A year ago today was a pretty good day for me. First of all I was in Chicago for a photography workshop that really opened my eyes to what I could do. I had kind of been doing the same thing over and over up until then, but I really have changed how I have shot since then. I was mainly a sports shooter, and now I rarely shoot sports. I have found that instead of waiting for a sporting event to shoot I can find something else close to me that I can access right away. The event was called Capturing True Emotion. It was put on by Val Westover and Stephanie Adriana. They put on these workshops all over the country so if you are not sure about anything on your camera, or even some basic shooting techniques I highly recommend it. Here is a link to there workshop portion of the website. What makes the workshop work so well is the fact that they spend the first half of it in a classroom teaching you about your camera. The second part then takes place outside using those techniques. They kind of take you around and use the environment to bring the lessons home. I really learned a lot that day, and this has become sort of a weird anniversary for me because of that. That is the day that started this ball rolling that led to the photo 365 project.
The Story Behind the Image
The main shot of this post was one that they are kind of known for. Val takes the camera of a participant, and asks everyone else to get theirs up close to get this paparazzi image. When I saw what was happening I placed myself near Val to get an image that I could use. I like how the shot looks. It captures the spirit of the day pretty well. This was taken at the end of the session when we were all trying things out. Many of the participants were asked to get their picture taken. I as a rule hate having mine taken so when I was picked because of the bright yellow shirt that I had one. So it kind of kills me to think that there are 50 pictures of me from that day. The informal session might have been the most informative of the day though as everyone was very relaxed.
Normally this section talks about the HDR process or how I have processed my shot in Lightroom or Photoshop. This was taken before any of that was even on my computer. It was taken with my old Canon Rebel with a 18-55mm lens on it. I like the simplicity of the shot along with the fact that nothing was done to it. I thought that since I now now a bit more on how to add other images to the post that I would add a couple more from the day below.
I have always wanted to see one of Shakespeare’s works here at Navy Pier so I wanted a shot with part of the theater in it. This one took some time to compose as I wanted a boat moving through the frame. What a difference clouds would have made for this shot.
The next shot is the one that everyone wants at Navy Pier. As things stand now I could shoot this much closer with my wide angle lens, but back then I needed to be pretty far back. I like the image, but once again clouds would have made things much more interesting. Amazing how photography makes you wish for some clouds in the sky.
The final shot was an interesting one. We were tasked with taking a picture with the background out of focus. This was my first real shot trying to get bokeh in the background. I loved the composition, and apparently of lot of others did as a line had formed behind me as I was getting the shot. I like this one particularly because once again it has a part of the Shakespeare Theater in it. It also has one of the Navy Pier arches along with the iconic Ferris wheel.
The second reason that the day is special to me is that it was during a break at this workshop that I agreed to work at my present job. At that time it was only for one week, but obviously things have changed quite a bit. Hard to believe that a year ago things changed so dramatically for me. Both changes were welcome though, and directly led to this website forming.
Today I went out to the 40th Fiddler’s Gathering at the battleground when I got off of work. I knew that the festival was dying down but I thought that I could get a couple of good pictures. I saw some groups playing outside of the fenced in area, and decided to give them a try. I quickly made a friend who wanted to show me a little about the guitar. When I said that I used to play, but gave it up years ago he gave me all the reason that I need to start playing again. I asked if I could get some pictures of him playing, and he agreed. When I was pulled back he seemed a little nervous so I focused on the hands. When it was all said and done I had a shot I really liked. I included a shot of him playing below to give a little credit to this kind soul. I wish that I could have stayed longer, but I went home to relax a little. I will have to make it a point to go back next year as it seems to be a great event.
I think that days like this really help me as a photographer. I do not like my picture being taken so I assume that nobody likes it. Getting right in there photographing strangers is not that hard once you get started. I just have to get started. Today was a fun experience though.
Yet again not much was done to either picture. I stayed in Lightroom making exposure, contrast, and clarity adjustments. I kind of like the fact that I have pulled back from HDR a little. I ink that it was a crutch that I was using instead of trying to get better in camera. That said expect an all out in your face HDR tomorrow. That is usually how it goes.
Tonight I will break a rule that I guess was more of a guideline than a rule. Originally I wasn’t going to post pictures of the faces of people that I know. Last week though I did that posting a baseball picture. Tonight I didn’t have a good picture other than this so I decided that the rule had to be broken. I really liked this picture for some reason. We were just hanging out at the table tonight when she stated making faces for the camera. This one was an example of her pouting look. I converted the file to black and white to get rid of the distractions of the colors around her. Now that the rule is broken you may see a few more pictures as time goes on. As I usually do I used the 50mm lens inside. For some reason that is the go to lens in the house.
Tonight we went out for dinner and I knew that I really wanted a sunset picture. In the restaurant I thought that we had taken too long and I had missed it. Walking out I saw that the sky was clear so the sunset would have been very unspectacular. It was then that I realized that the moon would be full, and that if we found a good enough spot I could get the moon rise. I was in position and trying to get the moon rising when I realized that I was failing again. I turned around to tell me two assistants that I was not doing to well when I noticed that the picture of the day was actually behind me instead of ahead of me. I quickly whipped the tripod around to get the shot that you see above. That just goes to show you that you never know where the picture will be. A beautiful shot could be just out of frame and you don’t even know it.
Today is the halfway point of this project. There have been times when I thought that I would not even make it this far. It is very comforting to know that from now on I am on my way downhill. Hopefully the pictures will follow to make it a great journey. I was thinking today about how early on when this site was first going that I was happy to see that six people had come to visit it during the course of one day. Now the site has gained some followers, and it has helped push me a little. The great thing about the internet is the fact that people can interact to help each other get better. I have learned a lot in the first six months, and hopefully I can learn just as much in the last six months.
Yesterday I did not take many pictures. I did however shoot some early in the morning. We were at breakfast, and I wanted to get some shots of a friend with her new hat on. Of course she became a little shy, and it turned out to be a nice picture. This was only shot with my iPhone, but I still love the picture. I did not have internet for some reason overnight so I could not post this picture. Even this morning it was still out. Thankfully it is back up so that I can post this picture.
Today once again I really did not have time to take any pictures. I did however get to take a couple at work. A couple at my place of business celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary today. Just stop and think about that. I hope to live to be 75 let alone be married for that long. These are two special people who have done something that I don’t think will be repeated too much in this day and age. I have a couple of pictures of the duo, but I didn’t think that I should post them without their permission. I did however take this picture of their cake. I wasn’t trying to be too fancy, but I just wanted a shot of it before it was cut up too much. I squeezed in, and tilted in order to get it all in from my vantage point. I was happy to be a part of their special day, and since this blog is about my life I thought that this picture was a good representation of what I did today.
I had planned on being out of town today so I wrote off getting to the Tippecanoe Battleground to see the re-enactment this weekend. They are celebrating the 200th anniversary of the major battle that not only helped start the war of 1812, but also gave William Henry Harrison a needed boost that he rode all the way to the White House. I was out still trying to get my fall barn picture when I decided to see if I could find some good colors at the battleground. Of course I pulled up as everyone was leaving, but I did manage to get a couple of good pictures. I liked this one of two men talking after the day was over. For some reason the bench, tree, and the uniforms seemed like a good shot. I guess it could have been composed a bit better, but I was reacting to something that happened behind me so time was not on my side. This yet again was not the picture that I set out to take, but I like the happy accident.
Tonight I was back at Lafayette Central Catholic to shoot the huge game between two number one teams in the state. The city was abuzz all week as the fans prepared for the game. I took my camera onto the field to get some good shots for my sports blog. What I didn’t expect to get was a shot of a small child. While we were waiting for Central Catholic to take the field this little guy was mugging for the camera. I couldn’t resist and I took a couple pictures of him. I liked the way that he looks here. Besides I figured I would have enough pictures of football on here before it is all said and done.