Confessions of a Not So Professional Photographer

Recently I was asked to do the class photos for our Charter School.  I teach first grade there.  I didn’t think it would be a big deal because I had done them last year too.  But, this year, since I had recently graduated from NYIP I decided I needed to be paid for the endeavor.  After all, I’m working toward being a professional photographer, part-time yes, but still professional.

Well, I gathered my backgrounds, my lighting equipment and of course my brand new Nikon D750.  I set up a schedule.  I took the pictures.  Man, it’s not an easy task getting the attention of approximately 18-20 wiggly kids.

Then came editing time.  I cried.  I cried more.  I told my husband I was returning everyone’s money.  Because the camera is new to me I had to ISO too high.  The pictures were noisy and the background wasn’t wide enough to accommodate so big a group.

I wanted to give up!

My husband, a teacher at our school and formally in the printing business, said NO, you can’t give up.  We worked hard at coming up with a different place to take the pictures.  After a week of retrying with cute, rambunctious volunteer youngins we hit gold.  I now have a plan for retakes.  My class and my husbands are done and look great.  I wish I could post them here, but alas can’t.

Our yearbook person needed photos ASAP so I worked like a dog for over a week on the pictures that I had already taken.  With the help of my wonderful husband and the book, Teach Yourself Raw in Photoshop by digitalcameraworld, I had a crash course on learning how to denoise and save photos.  The photos that I thought  were so terrible actually turned out really well.  I learned how to fix them and I also learned how to take out the background and add a different background.  I looked at the class photos from 2014 and 2015 that a “professional” school photo company had done and found that mine very much outdid theirs.   I have my confidence back.

In fact, this weekend I took the senior pictures of one of our secretaries’ son.  It was such a fun photo shoot.  My  subject was handsome, sweet and did a great job modeling.   My camera did exactly what it was supposed to do.  And so did I!

I can now call myself a professional!  I’ve broke the barrier.

DC Statues

One cannot help but notice the thousands of statues and sculptures that are scattered throughout Washington DC.  Notice one and you are probably missing half a dozen more.  These are great subjects to photograph as they don’t move.  They can be challenging in that you have to get your shots without people in them.  The shots are usually in the what I call the “crane your neck” view as you have to look up at them to take the shots.  This also means you have to watch that the sky doesn’t blow out your highlights.  This view, however, can add to the immensity of some of these works of art.  Especially my favorite, the view of the Infinity Sculpture/Artwork that we found outside the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.  I’ve taken this shot before, but never did it come out like this one.  The reflection of the sky in the metal just added to the feeling of motion.  I don’t know what the names of many of the statues are, as I took them as we were walking from point A to point B.  Often, I was only afforded a few minutes to point and shoot.  We were always on the go!  There is just so much to do in DC.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

The first place we visit when in Washington DC is, of course, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.  This is a must due to my very nerdy men.  My husband, a fifth grade teacher, loves science almost as much as he loves me and that’s a lot.  Our 8 year old son, gifted, cute and truly a young scientist at heart wants to be a NASA engineer when he grows up.  Last year he even got to meet a real NASA engineer, which of course, further fueled his desire to one day build a faster rocket than anything they have today!  Watch out future American citizens, he just might do it.

 

These are only a few of the photos I took.  I didn’t take near as many as I did the first time we went to the Air and Space Museum.  Back in 2014, I think I took a photo of just about every exhibit.  This year, not so much.  I wanted to concentrate on what I was seeing.  Of course, the coolest exhibit this year was the original model of the spaceship Star Trek Enterprise.  Being a fan of the show, this was a must see.

Urban Legend not a Hoax

For many years we heard that there were monkeys living along the Silver River in the Ocala National Forest.  Many people, myself included, felt this to be urban legend.  Well, I have proof it is not.  Back in February we took a canoe trip down the Silver River.  It was such an enjoyable, beautiful day, made even better by encountering these fun creatures.  They live about 5 miles from the Ray Wayside Park.  Their territory seems to be about a mile in length.  We found it interesting that both times we came here, this was the area they hung out in.  Why they don’t travel farther, we don’t know.

My photos are not the best, as it is difficult to get a steady shot from a canoe, sometimes moving at that!  Unfortunately, we were limited to staying inside the boat.  My dream is to get a faster lens so that some of this issue is eliminated, but until then……

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’m in trouble!

So my husband says to me today, “I can’t find any of our trip pictures.  Don’t you want to share them?”

Oops, I realize I get so busy that I neglect my blog site.  I have a choice, either cancel it or use it!  I guess I’ll use it.  It just takes discipline.

We have had many trips since I last blogged and I have finished my photography courses, so what I think I may do is work a little each week on my photos that have been filed in the “I can’t get to you right now” file.

I learned through NYIP that I need to be brutal with my selections.  Can’t keep everything.  I am going to pick a folder, cut out any that don’t come close to meeting the criteria of a successful photographer, and edit the rest.  My hopes are that I can also briefly talk about where the pictures were taken and why.

How many did I get done tonight?  Two!  Hey, it’s a beginning.  Don’t judge me.canoeing-the-silver-riversilver-river-bird

These photos were taken this February on the Silver River in Ocala, Florida.  This river is roughly a 7 mile gem from Ray Wayside Park to the headsprings at the newly renovated Silver Springs State Park  (use to be Silver Springs Amusement Park.)  These photos were taken as we were canoeing the river.  Getting exact sharpness in your photographs while canoeing is a bit of a challenge.  However, I liked these two photos for depicting just some of the natural beauty of this amazing river.

Wow, It’s Been A Long Time

I just got my confirmation that my WordPress site was being renewed.  At first, I thought that I should cancel it as it has been 7 months since I last posted a blog.  Life tends to get in the way!

What have I been doing since last here?  Photography!  Yes, I know, I posted pictures before when I was on here.  However, I have been taking an online course in Professional Photography from NYIP (New York Institute of Photography).  It has been very challenging and fun.

So instead of cancelling my blog site, I will use it to post some of my favorite photos.NYIP badge

 

%d bloggers like this: