What a really fantastic week! I went back to work on Wednesday after a generous holiday vacation (5 days for Christmas and 4 days for New Years!) and can I just say, “Thank heavens!” I feel so productive at work and I was starting to feel like a waste of space after all that time off. Yes, it was wonderful to be with my husband and Jackson for so long and yes, I perused so many photography websites and read at least a hundred tutorials, but my goodness I learned that I need to be needed. I suppose we can safely say it was a very rejuvenating time off.
So Tuesday I started Project 365 and by Thursday I was disheartened, I’m not going to lie. I found it was relatively easy to remember and pick up my camera, but when my shots weren’t amazing each and every time I started to get down on myself. By Friday, I was a basket case. With my photography friends on facebook (we met through the Shooting 101 class) I was able to confide my photographing insecurities. It was a nice haven, to be able to go to a bunch of people who were in the same boat as myself, and I was certain they would speak logic to my photographer soul and buoy me up again. And of course, they did not disappoint! One gal immediately reminded me to not give up. Many other friends said they felt the same way — can I just say knowing you’re not a failure, that someone else is feeling the same way, it can be so refreshing and comforting! Another friend pointed out that when we’re drooling over our favorite photographer’s work, we forget the loads of photos that didn’t make the cut. Many others chimed in as well, citing from experience seeing many pro photographers shoot and how even they sometimes take thousands of photos only to deliver maybe a hundred. It finally hit home when another friend said that ignorance was bliss for us before Shooting 101, but now we know what a photo should look like and our blinders are off. Anyways, I not only realized I’m in the same boat with everyone, but that I have wonderful company in our boat. Thank you, my friends!
One last piece of acceptance I allowed myself was to remember that pro’s use Photoshop and I don’t (yet). So I’m comparing my “SOOC” (photography term, an abbreviation for “strait out of camera”) against Photoshopped images. That isn’t fair, now is it? So I came back to earth and am normal again.
Thursday was harder. I still struggle with natural light as I leave for work when the sun has barely said, “Good morning.” and return home a bit after the sun has said, “Later, Nerds.” Most of the time I get to work with good ol’ Thomas Edison inventions (i.e. lightbulbs). I did a bunch of laundry Thursday night and as I went to get a load, I realized that I kind of liked how the light bounced off of the wall in our laundry space. I tried a few different shots and enjoyed this one the best (please excuse the kernels of dog food that the hubby spilled on the floor):
Friday was the meltdown. I couldn’t find something interesting to take a photo of, when I decided to take pictures of our fish, Pudge (from Lilo & Stitch, he really does control the weather). However, there was some miscommunication with Pudge and the modeling agency because Pudge was obviously under the impression this was a boudoir session — he kept his tail fin to me the entire time. Due to a language barrier, we could not come to an understanding and I had to settle for this photo:
Again, please forgive him looking seductively into the camera and making kissy-faces.
After being disheartened and left a little plea for encouragement on the facebook group for my photography friends, I read this article by one of the Clickinmoms Pros on how to utilize high ISO. I’m not afraid of high ISO, but I was very inspired by the thought of utilizing noise in a creative way. I stepped outside of our home and shot away. I will consider this photo as Saturday’s submission because it was taken after midnight (yes, on the weekends I’m a night owl):
Today was a very busy day. My husband is throwing another fund-raiser for charity and he wanted to promote the event at the city’s local flea market. I love our flea market and imagined it would be similar and jumped with camera in hand when he asked if I’d like to come with.
(Here’s a photo I took on the drive, it was very foggy this morning)
I had visions of capturing a busy and lively crowd, with luscious colorful fruit stands and interesting booths filled with odds and ends. Something I forgot to take into account, though, is I’m an extreme introvert. I want to take photos without being noticed. I will never ask you if I can take your photo because I’m nervous I’d be bugging you. Not to mention I (ashamedly) don’t speak a lick of Spanish. I know, its atrocious, I really should learn something – and what better opportunity than in California where so many people would gladly help me?! Anyways, my high-expectations came to a screeching halt not long after we arrived.
I quickly realized that everyone saw my camera and they in turn looked at me suspiciously. I finally got the nerve up to photograph some birds. I felt bad for them. They were all piled in cages, with the cages stacked 3 high and with long rows of them all lined up. It was clear these birds were mass-produced, akin to how puppy-mills are ran. This is just my opinion, but I think there’s something inherently cruel in keeping something that was born to do something from doing it. A dog was born to wag his tail, chase a ball and love you. A horse is born to run. A bird is born to fly… But aside from keeping birds in cages, these birds were all crammed in cages together and it was so sad to see.
Background: My mother raised me to respect and love animals and in that order. If we couldn’t pet a kitty nicely when were 1 or 2 years old, we didn’t get the privilege of petting the kitty. If a dog bites you, its not the dogs fault, its yours. Animals have souls. All of them. They feel fear, joy, pain, just the same as you or I. Yes, somehow in all of that we still eat them (cows, not dogs of course), but you never stop respecting that animal. I know, after marrying my husband, that he was not raised that way. He was actually taught that cats don’t have souls. It took a bit for him to fully understand what I knew my whole life. After learning that not everyone views animals with the same respect as I was taught, I knew that I can’t always expect for them to understand my deep feelings on the matter.
After I took some shots, the tender of the birds anxiously called after me, asking why I was photographing her birds. I kindly explained I blog and I like to take pictures of things. She suspected ulterior motives, and nervously said ok. I felt so torn. I know this is her livelihood, but I so badly wanted to call animal control to come and inspect her operations. But would they care? I don’t know…
After that I was too uncomfortable to take any more photos at the flea market. I decided to wait in the car and practice. I metered with my camera using an orange and actually had some fun while doing it. I came to a strong realization that everyone is right – light plays such a huge role in photography. I took some photos of the orange backlit and they were meh. But this photo turned out pretty good:
Wish me luck for the coming week!