What did it teach me

I have been meaning to do a post on photography for a while now and the perfect opportunity for me to do so has come up.  Before I get into it, here’s a little background.

If you know me well you know that I have always loved taking pictures.  It is my favorite way of documenting memories. I have boxes and albums full of photos that are probably among my most treasured possessions. If we ever had to evacuate our house (which we did have to a few years ago) the photos are at the top of my list of things to take.  Thankfully now that we are in the digital age, it is not such a space consuming hobby anymore, but I do have to make sure the digital files are all backed up!

A few years ago in Apollo’s dog training class I met a woman (and her adorable yellow lab), her husband was in the Navy and was deployed at that time.  She was taking pictures during the class so she could send them to him overseas so he could see the progress their dog was making.  She had a Canon Rebel and I was ohhing and ahhing over her camera and we started talking photography.  She told me about a online class she was taking called Snapshots of a Good Life and how amazing the instructor, Karen Russell, was.  So when I got home I googled Karen Russell and found out all about the class.  Not only does she teach a fantastic class she also has a blog where she shares her family memories, tells funny stories and teaches us a few things here and there.  I started following her blog and even though I’ve never met her or anyone in her family, I feel like I know them (at least what she shares online).  Karen’s teaching style is all about how to achieve a great photo straight out of the camera, which is exactly what I want to do since I am not that skilled in the editing department. I love her pictures and immediately decided I wanted to take her class but was waiting and saving up to get a professional camera.

My husband being the attentive person that he is got me a Canon Rebel for our anniversary 2 years ago (or maybe he was tired of hearing me talk about this class!) I  signed up right away and it has changed my view of photography.  I highly recommend  this class for anyone at any level of skill to take.  Here are some of the things I’ve learned:

  • I learned how to get out of the auto mode and take pictures in manual mode.
  • I learned what all the icons mean and what all the buttons do on my camera.
  • I learned how to use the exposure triangle (aperture, shutter speed & ISO) to create a properly exposed photo.
  • I learned how to take pictures in low light settings.
  • I learned the importance of lighting and how to create catchlights that make the eyes sparkle.
  • I learned that photography is not just about a perfectly posed photo, but a way to capture the story as it unfolds.
  • I learned about depth of field.
  • I learned how to use my focus points.
  • I learned how to create pretty bokeh.
  • I learned how to achieve that blurred background so your main subject pops in the photo.
  • And I learned so, so much more…

The last week of class Karen turns it over to Erin Cobb, who is another great photographer with a blog of her own.  Erin designed a tutorial called Clean Color that teaches all about the editing process.  I love her editing style and was so excited to learn that as well.  Unfortunately for me, the timing of that part of class was when I had my surgery, so I never finished the last week.  Someday I have promised myself that I will take the time to download her tutorial and learn (yes, I realize I am saying this as my life is only going to get busier with a newborn on his way…that is why I said someday…)

This now brings me to the point of this post.  Karen sent out an email to all her past students asking them to share a photo and something important they learned in class then post it on their blogs, facebook, pinterest, etc… and then link it to her blog.  I tried really, really hard to narrow it down to just one, I have so many favorite photos I’ve taken and so many things I’ve learned that I couldn’t do it, so I have two.

As with anything else, practice makes perfect.  My dog and my husband are pretty tired of being my subjects, so it’s a good thing I am growing a new subject at the moment and starting January you will see LOTS of photos of him :)

6 thoughts on “What did it teach me

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