Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Photography Class

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've been taking a photography class for three weeks now. It's something that I've wanted to do for a long time. After Lilly was born, we bought a real camera that does so many things, most of which I had no idea how to use. To have this amazing camera and only use it to take pictures on the automatic modes seemed like a waste so I signed up for a photography class that meets for six weeks on Wednesdays, from 1-3. I love the class and have learned so much in three weeks. It has also been great for Lilly, who has been spending a bit of time with some babysitters and some of my friends. I feel much more confident using my camera on manual modes and adjusting things likes exposure or the light meter, or the shutter speed or aperture. I'm definitely having fun with it. The hardest part has been the homework! Every week, we have to take pictures using concepts that we've been learning about. This past week, I needed pictures of movement, and I happen to know the perfect little subject who never stops moving, unless she's asleep! In theory, Lilly is fantastic subject for my pictures. In reality, it's much easier said than done. I've taken her to some different parks this week and tried to capture blurred images of her on the swing or the slide; the blurred images show the motion. Then, I was supposed to freeze some images. Well, just when I thought Lilly had gotten the hang of the slide, she got a little too confident and didn't sit all the way down before sliding down and literally went down head first, while I was a couple of feet away trying to take a picture. Mum of the year material, I know. Amazingly, she got off the slide with a huge smile...apparently she enjoyed that little adventure. I, however, did not and decided that I was done taking pictures of this and should probably stay a bit closer to Lilly until she really gets the hang of it. So that didn't work out like I intended it to. Then there was the swing. She loves getting into swings and once she's in, she's not going anywhere, so I'm free to take pictures. As soon as I moved from blurry to freezing the motion, Lilly wanted no part in being in the swing any more. So I have these pictures of her with a not so happy face on the swing. Oh well, they can't always be perfect. (Click on any picture to see it full size).

Yesterday, I took her to another park to try and capture some artistic shots, and maybe a couple of still life ones since I've learned that bridges are much easier to photograph than 15-month olds. I had great visions of Lilly looking into the water, so that I could get the back of her head with the water, turtles and bridges in the background. My vision came to an abrupt end when Lilly was relentlessly trying to get into the water. And try explaining to a 15-month old that she can swim in the pool water but not this stream?! It just didn't work. So, from now on, I don't think I will have expectations of what pictures I would like to take; instead, I will just see what Lilly makes possible!

My favorite picture was unplanned, as most good pictures are. Lilly was intrigued by her shadow while we were walking back to the car. She kept stopping and trying to touch it; she waved hi to it. It was priceless. It was another moment, like that moment at the circus, that I just had to look at her and be amazed. Just as the dogs seemed rather unexciting to me, I rarely stop to look at my shadow. But for Lilly, this was a new experience. She was sitting on the ground, playing with her shadow until I decided that sitting in the middle of the road (not a busy one, mind you) was not the best idea for extended periods of time.

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