Beginnings …

I’m not sure how to start this, but I’m not going to let that stop me.

I’ve got a sabbatical coming up, and I want to do something really great for it. It’s such a gift to be able to take time off from teaching to work on research and writing, and I won’t squander the chance.

I’ve decided to spend a good portion of my sabbatical hiking the Camino de Santiago in Spain. The Camino is a whole network of routes dating back hundreds of years by which pilgrims could walk from anywhere in Europe to the church at Santiago de Compostela. The most common way to do the Camino today is called the Camino Francés or “French Way,” and that is the one I aim to do.

I’ve been thinking about this project for a long time now, and about a month ago I had a moment of clarity when I realized that one of the things I want to do is photograph the Camino really well. That’s where this blog comes in. For a long time I have been an amateur photographer. It all started when I went to Spain as a graduate student to do research on my doctoral dissertation. At that time, my wife, Betty, and I had planned on traveling through Spain together (my project was about contemporary novels dealing with the Spanish Civil War in rural areas). However, just a few weeks before we were scheduled to leave, our daughter became sick and was not able to travel.

Frustrated at the prospects of wandering around Spain by myself, I decided to purchase a camera in order to have a hobby with which to pass the time. I purchased an Olympus PEN E-PL1 and a couple of lenses, read a book on photography, and away I went.

I loved taking pictures in Spain, and I still love some of the pictures that I took while I was there. This is one of them: a sunset in Girona with the steeple of the cathedral in the foreground.

Sunset over Girona 2009

At some point along the way I got rid of that old Olympus camera (I’m still kicking myself about it), and I’ve started just taking pictures with my iPhone. Those pictures have also (occasionally) turned out pretty well.

Iguazú Falls July 2022

Now it’s time to take things to the next level. I am already hard at work (re)learning about photography, and I’m trying to take lots of pictures so that I can hone my craft. I’m still just working with my iPhone, but I’m saving up for a new camera, and in the meantime I’m learning to use Lightroom to post-process RAW photos. Hopefully a year from now I’ll be able to produce something really magical on the Camino.

Farmhouse 2023

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s