Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Photography Tuesdays

So in the past year a so, I discovered Google Reader. It's awesome in the sense that I don't have to go clicking on to each blog link that I'd saved to see if there is anything new - it just shows up in your reader and you read it! You do lose a little bit of the personality of each blog because you don't see the title and decoration that people have up. But it's nice because it's sorta like my daily newspaper except that it reports on people's craftiness or "mom-ness." I'm subscribed to mostly crafty & mommy blogs :).

One thing I've noticed that people do a weekly feature, whether it's a particular manufacturer, project or open forum. So I've decided to focus on photography on Tuesdays. I feel like photography & scrapbooking go hand in hand. If you love scrapbooking, you want to have great pictures to scrap. If you love photography, you want to somehow document the great pictures you take. So I will try and take Tuesdays to focus on what I've done with my photography.

I've always been interested in photography. My dad was an avid hobbyist, I have pictures of me as a toddler playing with tripods and lens brushes :). And I took photography in high school - even learned how to develop my own film and prints! I remember vaguely learning about f-stops and aperture but it never stuck. Most of high school and into college I had a point & shoot that I toted around everywhere. My interest sorta started petering out, when I became busy with pharmacy school and residency. But I always had a few key pictures and/or scrapbooks to commemorate important moments. I used my dad's old digital camera for a few years, especially once I started dating and then during the first year of marriage. I forget the exact impetus for wanting to upgrade but I bought a digital SLR in 2007. It probably was the start of reading people's blogs that made me want to buy one - most likely... actually, I think that's why - I wanted to take nice pictures of my cards and scrapbooks - hahaha!

And when I got my Nikon D40 SLR, like most people, I shot my SLR in Auto mode... sometimes in "P" mode based on what I read on Ken Rockwell's site while researching which SLR to get. I started taking pictures of my cards and immediately posting them onto my then-new blog and on forums... this is all obviously my A.T. (before Tyler) period. I took the D40 on a few vacations and made a few digital scrapbooks (wow... that's a whole 'nother topic, I might need to do Digital Thursdays) and was generally happy with the results.

But to get to where I am currently with this hobby/passion of mine I have to explain a few more things. Like I just mentioned, I was generally happy with how my pictures were turning out. I knew that I was not utilizing the full potential of my camera but I was ok with that. I didn't carry it around with me too much, I ended up getting a new P&S Canon that was easier to carry around. So that became my default camera. The "big one" only came out around holidays or family gatherings/trips.

The biggest turning point - as I'm sure it is for most people - is having a child. When you have a child and if you have even the slightest inclincation towards photography - you WILL take pictures. I was even taking pictures of ultrasound pictures! But the first few months it was easier to use the Canon P&S. That thing basically lived on the coffee table and captured everything... every burp, spit up & smile -we even documented those sleepless nights when he would still be up at 2am. So the first 3-4 months I rarely used the D40. Then around the 4 month mark I started using the D40 to take "portraits" and I think this is also when my Google Reader reading was kicking into high gear.

I started reading Maggie Holmes' blog because other people were talking about her and also about her photography class. I decided that I should take a class and see if I could unlock some more potential out of my camera and I did! The husband even agreed, which was surprising - he's VERY supportive and usually ignores the amount of money & time that goes into my hobbies - but the cost was kinda high, so I was surprised at how easily he said yes. It could have been because I really hadn't done anything for myself in a really long time :). So I took the online class, re-introduced myself to the basics and started taking pictures more often. I also found out about Project 365 around the time of taking the class - it's where you take a picture a day to document your year. (I started but haven't kept up... details in another post :)). I even tried carrying my D40 around everyday but that didn't last long - though I do carry it around more than I did before. It's really true that practice makes perfect.

With the combination of new baby, reading blogs with gorgeous pictures, getting Photoshop Elements, taking an online photo class, and hearing about & starting project 365 - it was the perfect storm for me to start trying to get into photography again, with the key word being "trying." :)

So hopefully you'll join me for Photography Tuesdays and see what I've been shootin'!

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