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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!

Sunday Lighting Play.

Jen and I wanted to move forward today on completing Unit 4 of the New York Institute of Photography course we are taking. I was really looking forward to getting back on track with studying, shooting and completing the course. So when JJ was here last week talking about an upcoming photo shoot he had and needed tips on portraiture photography I invited him to join me and Jen today.

Boy did we have fun using the small green guest bedroom for our home studio. It was cramped but we made it work. It was great learning from each other. And did we laugh a lot? Yes we did!

Here's JJ!

Here’s JJ!

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And, here is Jen!

And, here is Jen!

And me. Photo by JJ otherwise known as Jim Keener.

And me. Photo by JJ otherwise known as Jim Keener.

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Making Finishing the NYIP course A Priority!

From two to six today Jen and I finally got back to practicing Unit 4 in our 6 Unit NYIP Course. There are 5 or 6 Lessons in this Unit and for this assignment we were practicing north facing window light coupled with a reflector on the shady side. We added the Westcott Apollo Orb softbox (above camera) and liked the lighting best.

5d Mark III
85mm L 1.2 lens USM
ISO 100
f/1.8
1/200th sec

North facing window light on Jen's right side. Second light source - a reflector just off Jen's left elbow. Forty three" Apollo Orb above camera. (Wescott's octagonal softbox...it doesn't require an adapter ring!.)

North facing window light on Jen’s right side. Second light source – a reflector just off Jen’s left elbow. Forty three” Apollo Orb above camera. (Wescott’s octagonal softbox…it doesn’t require an adapter ring!.)

Cropped this shot to 16 x 9. Same setup as first.

Cropped this shot to 16 x 9. Same setup as first.

Jen’s Shade Shot of Me.

Jen came over tonight and I printed out her Unit 3 photo assignments to be sent to the NYIP school. So we are now both on Unit 4. Stacy better hurry up!!! She's also in the NYIP School course.

Jen came over tonight and I printed out her Unit 3 photo assignments to be sent to the NYIP school. This photo of me is her shade shoot submission. So Jen and I are both now on Unit 4. Stacy, you better hurry up!!! Stacy’s also enrolled in the NYIP School course.

NYIP Unit 3 Done.

I’m attending the online New York Institute of Professional Photography School. I haven’t worked on Unit 3 (of this 6 Unit Course) since last August even though I love the course. Today I finished Unit 3 and look forward to moving on to Unit 4 which is all about Portraiture.

I took the online test. Listened to all the audio CDs and DVD. Below are the photo assignments that I just printed out and will be mailing to the school tomorrow.

Assignment: about 90 degree lighting. Thanks Ray! Salton Sea, CA.

Assignment: about 90 degree lighting. Thanks Ray! Salton Sea, CA.

Assignment photo #2 - Back lit shot. Out my back door.

Assignment photo #2 – Back lit shot. Out my back door.

Shade shot. Out my back door. Thanks Jen!

Shade shot. Out my back door. Thanks Jen!

Assignment #4 Shoot a flower subject side lit with white reflector at 45 degrees.

Assignment #4 Shoot a flower subject side lit with white reflector at 45 degrees.

Assignment #4 -  take two shots, not changing anything from one shot to the next. First shot use 45 degree lighting. Second shot just add a white reflector board to second lighting setup.(This photo shot using 45 degree side lighting only.)

Assignment #4 – Second shot, all same settings, not changing anything from one shot to the next. Only add 45 degree lighting using a white reflector board to this second shot.

 

Lesson #2 – Stock Photos.

Jen and I spent almost 3 hours next to the I-10 Freeway in the middle of all the windmills tonight. The truckers had fun honking their horns at us. We are definitely addicted to the joy of photographing new subjects. Jen shot with me for my Betterphoto.com Lesson #2 assignment (taught by Jim Zuckerman). I had to express one or more of the following concepts:
transportation, communication, office stress, competitions, winning, power, depression, the future.

Energy assignment for Stock.

Communication.

Transportation.

Power. (Archive photo of Mary Kay.)

Transportation. (Another archive photo.)

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.

Day’s intension turned to self obsession.

Canon 7D, EF 70-200mm lens, ISO 400
1/200th, F/4
3:48pm, cloudy

More practice with on-camera flash on my friend Stacy.

Now it's Stacy's time to capture my sassy look.

Photoshop skills require constant practice. I’ve not been practicing.

Finally got back to catching up with my online Advanced Photomontage Class. This assignment calls for using clip art and backgrounds with a subject matter.

Advanced Photomontage Class begins.

I love taking classes from Carol Leigh. Thank goodness I listened to Carol Davis when she repeatedly mentioned Carols’ online classes to me some almost 4 years ago.


Macro photography Assignment.

Mystery Photo Assignment. First of three photos I'll be submitting.