Saturday, June 27, 2009

A week and a day

It was a delightful week, a long week and a HOT week. But Saturday couldn't come fast enough! My friend Julia and I have been planning to go take pictures FORever and this morning, it finally happened. We had our assignment, our chairs, our coffee cups and our cameras. I was up early and out the door by 6:00 am.

I picked Julia up and we drove to a farm near her house, we unloaded the chairs and started clicking! My chair is a Harry Bertoia original, a gift from my father. Julia had two antiques that were on loan to her. We took several pictures and then grew weary of the corn. With a stroke of brilliance, Julia had me head out to Thornapple River.

There are not a lot of people up at 7 o'clock in the morning. And that certainly worked in our favor. Once I got over the bugs, we spent the next 90 minutes taking fabulous pictures of the river, trees, geese and leaves. It is so lush and so green right now; everything looks stunning. One reason for heading out so early was to try and avoid overhead sun, direct light that even with advanced accouterments is difficult to overcome. A true sunrise shoot is a 4:30 or 5:00 am wake up right now and we were simply unprepared for that early time. Maybe in August when the sunrise is a *little* later.

There were two tricks I wanted to try with my camera. One was slowing the shutter speed *w*a*y * down - 2 -3 seconds. I could only do that with a polarizer and think it turned out pretty dumb well. With slow shutter speeds, you get the 'creamy' effect of flowing water. I also kept a pretty low aperture setting, used my tripod and remote trigger. Both are a must.

The second trick is zooming the lens. I have only seen this in pictures and haven't had the chance to use it on a picture I like. This effect is created by manually moving the lens while taking the picture. I varied the shutter speeds, used the remote trigger and tried slow and fast movement. SO fun. SO FUN.

We had a quick stop for brekkie, hitting a local joint, Arnie's. We caught up on life, the universe and everything and then made one final stop at another park. We unloaded the chairs but were quickly distracted by the playground equipment. I loved this particular jungle gym thingy (that's a technical term) including the colors and the wear and tear on the metal.

The fun about Julia is that she really understands how important it is to try every thing - every angle - every height and every width. She isn't in a hurry at all and it was so great to have someone to talk pictures through. She is also an amazingly talented photographer and can see colors and angles in almost everything. We will do it again. For sure.

I also have an amazing appreciation for professional photographers who work hours on setups for a few pictures. They make it look SO easy. Trust me on this, it's not just picking up a camera and pressing a button. This hobby has changed the way I see so much - what I used to see in color, I now see in histograms. What I used to love about the sunrise now makes me grab my polarizer and light meter. What I loved in simplicity in the point-and-shoot has morphed into three bags, two camera bodies, several lenses, a flash, a tripod and monopod. Sigh.

But not one complaint. There is a lot more to the weekend but that's it for now.


Lisa said...

Awesome post. Awesome pictures. Awesome adventure. I had never shot with a tripod until my class at the Botanical Garden. Our instructor really encouraged their use, especially shooting anything under about 1/60.

Looks like you two had an incredible day. I'm a teensy bit jealous of all the fun. Can't wait to see a few more of the 413 pictures. :-)


Deirdre Honner said...

So for equity's sake, I will share this. I have mosquito bites in places that I didn't even know they could reach; I have really tired tootsies and really, really, really want a macro lens.

Sigh. Lisa - it's like a drug, ya know?

Paul's Blog said...

I often wonder if it is time for an intervention...

Jewels said...

No intervention needed Paul! It's just how you have to be to get the good shots :)

What a wonderful post about a very fun day!!! When can we do it again??? :)

Brown Eyed Girl said...

Nice picture of my chair. I love it! I always wondered how they did that with making the water look like clouds. Nice job. Glad you had a good time. Julia is a fun person to spend time with.

Deirdre Honner said...

Thanks for loaning 'us' the chair! It got a lot of travel and got to see a good bit of Kent County. :)

We did have a blast. Thanks for stopping by.