Week Two of my Simply Bliss photography eclass was actually simultaneously easier and a bit more challenging. It was easier because it dealt with friendly outdoor light, which is much easier to manipulate and produces much more glorious photos than indoors (boo to indoor light). I have found a few "sweet spots" in my home now thanks to week 1 where I can get good indoor lighting throughout the day, but there's nothing like outdoor light to make a photography lover all gooey inside.
So first I had to do the same thing as week 1: place an inanimate object in different places outside and find the best outdoor lighting without too much shade or too much harsh direct light. Unfortunately, I had three challenges. Number one: it's still mud season and it's pretty cold and yucky out. I waited until the end of the week to try to score a good day when my kids were napping to take some outdoor photos. I did find one but then challenge number two happened: Em woke up so then I had to drag her butt around with me. I couldn't put her on the ground because it was muddy and wet. I was also using one of her favorite toys, stuffed Mickey Mouse, as my prop, so whenever I'd put it down to photograph it she'd try to scoot over there asap. Enter challenge number three: pretty dappled light filtering down through my leafy yard, which created many a shadow across Mickey's face. I'd try to adjust my settings and then I'd be too bright, Em would try to lunge for beloved Mickey, we were all getting muddy, and I have to admit it wasn't my best effort. Excuses, excuses, I know, but I didn't give it my all. Here is my finished product:
I found the driveway to be the best light, but that is where most of the shadows/bright spots happen so it was also very frustrating. Plus the fact that our driveway isn't paved, so it was a bit of mess for Mickey and baby. I also love the light on our porch in the late afternoon/early evening, but this was about 1 pm so the light was a bit much.
The good part was, since Em was with me, I could proceed with part 2 of the week's assignment at the same time. I needed to take a photo of my child outside SOOC (straight out of camera, no editing). I waited until I found the perfect spot in the driveway using Mickey as my tool, then put Em in the exact same place using the exact same settings. I got a pretty good shot, actually, minus the miserable I-need-a-nap face.
Faith was pleased with my exposure--she actually said she "LOVED" the light (yea!) but said I needed to work on framing and focus. I completely agree, since I was a bit too concerned Em was going to crawl off the blanket and onto the yucky driveway and am so used to cropping in post-production. Also, Faith wasn't impressed with my baby-didn't-nap excuse....must be because she's pregnant with her fifth! Where she finds time to help people like me is a mystery.
Last was my final outdoor portrait shot, keeping lighting as my priority. I submitted two:
The lighting is better in the second one (see the difference in the light in her eyes?) but it wasn't the best shot so I shared both. Faith liked them both, and didn't mind the crazy binkie-gnawing in the second one. I guess they don't have to be typical "portraits"--I just assumed they did. I was glad that I used my 50 mm lens so that my depth of field (blurred background) was what I wanted it to be. See those darn (blurry) trees in the background? You can see why they mess up my lighting.
Two weeks down, two to go! I love this class because althougth I already knew these things so far, I never really took the time to put these principles into practice (as Faith says). It has made me a more conscious photographer--thinking more about things like light instead of just shooting away and hoping for the best. I'm really glad I took this class, and I think it'll be the first of many in my future! Always a great gift, family (hint hint)!
And now, onto more photography stuff.
I bought business cards yesterday. Can you believe it? So many times I see moms or meet them at playgroups and wish I had a card to give them after we've talked about the blog for a while. So I made some! And you know what I wrote under my name? Writer & Photographer. Wow. Not Mom. Not English Teacher. Writer & Photographer. When did I morph into this person?
The photo challenge at I Should Be Folding Laundry is Spring.
I bought some Easter/spring decorations the other day at Pier 1 (where everyone in the store stopped and stared at the woman--ahem, me--with two very small children with so many breakable things. I got quite a few "Wow, you're brave" comments. I guess they've met Jax before and/or he has quite the reputation.
So we bought some chicks.
And at first Em loved them. They made her giggle and she couldn't get enough of looking at them.