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The Importance of Taking Pictures....

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Photography is Like Horses

Thursday, September 23, 2010
The thing about photography is that it's a lot like horses. (If you know me at all, you've probably realized that I can relate just about anything to horses!)

How is photography like horses, you might ask?
Well, there's no such thing as just getting a horse - upon purchasing a horse, you must now have: brushes, saddles, blankets, clippers, grain, Dodge Cummins pickup, horse trailer, Parelli training equipment, new tires for horse trailer, fences, hay, hay storage facility, hay cubes, a trailer for hauling and storing hay cubes, tarps, jumps, barrels, Parelli home study course on dvd, bits, dental work, vaccines, loafing shed, water barrels, new shoes - or trimming - every 6 to 8 weeks, parts for Dodge pickup, bridles, fly spray, etc., etc., etc.....

Well, photography is the same way - once you purchase your first DSLR camera, you must now have: lenses, new camera case, external flash, external flash stand, reflector, tripod, a telephoto lens, gray card, memory card, a better camera body, a new computer, full version Photoshop, Lightroom, PS actions, an external hard drive, a monopod, reflector stand, another prime lens, a wide angle lens, lens cleaning kit, photography website, photography blog, photography books, more actions, card reader, cds and dvds to burn photos to, a Pro Flikr account, etc, etc, etc.....

Get the picture? They're both addictive, they're both time consuming, and they're both a journey of never ending self improvement. They're also both very gratifying and worthwhile.

And very, very expensive.

And tonight, I found another lens that I just cannot live without - MACRO, BABY!

After purchasing my new D700 - which I don't know how I ever lived without - I figured I'd better hold off for a while on getting any more photography equipment, but I've always got my eyes open for the next cool thing. That next thing, for several months has been a 105mm 2.8 macro lens. Well, I mentioned to my friend and photography mentor, Molly, the other day that I was wishing for a macro and she said, "Hey, I have one of those you can borrow and play with" (or something like that). It turned out to be the exact lens I've had my eye on.

So today I got to play with it for a few minutes. It was a little strange getting used to, but it's amazing and I can't wait to play with it some more. Here are a few I got in the 20 minutes I was able to spend with it today:

Maddie's nose ~ I never realized before how wiggly my animals were and how hard it is to get them to hold still!

Fred was nearly impossible to capture this close up! Aaargh! This photo isn't as sharp as I would have liked, but he just WOULDN'T HOLD STILL.

The kids were equally challenging - Luke had a very hard time keeping his eye open long enough for me to meter and focus, and then he kept closing his eyes and rubbing them, which made them red. But I thought this was pretty anyway.

So thanks to Molly for letting me play with this a little bit - so glad you're a Nikon girl!

It was cool to try it before I buy it, so that I'll be confident in my purchase. And there's no doubt I WILL purchase it.

One of these days. But probably not for a while... Sigh.

DON'T say CHEESE! Please?

Sunday, September 19, 2010
As a portrait photographer, I wish there were one message that I could send to the world and shout from the rooftops. But since I'd definitely break my neck if I tried to climb on any rooftops, and shouting makes my throat hurt, I'm going to shout it from my photo blog instead.

To all you parents out there:

Please don't teach your children to say "cheese" whenever you point a camera at them!

thank you.

Wow, it feels good to get that off my chest!

I've taken a lot of family portraits this year and almost every single time, there's a child - or all the children - who have been taught to do the 'cheese rictus' by their well intentioned parents.

Case in point

(sorry about the quality here folks, this was cropped out of a large family group photo)

Has anyone ever seen this face before? I see it ALL THE TIME. Same smile, different day. And an otherwise adorable child turns into a grimacing little statue! Sometimes it's not quite so severe - often, they just pull back their lips, but their eyes are SO not smiling.

In this extreme case, I was trying to get the little guy to talk to me and interact and laugh at my jokes and he was so frozen in this face that I was afraid he would be stuck that way forever! He couldn't talk, he couldn't move - he just knew there was a camera involved so he went into automatic cheese mode. (And let me just say, that this was a LOVELY family and a good little guy who was just trying to do the right thing.)

So what should you do instead, you might ask? Well, my favorite thing is to say something that the kids are bound to think is extremely funny - translated: anything super-silly, slightly gross, or a combination of both, like "monkey boogers". I've even been known to tickle them, make muscles like Arnold, and do the hokie pokie. What we're goin' for folks is a spontaneous smile - even outrageous laughing is better than the deadly cheese rictus.

So give it a try and let me know how it goes. I'm out to change the world, one grimacing child at a time.