Monday, January 24, 2011

week 4....

one little word | captured
I’ve been thinking about why I’ve been so “into” photography lately. It isn’t a brand new thing for me to learn or anything. I’ve done some photography before. In high school I was homeschooled, but I was fortunate to be one of the first homeschooled high schoolers in our area and the principal of the local high school let me come in and take just art classes at the public school. Now that homeschooling is more popular, I don’t think that any public high schools will let homeschoolers do that kind of thing. But I am glad that I was able to do my regular studies at home and then I went and took fine art, graphic art, and photography classes at the public high school all four years.
The photography classes were the old school kind – with SLR cameras and learning how to develop your own film and make prints in a dark room. Seems ancient now. I liked it and had fun learning and processing….but I couldn’t ever get figure out how to focus properly and get sharp images. Probably because I didn’t wear my glasses like I should have been. And photography just seemed too easy. I didn’t have to work to get the images I was thinking about like I did with painting. Graphic design was also not very challenging for me. My teachers told me that I was really good at it. When I created logos or book covers or whatever the assignments were, I didn’t think much about it, just threw a couple of images and type together and always got good grades and good critiques from everyone. And that’s honestly why I didn’t like graphic design and didn’t want to go into it as a career – it was way too easy. I apparently liked doing things the hard way because I loved painting and fine art classes.  I loved spending hours in the studio, getting messy and WORKING HARD on creating my artwork. So after a roundabout couple of years in college and Bible school I ended up majoring in Fine Art.
And now I am not working in the arts or using my degree. I don’t even paint that much anymore. I want to sometimes. I have ideas of things that I want to paint. But now painting seems too hard. It takes too much time to get everything set up, work for a few hours, and then clean it all up. And still have hours of painting to go. I also think it just takes too much mental energy now for me to be that kind of creative after working all day at a full-time job.
Even with all that whining….I really did want to do something creative. I was reading some blogs and started seeing everyone use their DSLR cameras. After thinking about it for a while, I decided that I wanted to check out the digital age of photography. So I talked my husband into letting me use a little of our saved up cash on an older DSLR we found at a pawn shop. It took me a month or so to get used to it and start shooting manual – but once I did – I started really liking it. Shooting with a DSLR and then editing digitally was so much more fun to me than developing and printing had ever been. The ability to do some fun edits and post processing seems to make photography even more creative – it has challenged me and I’ve enjoyed learning and figuring out how to create the images I want. And thankfully, I now wear contacts so focusing is no longer a problem – that and the amazing thing called “autofocus” on the camera.
I have been using my camera a lot this year. Loving it. I can run outside and take a few photos during my lunch break and then edit them later that evening. It’s so easy to grab my camera and go – no set up or clean up involved. Photography is turning out to be the perfect creative outlet for me. And I think I’ve gotten a lot better over the last 8 months. It’s something that is a challenge to learn how to do the things I want to – but I it’s something that I enjoy and is coming fairly naturally too me. I think my fine art background with years of studying color theory, form, and composition is kicking in and becoming useful. I’m liking that it is easy. I need easy right now. I want to be doing something that I enjoy instead of a [boring - but thankful that I have] job. Getting to a place where I can do something that I love instead is going to be hard enough. So part of my talking about plans last week was planning to really start doing photography more.  This week I have developing more plans and working on the logo pictured above.
I am so thankful that my husband is supportive and willing to invest in my dreams. I think its been helping that other people that he knows have been telling him that I am good at what I do. But no matter what other people say, my husband is incredible and he is helping me develop my new business.
Sorry for the long post! It’s been floating around in my head for a while. Thanks for sticking with me and reading. Check out some more captures here.

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