This blog captures my journey to take a break from jewelry designing to learn something new. Join me as I learn the art of photography and Photoshop Elements and watch me create through my lens. ~ Dee

Monday, January 23, 2012

What have I learned in 23 days?

I'll admit, It's been longer since I posted than I intended, but I'm learning that Winter is a challenge for me!  I rarely go out for lunch, by the time I get home its dark and I think I may be running out of ideas for indoors; however, I'm still learning, just not at the pace I'd like.  So...what have I been up to you ask?  How's my journey coming along?  


1.   I'm still taking a photo every day for the 366 365 day challenge, but I did miss one day already.  Just totally slipped my mind, I was too busy enjoying my vacation and watched a movie right into the next day. 

2.  I'm getting much better with learning to take indoor photos with the crappy lighting....

3.  I've learned how to set a custom white balance...I'll have to show you how that works in another post....

4.  I've played around with oil and water and got some pretty cool photos....

5.  I've learned to get really really creative on a much needed night when ideas are low....

6.  I've learned that grapes and wine make great photos....

7.  I'm learning that the days go by very fast when you don't have any ideas...

But most of all....I'm having fun!

Lesson Learned:
Practice will definitely make perfect with anything you do. Each week I see myself getting better at taking photos and learning new ways to use my camera. I've learned that even my creativity that I thought only applied to jewelry can be used in taking photos, just by thinking outside the box and I've learned that there's definitely a benefit to having a f/1.8 lens when you're stuck taking photos inside for 3 months.

Unveiling until Spring indoors,

Monday, January 9, 2012

January Weddings are beautiful too...See!!

I'm on Day 9 of the 365 Day Photo Challenge and so far, I haven't missed a beat!  I once learned that 21 days makes a habit..we'll see.  in the meantime if you would like to see how I'm doing,  you can follow my personal challenge on Flicker, just click the gray button at the top of this page and you'll be directed to my 365 photoset.  Below is my Day 9 photo:

So, what's all this talk about weddings in January?  Have I graduated to professional already....not a chance; but, I did have the opportunity this past weekend to take some reception photos for my cousins restaurant, to promote their offerings of special events on their Facebook page.  This gave me another opportunity to play around with indoor lighting, composition and different perspectives.  The Question to you is.....would you consider having your special event here based on the photos I took below?

ISO 200, f2.8, 1/200 sec

ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/40 sec

ISO 200, f/4.2 1/20 sec

ISO 400, f/5.3, 1/100 sec

ISO 200, f/2.8m 1/200 sec

ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/40 sec
ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/50 sec
All of the photos above were taken with a Nikkor AF-S 50mm 1:1.8G

Lesson Learned:
On this particular day, I learned how RAW worked. I have never shot in RAW before, I usually just use .jpeg, but figured I'd try something new.  There is a  lot more work involved in getting the photos in a jpeg format (not a ton, but more than usual) and the files are huge!  I also learned that working indoors can be very similar to outdoors when it comes to exposure.  Very few of my shots from Saturday even used a flash indoors. Learning to expose for the shot I'm trying to get, is key indoors or out.  I also learned a lot more about fill flash, as I took some outdoor photos as well.  All in all, it was a great lesson and I hope the restaurant will be able to use the photos.

Unveiling after the Ceremony,

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Sunset New Years Eve 2012

Well, there is no doubt about it, 2012 is here; and, it's even harder to believe that the first week is almost over!  Before we get too far into the year, I wanted to share some photos I took on December 31st.   A fellow photographer friend and I went on a casual shoot to capture the sunset.  I've taken a few pictures of the sun setting, just by chance, like this capture one evening leaving my parents, but it's never been a planned event. 

Mainly because my life isn't that organized.  In order to get the best landscape shots, with a sunrise or sunset, I would have to either miss my last hour of good rest in the morning before work or miss sleeping in on the weekend..."yeah right", or skip dinner in the winter.."aint gonna happen with a teenager in the house", or leave my house near bedtime in the Summer "really?"  Now, if that isn't enough, you have to know what time the sun will rise or set and depending on what type of photos you are looking for...plan for the weather too!!   Lucky me, it was the weekend, and I couldn't be happier with the results for a first timer.  I didn't lose any sleep, didn't miss dinner, had great company and learned a lot!  All of these photos were taken with a Nikkor 18-55 lens.

(ISO 200, f/11, 1/640 sec )

(ISO 200, f/11, 1/320 sec)

(ISO 200, f/14, 1/800 sec)

(ISO 200, f/11, 1/1000 sec)
 Lesson Learned:
I will never be a professional landscape photographer...the hours are a killer!  I learned that with the right surroundings there are so many different shots to be captured every minute.  As the sun begins to set, every shot is something different in terms of where the light is, how soft the shadows become and what color the sky turns.  Playing around with different settings and exposures will give you a range of finished shots to choose from....It's a beautiful thing to capture and I'm happy I had the pleasure of catching the last one of the year.

Monday, January 2, 2012

366 Day Challenge!!

Well, it's on!  I've officially started the 366 365 day challenge.  Yeah, I know it's a leap year, but I figure I'm going to need at least one day of break, may as well count it in now.  This challenge isn't anything new, and I definitely didn't come up with it on my own, but the idea came up in my photography group and who am I to miss out on a challenge.  My goal will definitely be to finish the challenge, but I'll be the first to may get in the way.  So, what is the challenge and why am I doing it?

If you've been following from the beginning, you already know this blog is about my journey to learn more about photography.  This challenge will not only encourage me to actually pick up my camera every day, but it will force me to use it creatively and for a purpose.  It's just like learning to skate (here I go again with my metaphors), if you practice every day, you can only get better and better.  Then you start learning to do new tricks, and more new tricks and before you know're in the olympics!!  That idea may be a little over the top, but hopefully you get my point.  

I'll be posting photos here on occasion, but my main format will be through flicker. If you're interested in keeping up and holding me accounting, you can find my photo set here.  I've also put a button at the top of this page with the link that will remain there for easier access.   Just to get started, below are photos taken the first two days of 2012:

Day 1 
 I have two photos from the first day, I actually posted this one to my group and prefer it much better.  My focus was to capture the spirit of an angel.    

Day 2
The challenge today was just finding something else to take a picture of.  I settled on focusing in on something I, with a little out of focused grapes in the background.  

Lesson Learned:
I'm going to have to get more creative to make it through this challenge. 

Unveiling in challenges,


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