Happy New Year This Fall Season
Back To School For Everyone
For some folks the fall season is the” new year” as far as getting back to a schedule after the drop out days of summer. Back to a schedule often means continuing education after a break. How does the frugal photographer improve?
We are often happy to separate from our money on workshops and seminars but it may not always be convenient or necessary to have others lead? With a little sleuthing and planning you can get a low cost education on a myriad of topics.
Internet – the idea here is to get a plan, not just scamper around sites looking at whatever is announced in your Inbox or social media site. Find a few websites or blogs that speak to you, sign up for their regular spiel and read them as an assignment. To maintain discipline, the newsletters could go in a folder called “School” and you could make a commitment to get a little education daily. Read them all or replace with ones you will read. Don’t pick too many or you will be overwhelmed. Pick a focus area that you want to improve in and assign that work for a month or two. Stick with it then move on to a new focus. Discipline with the internet is key and we all know what that is about.
Public Library – Let’s start with what libraries are known for, books, then walk past them to the magazine. There is a wealth of information in computer, technology and art books as well as specific books showing imagery on subject matter you may be specializing or interested in. Computer and technology books need to be current but older photography and art books can work for composition, focus, new or improved subject matter, colour, posture, lighting and all things image capture related. Test yourself. Why did the photographer chose the setting, lighting, angle, point of view, how was that shot obtained, why was the lighting set up a particular way. This is also a source for focused look at specific areas of interest, nature photographers check out the magazines on outside activities, portrait folks look at poses and props. Pick your genre and explore.
Equipment – Sounds simplistic but, in reality, cameras are complex computers. If you are just using the Auto settings (or ones with icons like night, portrait, landscape) you are not utilizing much of the potential of your camera. Do you know how to set up for flash off camera, use the timer, take bracketed images, change the on-camera flash compensation, preview a shot, Live-view a shot, compensate for fill flash, and any other new, untried button, setting or switch? Set up a time, open your manual and play around with settings in an area that you are not familiar with.
Shoot with someone who does an entirely different type of photography. Push yourself outside the box. With a little discipline you can get a free education.
For more on Fall Shooting, see also:
Autumn Skies Colour Palette
from Whitehorse, Yukon to the Rocky Mountains to northern Quebec
Autumn skies lure venturesome folks to the forests and streams and mountains and roadways this time of year. It is annual pilgrimage time and everyone is in search of colour. Nature dresses up the landscape for another showstopper season. Colours that pop with the post summer cool down when the autumn skies are bluest. Red, orange and yellow against azul skies. Even mother nature knows that complementary colours, opposite positions on the colour wheel, catch the human interest. Every day the blends evolve, meld, and transition into a new canvas.
Depending on where you live the experience may differ in palette but always thrills. Within a mere hours drive north of Montreal, Quebec lies a haven of lakes and streams with a multicoloured Appalachian mountain backdrop. In the east you can find the much sought after crimson reds. On the western prairies nature sticks to an analogous palette, primarily tones of yellow and orange with different values. On the west coast the big leaf maples wield the largest brushes. If you want to venture north where autumn takes on the coloured dress earlier look for brighter bluer skies to show off the colours. Even for those who prefer or can’t get off the beaten path most are accessible from the roadside. Midweek, you are in deserted territory. So what are you waiting for?
For more on autumnal musings, see also:
The Power of One
You are hanging by threads. Your flaky fibres grip lifeless.
A celebration of life is pending. Ode to a tree in midlife crisis.
Moss wraps, sticking to dead cells. Lichens grapple with skin that has rejected their fungal crust. Where to obtain their water and nutrients from the atmosphere now? Weakened digits lose strength and fall in the slightest breeze. A premature death at forty is barely passing rebellious teens. Loss of potential, smitten before peaking. Your hopes and dreams dashed by human interference. And so goes the fragile ecosystem nurtured by your loving shadows and flickering light for decades. Lichens and moss. Seek out another home on limbs offering vitality!
A wise sage reflects on the cycle of life. It was once a lively hub of activity. A young couple nurtured you as a wedding gift. The main lateral made a perfect swing for a seven year old, the trunk hide and go seek for the neighbourhood kids. Squirrels and other four legged tree creatures chased their mates around your trunk. Flickers and nuthatches flitted to and from safety under your boughs.
You could have been a dignified elder like the others on the coast. On your way to standing out in the crowd. A prominent sentinel. When they all fell away to the developers cut. Standing alone now. Only the wasted limbs remain on the ground. And a stub. Maybe a buddha will perch there. Isn’t that what humans do when they want peace?
Arms and fingers and legs and toes. Nothing left but the moss covered remnants. Woodpeckers still poke around the crevices but now that the lifeline has been felled, they only visit intermittently. Moved on, just like the humans. The grubs will move their parasitism on to another host, one that is not in a coma.
For more on Garry Oaks and on the power and possibility of one, see also:
The Power of One in a World of Many
Part 1 What Is One?
What is one?
Two points, a stick. It can hop but not walk or run. No arms for family or community to grab, hug, embrace, shake. Alone.
One, one, one.
Think about one. Skinny, branchless, without focus. Most of it’s life is clothed in black, unless the writer chooses Kodak saturation. How uninspiring is that?
It is only the beginning. A start that demands improvement. Bigger is better.
Lacking creativity, it cannot get much done. Where is the construction in one? The bones have no substance. Expansion is in order.
Unloved like the curvy relatives, 3 and 6 and 9 and the endless 8 it is always pointing the same. Leading but does not give direction.
It invites a taste but not a meal. Just one bite when one is never enough. Temptation for more but one is the end. Fini. Tout fini. It will not allow starvation nor satiation, only craving for more.
Solo, single, one, conundrum.
We beg quietude and peace, but frown loneliness. The oneness of a selfie that requires sharing with the world. Meditation is good, better in a class, single is sorry, partnered is praised. Follow the mass. Blend, do not separate. Lone begs a frown. Pity the unaccompanied. One is noiseless. No chatter raises alarm.
Determining place in a world of mixed messages where privacy is sacred, gatherings feted. It is a place that relishes crowd and revels community. Where family packs must be divided, unescorted proms bring furrowed brows, single supplements must ante up, motel rooms sport an unused bed, unshared food is tossed, companionless season tickets discarded. Independent but pitied.
This photography series explores the idea of one in a world of many. Our conflicting and communal relationship with one:
Tree Eulogy The Power of One
Military Parade, Alone in the Armenia Independence Day Crowd