Yesterday I took a day for myself and finally started looking at Doug Gordon’s Workshop DVDs I’d purchased in March at WPPI. I learned a lot. This morning in overhead sun while hiking I took the photo below of Jen in the shade. I got in as close to Jen’s face as I could to gain focus, using the widest aperture, f 1.2 on the 85mm lens. Tilting the camera a bit is new for me too. I always shoot so literal and linear!
I wanted everything except for Jen’s lips to go soft…out of focus. In the past I’ve had trouble knowing how to use this wide open aperture, but today I liked what I got coming in close on Jen’s face. Lastly, while editing in Lightroom, I brought the photo into Nik Efex B & W software applying (and adjusting a bit) the High Key preset for the final look and feel.
The following is an excerpt from Scott Kelby’s Wednesday Guest Blogger featuring David J. Nightingale (aka Chromasa)!
“In early 2004, when I’d been blogging for a little over six months, and posting a handful of images each month, I came across Sam Javanrouh’s blog: Daily Dose of Imagery. One of the things that impressed me the most about Sam’s blog, other than the consistently high quality of his work, was that he was posting a new image each day, and I can clearly remember thinking two things. First, what a great idea, and second, it can’t be that hard to post 365 shots a year, can it? Well, for the remainder of 2004, 2005, and most of 2006, I attempted to do the same, and discovered that it was harder than I could possibly have imagined.
Now, if I’d had nothing else to do – like eating, sleeping, working as a full-time lecturer in a UK university, helping to bring up my young family, and everything else that goes along with being a human being – it would have been a piece of cake… Surely almost anyone can take one reasonable shot every 24 hours? But, in and amongst everything else, there were many days when I really didn’t have anything even halfway decent to blog, nor any time to shoot any new material. On those days I would sit at my computer and decide which was the least useless shot from a fairly bad bunch, drag it into Photoshop, and attempt to turn it into something more interesting.”
Because I haven’t gone out to shoot in the last two days, I didn’t have a photo for my blog. I went looking at my old photos for a photo I could maybe clean up and post. I found NOTHING I liked even remotely. None of the zillions of photos I have is worth saving. I even took a peek at some of last year’s photo class and workshop photos. Nada. I can’t even stand to look at my stuff.
This is a wakeup call. I need to pick up my camera and stop reading about photography and start shooting. I also need to start shooting in the EARLY morning light (which means I need to get up earlier than I’ve wanted to get up.)
Well, today, after 10am when the light isn’t so great outside, I picked up my camera fitted with the 50mm 1.8 lens. I got my diffuser out of the closet, stood by a window in the dining room that had some good light coming in through the glass doors, and shot half of my face. Why half of my face? Because my second photo assignment is “Halves”.
Here is the photo I shot.
I just need to be patient with myself, stop comparing my photos to the great photographers’ work, and just schedule in time with my camera.
While reading David duChemin’s new photography book titled, “Within the Frame”, I came across this sentence on page 156, “One of the most helpful parts of my process is an AAR, or After-Action Review. It consists of spending time at the end of the day, usually while looking at the day’s selects, and asking myself what went well, what did not go well, and what I shot today that I could shoot better tomorrow……………………Don’t let the knowledge you gained on today’s shoot go to waste if you can redeem it tomorrow for the images you really wanted.”
Interesting, this concept of AAR can be applied to life too. I even gave someone feedback who was asking for help to do the same thing by looking at the top of p. 86 in the B. B. “When evening comes……………”
I should listen to my own advice.
This quote below was also in David’s Wednesday Guest Blogger post on Scott Kelby’s blog.
“For me, though he was a psychologist rather than a photographer, Jean Piaget summed this up quite nicely when he said “What we see changes what we know. What we know changes what we see”.