Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Finding the Light

*Warning: Photography geek-out ahead.*

Yesterday an online photography workshop that I signed up for began. It's a four week workshop on natural light by Brooke Snow done through the Rock the Shot Forums. Each Tuesday a new lesson is posted with several videos. After one session I'm already loving the workshop, and definitely think it was worth the money.

The first session covers "finding the light." Lighting is everything in photography. Brooke says, "Find the light first and the location second." She proves this point during one of her demo videos when she shows how she took some awesome head shots while standing in a bathtub. Sounds crazy, right? Well there was a window, which allowed for great natural light, and the white walls and tub are natural reflectors.

Her talk about natural reflectors and absorbers was really helpful. They were concepts I knew but hadn't thought about in some of the ways she mentioned. I find the demo videos to be extremely helpful. Some of these concepts have been explained to me before, but actually seeing how she set up her shots helped me a lot. Sometimes I just need to see it for it to click. I'm a visual learner (which shouldn't be surprising).

Each week she also gives us an assignment. This week she told us to focus on "catchlights." Catchlights are those highlights or "sparks" you see in a subjects eyes. They add life to the photo and draw your attention to the person's face. One of Brooke's demo videos focused on shooting with natural light while indoors. She showed us various ways to use windows. Since I haven't done many indoor portraits, I decided I wanted to try it out...but I didn't have anyone around at the time so I decided to attempt a self-portrait, and I'm glad I did.

I love the way my self-portrait turned out. I used the window to get good lighting on my face, and I was able to achieve good catchlights by looking out the window toward the bright sky. I love this photo because I feel like it captures my emotions right now. It's kind of hard to explain how...and I feel like any way that I try to explain comes out sounding cheesy, so I'll just let the photo speak for itself. :)

If you read this post, thanks for bearing with me in my photography geek-out. I could go on and on about the things I learned just in that first session, but for everyone's sake I won't do that (anymore than I already have). I just hope that you'll be able to see my growth as a photographer through my photos. :) Also, I confess to a love of learning, and I love that I can go through this workshop at my own pace since I can save the videos and materials. Okay, I'm really done geeking-out now.

What do you think of my self-portrait?
Anyone else out there have a love for learning and photography?

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Bucket List

Is there a better term? Moving list? Wish list? To do list? ??? "Bucket list" isn't quite the right term here, but I couldn't think of anything better. :\

I'm only going to be gone for two years. That's really not that long, but I do have a list of things I would like to do in Louisville and back home in Mississippi before I ship out. Some things are things I've been meaning to do for a while and just haven't gotten around to. Others are things that I love, and want to squeeze in a few more visits. Hanging out as much as possible with friends and family is a "duh," and, therefore, not on the lists.

Louisville List (In no particular order):
  1. Big Four Walking Bridge–I actually just did this, but I want to go again at sunset with my camera.
  2. Louisville Zoo
  3. Louisville Bats Game
  4. Visit my favorite local coffee shops as much as possible without going broke. (Vint and Quills)
  5. Eat at two or three of the places I haven't been to that people have told me I must try. (Hammerheads is the main one I can think of that my CG keeps telling me about.)
  6. Go on more walks at parks, particularly my favorite, Cherokee Park.
  7. Serve as photographer at least one more time at my church, Sojourn. (Doing that tomorrow.)
Mississippi (Jackson/Ridgeland/Madison area) List:
  1. Eat at Keifer's (My favorite Greek restaurant)
  2. Eat crawfish
  3. Hang out in my backyard, by the lake, in my hammock. 
Okay, so my MS list isn't very long because I mainly want to spend time at home with my family, and eat. haha The things I do in MS are not as much about places as they are about people. That sounds like Louisville isn't about people, which is not true at all. Honestly, I would love to do the things on my lists, but I would be just as happy simply hanging out with the people I care about...preferably a few at a time so I get more quality time with them. :) (Plus I'm an introvert.)

I'm sure I'm forgetting some things I would put on my lists so tell me what would be on yours.

Louisville people, what would be on your list?
And Mississippi people, what would be on yours?
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