Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Eyes Open Photography

My Dad gifted me the Eyes Open Creative Photography E-course that I had wanted for Christmas.  I just started it yesterday and I thought I'd tell you a little bit about it.

In the past I've not really wanted to take lessons because an early on bad experience led me to believe that the technical aspect would suck the joy out of photography for me as well as the moment I was trying to capture.

Additionally, as I often told myself,  I wasn't trying to take photos the way I was supossed to, I was doing it the way I wanted to. Its art.

As time has passed, I've fallen more and more in love with photo taking or photography. The camera is such a miraculous invention that allows us to save our moments in time. Its simply unbelievably amazing that we can do this at all. However I found myself frustrated with a camera that wouldn't fire when I wanted it to and photos that didn't look like what I was seeing with my own eyes that had inspired me to take the photo in the first place.

My technique was to take photos and then edit them. Just little edits. Mostly brightness/contrast.  I was much better at Photoshop or Lightroom than I ever was at photography. However, as I'm now learning, there is only so much you can do, editing wise, with an improperly exposed photograph.

I remained dubious about taking the class up until I received my first lesson, yesterday.

The lesson discussed the things like aperture, shutter speed, depth of field and exposure that I would usually tune out when people mentioned them. In fact I was sick of people who were, in my mind, just trying to sound really smart by talking about them. lol. I'm a real jerk in my mind sometimes!

I found that in the lesson, the way in which it was explained, was completely logical and completely pertinent to my everyday photo taking and completely did not make me want to kill myself! COMPLETELY!  Erin, our teacher, referred to proper exposure as "capturing your subject, the way your eye sees it." Hello! That's what I have been having trouble with this whole time! 

I want to take a moment here to acknowledge the clear moral of this story which is that being a know-it-all doesn't get you far in life, but I just can't say it. In fact, I don't think I would have ever have been able to learn these technical terms if I didn't have as much familiarity with the camera and photo taking as I do. I needed to need to learn it before I could actually appreciate it. But now, I do appreciate it! But I do think there is something to be said for not letting the technicalities stop you from doing something you love, right? No? Ok I'm just stubborn.

My first venture into shooting in manual mode after learning about these first couple of aspects and learning how to adjust them on my camera was less than encouraging. The first photo I took was black. Like completely black. lol. I came to the conclusion that my camera was broken even though I bought a new one a few months ago.  I tried adjusting things and even called the camera shop I bought it from who were less than enthusiastic about having to talk to the moron (me) who happened to own a camera.

Anywho, thanks to persistence. referring back to the instructions and speedy replies from Teacher Erin, I finally I figured it out on my own (but not before taking some photos that were pure white as well).

Here you will find my first forays into manual photo taking. No auto and not a single edit. I pretty much started taking photos of everything.


When I said everything, I meant it!

Even though they are just pictures of Barbies, oranges and piles of brick I felt a huge sense of adventure by figuring out all of the settings on my own and adding in some depth here and there.

I'm learning so much about my camera at the same time!

By the second day, after getting a couple of critiques/encouragements online, I started to feel more confidence. I am legit now! So I decided to take my camera on my lunchtime trip to the nursery with my mom and my number one gal Winnie.

One of the things I know about my own style of photo taking is that I like photos that tell a story. I think this little series tells its own little story beginning with us waiting in the car for grandma to meet us.

I have to say that Camelias are the most gorgeous flowers ever! These ones are called "Pink-a-boo".

And she's out!

Anywho, I know this is a long post, but I am pretty excited about this and I wanted to share these manual photos without a single edit because I'm only allowed to add four photos to my flickr group per day. But nobody can stop me from putting them on my own blog!!!


  1. Great! I'm a bit timid around the whole technical bit as well.. I 'only' have a pocket camera (my better half does have a DSLR, I'm not using it....), but one that also lets change settings instead of just using 'auto' (what I usually do...). I started playing around a bit with it last summer, and it DOES lead to better result - But I keep forgetting what settings I used as I don't take photos that often (mostly on travels only....). ah well.... one day ;)

    Looking forward to discover your new photos :)

  2. I am inspired by your honesty and your love of what you are doing with your life.

  3. Nice collections of photos, I like your post. Thanks for sharing.
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  4. Very nice and cuite! I use aperture priority and shutter priority more often than any other. In deciding which one to choose, to consider what you are shooting under any ambient conditions and what effect you want to achieve. soft for editing your photos on PC

    1. Thank you! I did learn about those settings in my class. I was thinking if I want to get a blurred action shot of my son, then I could use the shutter priority, but I haven't been able to test it yet!

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