Linda JeffersIn a world of so many great photographers and writers, I am venturing into some unknown territories, leaving comfort zones, finally very willing to practice the art of seeing. By maintaining the practice of posting daily photos, I hope to continue learning about the possibilities that I trust are out there for the taking.

Come join me on my journey!

What I’ve Been Up To.

I have made subtle references here on this blog, but have been a bit timid to share that I am enrolled in the New York Institute of Professional Photography Full Course. It’s a 1 year to 1 1/2 year course that you can take up to three years to finish. Right up my ally….on my time, not in-classroom time.

I have wanted to take this NYIP course for the last 3 years. I’ve been afraid to sign up because I have always had trouble learning (on the spot learning) like in a classroom environment. In order for me to remember and understand something I have to study on my own time, and physically and repetitively do whatever it is I’m trying to learn many times before any understanding comes. I’ve struggled with this problem my entire life but only learned other people learned things very differently than I do in the last twenty years or so.

I talked Jen into taking this course when she showed an interest in learning photography. She signed up. Jen teaches advanced students at a local private school and has NO trouble learning ANYTHING! Then I talked Stacy into signing up for the NYIP course after she started her adventure in learning to be a videographer and I realized she didn’t know how to “drive” her camera. (Forgive me Stacy:-) Now both my friends are taking this course I want to take but am too afraid to sign up for.

Finally I signed up too. This was the best decision I’ve made in a long time. I love sharing my love of photography with the girls and we get triple the benefit of being in the school together since we get to learn not only from our own homework video critiques but each others’ critiques too. I haven’t been this happy, ever!

Phew. There it is out there for anyone to read. Linda is in school! Yikes.

There are 6 Units of Study (each Unit jammed packed with a number of audio CD’s, DVD’s, multiple Lesson books for each Unit, other phamplet books, and of course tests and Photo Assignments we shoot for, print out and mail in to the school for audio critique. This is a serious course!

Last night Jen and I shot photos in the Palm Springs area, for our Unit Two Photo Assignment. (I got a good critique on my Unit 1 photos:-)). According to the NYIP assignment, there are three shots we are supposed to hand in. We have recently discovered we are allowed to turn in up to 7 photos for critique!!!!!
Photograph #1 – Emphasize a subject by its size and off-center placement. We are to make a horizontal photograph where the subject is both very large and placed somewhat off to the side, following the “Rule of Thirds”. If the subject is looking or moving in a certain direction, leave more space in front of it than behind it.

Photograph #2 – Use framing to focus attention on your subject. Photograph an object, person, or scene, framing it with tree branches, an archway, a window, or other objects.

Photograph #3 – Using leading lines to draw attention to your subject, photograph a person or object using leading lines to guide the viewer’s eye to the subject. If the subject is relatively small, be sure it contrasts well with the background.

Our attention in this Unit is Exposure and Focus.
The school has 3 Guidelines which I am finally beginning to practice with some regularity:

1. What is the subject – the theme – I want this photograph to be about?
2. How can I focus attention on my subject and draw the viewer’s eye to it?
3. Have I simplified? Have I included only what draws attention to my subject, and have I eliminated everything that is non essential or distracting?

Thanks to my mentor and teacher for the last 5 years, Carol Leigh, I am well on my way to understanding the value of these 3 Guidelines. I would never have had the courage to sign up for this class without Carol’s professional and fun, instructive, talented and gentle ways of teaching.

So…..below are some photos from last night’s shooting in Palm Springs. I don’t know if I’ll use any of these photos for this Unit Two Class Assignment but I was happy with what I shot. I’ll add the Photo Assignment # (1, 2, or 3) to any I’m considering to print and send in to the school.

Assignment shot #2 framing.

Assignment shot #1 – Emphasize the subject by its size and off-center placement.

Assignment shot #1 – Emphasize the subject by its size and off-center placement.

Assignment shot #1 – Emphasize the subject by its size and off-center placement.

Assignment shot #1 – Emphasize the subject by its size and off-center placement.. This photo is soft (focus is not sharp) but I liked it anyway but won’t be turning it in since Focus is one of the criteria for this Unit.

Just liked this shot. Not an assignment photo.

Assignment shot #1 – Emphasize the subject by its size and off-center placement.

Assignment shot #1 – Emphasize the subject by its size and off-center placement. Which do you like better for the assignment….this or the previous shot of Jen?

Assignment shot #1 – Emphasize the subject by its size and off-center placement.

Assignment shot #1 – Emphasize the subject by its size and off-center placement.

Assignment shot #1 – Emphasize the subject by its size and off-center placement.

#3 – Using leading lines to draw attention to your subject.
Do you think I can use this photo where my subject is the clasped hands saying the purse strap leads up to the hands, the forarms lead down to the hands and the line of the shirt and/or bare back skin leads toward the hands? Am I stretching this a bit?????

Sent this little girl who let me photograph her the pics I shot. Shy but soooooo adorable and not afraid to show me the Marilyn Monroe stance.

It is unbelievable how many people come out to see the statue of Marilyn Monroe on loan to us for a year.

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10 Responses to “What I’ve Been Up To.”

  1. Gottago,
    #3 – Using leading lines…
    The couple holding hands is an effective use of leading lines, and beyond. The composition keeps the viewer’s eyes engaged in the image. You really couldn’t do much better. Plus, I like the narrative quality of the photo. The bit of skin talks about the sexiness that’s implied in the relationship of their hips, and in holding hands.
    However, I’m hard pressed to find a subject, unless the subject is what I talked about in the last sentence. Given that the other photos you took were of people-as-subjects, the difference of this one stood out.
    So, two things. First, know what your subject is in this photo and be able to defend it.
    Two (because I know you are up for learning), think about individual works in the context of larger bodies of work. All your photos don’t need to “match.” However, viewers will rarely see just one of your photos: They will always be in context. If you threw this photo in with the dramatic, playful silhouette Bump & Grind photos, it would be out of place.
    I’m not saying “Don’t turn it in.” It’s a good fit, IMHO, for the isolated assignment. I’m upping the ante because I love you, and I love your enthusiasm, commitment, and willingness.
    Your thoughts? Feedback from class?

  2. Kentucky Jim says:

    Linda, there are some really great shots here. I’m jealous! Love your work!

  3. susan m. says:

    Awsome work Linda, Im so proud of you and your journey ! School takes courage, structure and discipline ! and I know that you have those behaviors because you’ve been teaching them to me for 8 yrs. Don’t forget to enjoy yourself…your taking beautiful photos !
    Jen has such a great smile….it isn’t fair !

    Love you,
    sue sue

  4. Ange says:

    Linda, Congratulations!!! I’m so excited for you and your journey thru school. You pictures are incredible- I love these shots. I’m agree with susan, you’re going to do wonderful!


  5. Stacy Jacob says:

    GREAT photos Linda! What fun you two must have had in Palm Springs shooting people. I love that you are sending the photos to those you shot, lucky them, I’m sure they’ll think it’s a treat to get them. )Oh, BTW, if others are reading it…I’m the girl that needed to “learn to drive” my camera. That couldn’t be more true and I love that we all signed up for the class together.)

    I love the last shot, the wide shot of the tourists…I like the leading line on the ground that leads up to Marilyn. I love the little girl in white and the composition with just the foot. I also really love the girl in the 2nd photo, the girl with the hand and the hands/purse. What DOF are you using on these, the creamy, blurred backgrounds really make your subjects stand out. Wish I was out running the streets and shooting with you. It’s always a good time!

  6. Patty says:

    Ha , following your own direction ! How can you go wrong with that .
    Courage and willingness ‘ awesome ingredients for success .
    I see u one day as a world class professional photographer .
    Your an amazing example of commitment .
    And the perks are youre loving it !!!!
    Great shots in P.S. framed example of Jen I thought was great.

  7. Patty says:

    You know I’ve always had to study extra hard in the learning process as well.
    Your not alone in this. Repetition reputation and not comparing oneself to others learning processes are key.
    I admire you in many many ways £>

  8. Congratulations with the enrolment at NYIP. It sounds like it’s gonna be a lot of great fun. You show a series of great photos. I have a handful of favourites. The first one is lovely for it’s special light, and then I like the hands holding each other for telling a story in a simple way and also the girl in front of the Monroe-statue is great simply for her cute expression. Of the two of your photographer friend (?) you ask about I would pick the first one shot a little further away. Her facial expression is more relaxed and I like to see a little more of her body. In the close-up the flash is a little bit hot. Great work. Have fun with the NYIP-coarse!

  9. Linda! Congrats! You will DO amazingly well. You have such a passion & talent for photography…and contrary to what you write, you ARE a quick “learner” 🙂 . Photography is a very complex “Art” and you’re progress has been fun to watch! Keep me posted on how NYIP works for you!!

  10. Cind says:

    Fantastic. Jen #2 🙂 particularly because of size

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