Monday, October 26, 2009

The Women's Conference

Yesterday I came to the orientation for volunteers and today is the big day. There will be 10,000 women  here today another 4000 for The Night at the Village and 24,000 tomorrow.

 I have been assigned to the Media Tent.  I was hoping I would be selected as a photographer - but here I am accepting the images that others are capturing, resizing and uploading so they can be posted on the Women's Conference Web Site - O.K. but not nearly as much fun as being on the floor in the middle of all the action.

We get the first details of our assignment from Sherie

Saturday, October 24, 2009

More Gear

The Canon G7 and the little G11 are on the shelves and I would so like to have one of each. I like to use two camera bodies when I work with young children - so I don't fiddle around changing the lens - and I absolutely love my G9 - it is always with me day and night. It takes wonderful night shots and wide angles - but it has stopped capturing in Raw :( and although my 20D is still strong - I would like to have access to the new technology in the 7D.

So those are my reasons, however, I also need (note the difference - need as opposed to like) I need to return my friends 85mm f2.1 and purchase my own, plus, and this is a big plus, I need to replace my desk top computer or my laptop - they are both reaching the end of their life spans - AND....
I should finally move on from CS2.

Oh - one more thing on my wish list.  I would like   a really wide angle lens before I go on the San Diego Photo Trip. Both the 17mm f2.8 and the 16-35 f2.8 look really wonderful.

Those people who think Digital Photography is cheap because there is no film to purchase and no processing fees are in for a very rude awakening.

I keep plastering this quote from Chris Orwig (Visual Poetry)all over the house. I put it in the notes app on my Iphone too. Perhaps if I read it over and over again it will sink in and I will move on with the cameras I already own.

"Advancement in photography doesn't come from building up an arsenal of gear, Rather it comes from growth, which happens inch by inch and year by year."

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Brewery Arts Complex

I had the opportunity to visit the studio of photographer Rob Greer today.  His studio and his home are located in the Brewery Art Colony in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles. You can see the colony as you drive North on the 5 freeway between the 10 Connector and the 110 Connector.  You will know it's the Brewery when you see a huge smokestack  piercing the skyline.

Learn more about the Brewery  or attend the Fall Artwalk October 24th or 25th 11am - 6pm.

Rob was a fantastic speaker,  He shared lots of information about his start in this business,
his work style and ethic.  

I had a bit of conflict when deciding where to write this post.   On this blog that is about me and my work - or on my Photo School New Blog since I went to the studio with my Cypress College Wedding Photography Class.  I chose this blog because there were a couple of  insights that I hope can begin to inform my own work.

One:  " Show your BEST Stuff".   This is something I have heard over and over again.  Jerry Burchfield  said it this way:  "If you have 10 show 5".  This is so tough for me.   I always fall in love with the images I create and I find it extraordinarily difficult to throw anything into the trash.  As a result I have thousands of images cluttering up my hard drive space and prints spilling out of the bedroom closets and hidden under or behind all our casement furniture.

Rob Greer, on the other hand, told us he goes through a process to select images for his own portfolios. He starts by asking friends and then respected photographers to review the 20 or so images he has chosen and asks them to identify their least favorite two or three.  I guess I could go to a portfolio review and pay to have my work reviewed by other professionals but I could probably make a pretty substantial down payment on a piece of "good glass" for the fee some of these critiques charge.  Rob suggested that new photographers get together and critique their own work, so I think I'll try to come up with a plan to organize a portfolio critique on campus.

(Do I think the two images I chose for this post are the best I captured today?  No....  Then why did
I post these - one seemed to document the space (see that smoke stack) and the other was a great detail. Maybe I will go through the files, find the best of the bunch, optimize one or two and replace these documentary images...... maybe)

Another point that resonated with me was  Rob's admonishment to be sure our  insurance is updated and that it cover equipment, liability and "errors and omissions".   I probably don't need errors and omissions yet, but I really should begin to research liability coverage and update my scheduled equipment since I bought the new Pocket Wizards this week.

I should check out membership in PPA and look at their insurance plans.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Photographer's Eye

Last week I spent some time reading  The Photographer's Eye by Michael Freeman .  Not only was it a great review of the elements of composition, I found the text and the images really inspiring.    Chapter one is devoted to The Image Frame. It is a dense chapter.  Freeman covers Frame Dynamics, Frame Shape, Stitching and Extending, Cropping, Filling the Frame, Placement, Dividing the Frame, Horizon and Frames within Frames - a lot of reading on a subject most photographers think they handle best intuitively.  I found myself trying  to think more analytically about composition as I captured images during the week. 

I noticed this window as I walked across the OCC Campus.  It is a view into one of the Ceramic's Instructors' Office and a 
perfect image for building my own portfolio on The Image Frame

Filling the Frame and Dividing the Frame are elements discussed in Chapter One of the Photographer's Eye.

Freeman states "Facility at using this frame depends on two things:  knowing the principles of design, and the experience that comes from taking photographs regularly."  I can't help but believe I could also improve my photography by reviewing my images with these compositional elements in mind.   Perhaps this would help me decide which images are most interesting, which are mundane and finally allow me to discard those that simply occupy a bunch of my hard drive space.  

Three Hundred Sixty Five_Day 9

Yes, I'm still taking one photograph every day.  This is the easiest part of the challenge.  Reviewing the images and deciding which is the best one to upload is the real challenge for me.  I finally got around to uploading images from days 7, 8 and 9 earlier tonight.  You can go to my Flickr Photostream,  click on 365 Challenge and keep up with everything I have uploaded.  You can also go to Tasra 365 and see the images everyone in the group has submitted.   

Reading a page in my manual every day however, has been an even bigger challenge and I have yet to make this a daily habit.  

I do think just getting these three tasks done everyday will improve my photography.   I've already noticed that I am not very persnickety about focus.  Sometimes my images are sharp in just the right place other times I don't quite hit the mark.   I think it is that I favor shooting wide open, and I tend be a little shaky- so this week I will test out some other 
f stops and see if it is possible to marry my love of shallow dof with precise focus - and maybe I should go back to lifting some light weights and build a little muscle in these hands and arms.