Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dipping my toes into photography

Last weekend, I did something I rarely do. I took some time just for me. What did I do during this chunk of time, you ask? I took a 3.5-hour photography workshop just for moms. The workshop was hosted by Seattle Mamas with Cameras, and I can't even begin to describe how much I learned. I walked in with VERY little knowledge of how to use our new camera, let alone how to take a photograph instead of a snapshot. I've been interested in photography for many years, but never did anything about it. Now that Eric and I have our new fancy-schmancy camera (that we purchased with the goal of being able to take better pictures of our kids), it seemed prudent to learn what in the heck I should be doing.

We started out learning a few basics about photography terminology (ISO, apeture, f/stop, shutter speed, etc.) and learned what in the heck some of the buttons and dials on our cameras did. There were two instructors, one is a Canon mama and one is a Nikon mama, so we had lots of expertise to guide us. After the "these are the basics" portion of the class, we headed outside. The workshop was held at a fantastic location here in Seattle. The Good Shepherd Center is an historic building that originally was a place for unwed mothers to have their babies. After 60 years, the center was closed and the building was eventually purchased by the city and the grounds were turned into a park. The building is used as a school and a community learning center. The grounds are GORGEOUS! There are beautiful gardens scattered around and a great play area for kids. (I'm planning on bringing the kids there so they can play on the playground equipment; they'd love it there!)

Our first assignment was to "get to know" a flower in the garden. I chose this yellow something-or-other flower. After spending time with him, I took pictures of some gorgeous purple artichokes; my pictures, sadly, didn't do the beautiful plant justice.

I also hung out with some beans that were near the yellow flower. I found them interesting and worthy of being photographed. I truly appreciated that the flowers and beans held still and didn't cover their faces as I took their pictures.... unlike our beloved children. ;)

I think this is my favorite picture of the day. There's something about the brick wall that really grabs me.

We spent about 45 minutes (if not more) outside and then returned to our classroom to learn a bit more about photography. This portion was more about the art of photography instead of the brick and mortar details of photography. One point our instructors kept driving home was it is important to tell a story with photographs. The story behind a photograph is often what captivates those looking at it.

After returning home, I decided to try my hand at applying the many, many, many lessons I learned during the workshop. Conor decided he wanted to take my picture with Annika's camera while I took his picture. (He loves running around saying "cheese!!" with the camera.) I caught this moment and really feel it tells a story. His eyes are practically dancing and even though most of his face can't be seen, it is evident how happy he is.

I was trying to play around with the use of light in this picture. Eric's mom recently made this hat for Annika (isn't it adorable???) and I wanted to include a picture with the thank you note. So. we did a little experimenting with the natural light that was streaming into our kitchen. Annika decided that Bunny was feeling shy. I like that she isn't engaging with me or the camera; her focus is on Bunny. I love how her face is so soft and angelic in this moment. I don't like how bright the sun is shining on her hat, but oh well!

There is still SOOOO much to learn, but I feel like at least I have the basics to take some "keeper" pictures of our life now. Hurray!

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