Faded Monarchs

There haven't been many instances for me to catch actual butterflies in the garden. There were three of them, the other day. All adults, two of them with colors so faded and wings so damaged and battered that I was astounded they were still flying. The one I recognized from a few days prior; that time, though, it had been alone. Guess it loved the bush so much it came back and brought its buddies.

Took these with a faster shutter speed and the auto-focus function engaged (the default "sports" setting on my camera) because I'm terrible at gauging these sorts of things.
It reminds me of when I was young and my parents would give me their camera to take family and group photos. It was an old Kodak, 39mm with a five inch manual lens. And I was a myopic adolescent without corrective lenses.
Suffice it to say the photos were always blurry and messed up.
"I can't tell if the camera is focused or not."
It was one of the more supremely frustrating experiences I had. It wasn't until many years later that I began a tentative attempt to rediscover photography and found it enjoyable. Equipment that accommodates and can compensate for my weaknesses has been a large part of that. Even with an unsteady hand, astigmatism, and poor vision, I can take photos that please me. I get enjoyment from it. I've gotten to the point where it astounds me that I don't carry my old 6MP camera with me everywhere.

No doubt there's parallels that can be drawn here. About art, and finding the tools that work best for you. About recognizing your weaknesses and learning to compensate for them; about self expression, and the sense of fulfillment you derive, being your driving forces. Finding the medium of art that speaks to you, through which you communicate most easily. The gratification that brings you is like nothing else you can experience. Because everyone has the ability and potential for artistic expression--it's the mediums that are unique to the individual. Try new things until you find the one that suits you best. Keep exploring new mediums even after you do.

July's Camp Nano did not end up anywhere near as productive as I'd wanted. Progress was made but it was less than a third of my aspirations for the month. Which is fine, I'm not even particularly upset about the lack of productivity because I've spent a great deal of time thinking and stewing and engaging other mediums of artistic expression this month. Including making a little something special for someone who needed something special. Yes, terribly vague of me I know, but not all my artistic endeavors are for public perusal. Many of them, in fact, remain extremely privatized due to their nature. They've kept my juices flowing, though, and my imagination fully engaged for what I hope will be an August writing frenzy.