WHAT A FUN FREAKING WEEK! We’re in week three of class and this week pushed me the most and made me feel elated and self-conscious all in one. This week we were challenged to bring back photos of silhouettes and low shutter speeds, low light conditions to reflections and shadows. I was relieved and excited because this meant I didn’t have the challenges of having to utilize the sun or using a person. Even though this assignemnt sounds like a lot and at first I was overwhelmed, I immediately decided I had to do just start taking photos and then I wouldn’t be as overwhelmed. Besides, sun wasn’t as huge a part of the assignment and that helped a ton! As I was driving home from work on Tuesday I almost chose to go home, but instead chose to drive into some neighboring cities filled with rolling hills and farm land. It was still a minor race against the sun, but not as urgent as previous assignments.
Every night after that I did the same thing. Instead of coming straight home I would go scouting out new areas and photo opportunities and spent a good 2 hours (or more) afterwards before getting home. While this was tiring and challenging, I’m really proud of myself for working hard at it.
Monday I didn’t take a photo, I spent it reading my lesson and studying my assignments. I feel like such a hypocrite for not taking a photo. I am usually pretty disciplined with myself and I feel like I should be holding myself to a higher standard and either taking the dang photo of the day for my 365 Project, or otherwise holding myself accountable by taking the picture of me as I had previously assigned as a punishment for not taking a photo for the day. With all of this in mind, I do have to sometimes come to terms with my human-side and get over it and give myself a break – especially during these work shops.
Thursday I decided I was finally going to take on low shutter speed. The above photo is the direct result of a low shutter speed (the shutter was open for 25 full seconds). We have a treacherous roundabout (as all two-laned roundabouts are treacherous) near our home. I had visions of capturing a circular stream of lights going off in four different directions. Great vision, however because I’m not 10 feet tall, my view of this vision was limited. 🙂 But thats ok for now! I still had a lot of fun trying to get a good capture. It was chilly out and I loved feeling my cheeks tingle and my nose start to drip.
Friday I decided to try my hand at a freeway shot. I parked my car at a restaurant at the corner of the freeway after work and walked with my camera and tripod on the pedestrian sidewalk over to the middle of the overpass. I tried a faster shutter speed at first, but the classic evening traffic on the left of the picture was going maybe 10 mph. I moved the shutter speed down to 20 full seconds and voila! Something I’m actually proud of. This was only taken with my 50mm lens, which I feel shows how versatile this lens really is – lives up to its name of the “Nifty Fifty”! Thanks to the angle and the height of the overpass, this almost feels like a wide angle lens to me. I tried cropping out the gross road work that is long overdue, but I felt like it took away from the length of the photo, so I left it as is – flaws and all.
I am so excited to explore more of this long shutter speed business! I can’t wait to make a trip to San Francisco and see what wonders I can capture there!
Tonight James and I played around with him wielding the very first gift he bought me, a Mace Windu lightsaber.
I have now had my camera for 6 months, and at the end of this month I’ll have been shooting in Manual for 3 months. In the last few weeks I’ve sat back and pondered and felt like I’ve come so far in so short of a time. And other times I think I should be so much better after 6 months. Do I count the first 3 months of my journey, even though I didn’t shoot but maybe once a week? And during those shoots, I only operated in Aperture Mode (kinda like auto, except you get to choose the aperture setting). Do I count those three months in my DSLR journey? Or do I just count the last 2 and a half months? Where I’ve taken complete control over every aspect of the photo – from White Balance (temperature of the photo), the Shutter Speed (controlling whether the subject is blurry or clear and crisp), the Aperture setting (the entire photo in focus versus just a part of the photo is in focus), ISO (helps balance the darkness and lightness based on how you want your shutter speed and aperture set), down to controlling what is in the frame and who is the subject, etc. Do I only count the last 2 and half months because those are the months that I was completely in control?
I often have this intense need to be a prodigy. I want to be amazing. I want to be amazing in amazing speed. I compete with myself and compare my work to those I admire rather than more realistically comparing my work to my work a month ago. I feel like this drive, this push to be the best I can be is healthy and unhealthy. Its healthy in that I’m pushing myself to achieve more. Its unhealthy because at times like today, when I submit the photos for my assignment, I second guess myself and feel like what I am presenting stinks and I shouldn’t even consider letting others see these photos.
But then I have to remember that…
And I could be a prodigy and take amazing photos in amazing amount of time, but maybe hitting that wall will hurt harder by the amazing amount of time. Maybe just enjoying the process will help me more in the long run.
I’m rambling now. Sorry. Thanks for listening! On to another exciting week.
Have a great week my friends!