Practicing photography

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One thing I’m trying to work on lately in this in-between time of unemployment is photography. I have the free time, I’ve always loved it and it’s a great skill to have. I’m trying to put my Cannon to good use. Hey, maybe one day I can even take on clients.

I took my first photo class two years ago and now I’m at a total of three. I had a different professor each time, each with different styles and backgrounds. The classes were called Film Photography, Photojournalism, and Digital Photography. Well, actually the last one was officially called Photoshop, but the professor taught it with a wider focus in mind and changed the title.

Grandma Donna

As a little kid, one of my favorite things was carrying around a disposable camera and taking photos. Is that what phone pictures have become? Hmm, that probably only makes sense in my head. But what I’m getting at is even then I enjoyed taking photos. I just didn’t have a technique down.

At stoplight

Lifestyle photography is what I’m going for. I love the photography on lifestyle blogs like A Beautiful Mess and Sincerely Kinsey. I also always enjoy the photos on Lifesize Paperdoll and if found, make. The blogs have different styles, which are each easily recognizable. The photos have a sort of uniform look.

My friend Mina and I were just talking about this recently. She was actually taking pictures of me for class, so I turned the camera on her too. That gave me some good practice and made me realize I really would like to take more photos of people. A lot of my photos have been of my dogs and nature. I might start soliciting my friends for a photo session so I can get in the practice.

close up in the corner

I found some good photography articles around the web today that my fellow photogs could find useful.

14 Portrait Photography Tips / Digital Camera World, 5 Tips for Lifestyle Photography / A Beautiful Mess

The photos above were all taken by me. I took them all over a few months, but am just now sharing them here. I’m slightly embarrased to let my practice stuff out, but I’m starting to see improvement. It’s just for fun now any way.

dot per inch

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My friend Christian Soriano started a project called dot per inch, which I think is pretty amazing. CJ, as myself and most of his friends call him, is one of my coworkers at Gas Creative Group and one of the best photographers I know. In the past couple years he has been doing event and portrait photography, as well as videography. Through this project, he shows that every person we encounter in life is a unique individual made of of many experiences, similar to how a picture is made up of many small dots.

Here in his own words on the websites about page, CJ describes dot per inch.

I initially wanted to do a Stranger Portraits Project, but then I came across Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York which inspired me to try and make a stronger connection with those I photograph. So here I am now, working on a far more intimate photography project than what I had originally planned, Dot Per Inch (DPI). With each person I meet and photograph, I hope to share a little aspect about them, a “dot” if you will.

There is so much we can learn about the people around us, and I hope I can offer a peek into the lives of these people through DPI.

Please take a minute to check out his website. He’s off to a great start so far, but there are many more portraits and intimate chats to come. By the way, that’s me on the far right, in the middle row. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Solo photo adventure

I probably shouldn’t be writing this. I probably should be writing a lot of other things, such as my assignments that are due later today. But I just wanted to very quickly share some pictures that I took on Sunday afternoon. For Photoshop class, the assignment was to take 45 pictures over the weekend. I ended up taking about 200, many of which were repeats as I tried to get the right shot. It’s getting easier with practice though. In class yesterday my professor was explaining what ISO to use depending on the lighting situation. I was trying not to use too high of an ISO, but in some cases I bumped it up too much and ended up with noise. Oops! Now I won’t make that mistake again.

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At first I was just taking photos in my own yard. That was okay, but it was pretty same old, same old. By the way, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned on here that I have cats. The photo above is of my cat Simba. We’ve had him since I was in fourth or fifth grade. I can’t even remember which any more. I named him. Also, The Lion King is my favorite movie ever. Now you know.

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Once I moved past my own house and bothered to walk to a nearby park things really got interesting. It was quite an adventure and I was loving it. It almost felt like meditation. Although from these two photos it looks like the park was empty, that wasn’t the case. There were a lot of kids looking exploring the water, searching for fishes. There actually were some tiny fish. People were playing basketball on the court and kids were climbing the jungle gym, but I mostly kept to myself. I’ll have to come back to that spot for outfit posts. That could be so much fun!

Happy October

Sun through the trees

Happy October! It’s finally starting to feel like fall. I’ve actually been able to wear long sleeves two days in a row. In Southern California! That’s just super exciting to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer. It’s just cool when the weather changes too. Get it? It’s cool weather. I crack myself up sometimes.

I love the beginning of every season. Well, scratch that. I love when it’s about a week or two into any season. By then I’ve had a chance to get used to my allergies acting up because of the temperature change. I’ve made a list of goals for the season and mentally prepared for things that are coming up. I’ve made a list of fall goals and will keep reminding myself of them every day by making little steps so that I accomplish them. I prepare not just for the changes in my own future but how the world is constantly changing too. Sometimes it can be hard to keep up with all the changes.

Standing out

These are pictures I took two weeks ago on campus before school started. At that time I started seeing more people than normal, including more people who looked like professors or staff members and more people who looked like they might be students. The campus still was fairly quiet though. It didn’t get really busy until a few days later. Then Welcome Week started, students moved back on campus, and conferences began for faculty and staff. That week before school started though there was this feeling in the air. Perhaps only I felt it. Perhaps it was a feeling inside me. It’s like I could feel that things were about to change.It has now. The atmosphere is more exciting now, more full of life. This might sound silly, but I think places have feelings too, in a way.

I would like to a do a series of pictures from my college campus. It’s just going to be so funny to leave it. I need some way to say goodbye and to take the memories with me, in a tangible way. It would be nice to have some photos of my favorite spots framed somewhere in my house. Of course, I do only live about fifteen minutes away and can visit any time, but it will be different if I’m not required to go for school or work and I have other things going on, such as a full-time job or internship. As it is one of my goals, I would like to improve my photography skills and I may even retake these photos to make them better.  I know these photos are too flat and grainy, but I’m not sure how to take something better quite yet. Thankfully, I have a digital photography class this quarter.

The road to nowhere

Our bench

Pretty soon it will be holiday season. I don’t know about you, but sometimes it seems to sneak up on me. Do you feel that way too? This year I’ve been preparing my heart to be happy about all the celebrating. I want to take plenty of pictures, but also be in the moment and enjoy every minute.