I fall into the trap that I think a lot of photographers do when they first start out. You see so many great pictures on the internet these days of exotic locations. I often times get discouraged thinking that I can’t take pictures like that because I can’t travel to these exotic places. However, sometimes the things that are in your own backyard are just as beautiful if you look at them in the right way. Sometimes you have to venture out to areas around you that you may not have seen before. Sometimes you have to try to get a new perspective on an area that you have seen a hundred times. I do think Dorothy said it best, “There’s no place like home.”