From Christina: I’m excited today to share a post from Sri Lankan author — and dear friend — Devika Fernando. In addition to being a talented writer, she’s a photographer as well. Although she claims to be “an amateur”, I think you’ll agree that her work is stunning.
by Devika Fernando
Thank you, Christina, for giving me a chance to share my thoughts and some of my photographs here!
My biggest hobby – apart from writing, which is profession and passion all rolled into one – is reading, but photography also makes me happy. I’m an amateur with anything but the right equipment, but I love taking photos with my digital camera, and do receive positive feedback whenever I share some of my best works on deviantART, redbubble or Facebook.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder
I agree that to some extent, professional equipment and basic knowledge about photography is necessary to shoot “beautiful” or “good” photos – however, my emphasis lies on “to some extent”, because even if you have the best equipment and a degree in your pocket, your photos can still lack something. What I’m talking about is a certain passion for the subject, an eye for beauty in its million faces and forms, and the will to catch something special. Whether it’s a snapshot where luck also plays an important role, or whether it is a carefully set up shoot with hours of thought and preparation – in the end, the photo needs to somehow incorporate a little part of the photographer. Who is behind the lens is just as important as what is in front of it, because as with every other form of art, the creator is part of the creation. That’s why all really great photographers have their own style and convey a message.
I love nature, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that most of my snaps belong to the category nature photography. I’m endlessly fascinated with the flora and fauna of places, much more than with people or architecture. If you give me a single tree or bird or flower, I can spend hours shooting away, and hours getting lost in the photos once they’re on the computer. My favourite is water of any kind, although it’s the most difficult to capture. The ocean is of course the mightiest, followed closely by waterfalls, but in the end, all forms of water fascinate me. I just feel so humbled when I look at a lake or river or even just a pond that is its own tiny habitat. Speaking of humility, I believe that the awe in nature is what makes nature photography so outstanding and powerful. If you just snap a creature or look for a picture-perfect postcard shot without feeling connected to the scene or longing to capture its essence, the photograph won’t have its own kind of magic.
When I photograph animals (yay to my new camera with a wide zooming range! *lol*), I kind of shut my mind and shoot as if I want to pay homage through my lens. I’m filled with love and admiration and respect for the creature, and I hope that shows when I portray it. I’m anything but a wildlife photographer, and I feel so blessed whenever I get the chance to catch a rare bird or even just capture my own cat in a tell-tale pose.
Speaking about nature photography, I think I love landscapes even more than animal pictures or flower macros. There is something inherently beautiful about any kind of scenery, some magic waiting to be awoken, some hidden power and perfection that will always triumph over man-made things. Capturing a beautiful landscape, to me, is on the one hand much more difficult than photographing an animal, and on the other hand much easier. Firstly, an animal is one small splendid thing to focus on, and it will speak for itself. Secondly, a scenery is a grand puzzle full of detailed pieces. It’s up to the photographer to decide whether the bigger picture is more powerful than one highlight. Then there’s the mood a landscape automatically creates, and of course the possibility to bring out the forms and / or colours in a certain way.
Nature photography can be challenging, but for me, the act of pressing the button is already a reward. I could spend my days simply looking at gorgeous sceneries and drawing inspiration for writing or for life in general from them. They have a soothing or stirring effect, can make me think or simply enjoy.
Almost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds – something that influences her writing. Besides being a romance novel author, she works as a German web content writer and as a translator. When she’s not writing, she’s reading or thinking about writing. Her debut romance novel, When I See Your Face, is now available at Amazon.