Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Practice of Photography: Focus on FLOWERING

I hope you enjoyed experimenting with the Portals theme in March.  I encourage you to continue with this project - you will see a difference in your images if you do.

The second theme I am sharing from my deck of The Creative Photographer Exploration Cards is appropriate for Spring which seems to be around us here in the south.  The theme for April is FLOWERING.  Flowers are wonderful subjects for close-up photography.

The easiest way to experiment is to buy a bunch of flowers or a potted plant in flower and photograph these in a controlled indoor environment where there is no breeze, where you can choose background colors that complement your flowers and where you can stand comfortably to photograph. Find a window with good light, set your camera to its macro settings and consider using a tripod to avoid camera shake. Engage 

with the flower through the lens of your camera. Try using different aperture settings for different 
results. With a small aperture setting such as f/2.8 or f/5.6 you will be able to blur the background which will accentuate the color and shape of the flower. You may even find small insects living in your flowers.

When I started photographing flowers, I thought, "My God, where have I been?"  I'd never seen the mysteries of a flower. We walk by wonders every day and don't see them. 
Barbara Bordnick

Don't forget to share your photographs on The Creative Photographer Facebook page!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Camera-Color-Closer at Art & Soul

"Color is the language of light; it adorns the earth with beauty. 
 Through color light brings its passion, kindness and imagination to all things:
 pink to granite, green to leaves, blue to ocean, yellow to dawn."
John O'Donohue

Bring your camera and discover the beauty of close-up photography at Art and Soul in Virginia Beach on Thursday, April 25th, 2013.  In this class we'll be doing photography and book-making and mixed media all in one day!  You'll create a unique book that I guarantee you haven't seen before - and the wonderful thing about it is that it is easy but versatile.  We'll be making it using rainbow colors, but I'll show you how to adapt it for other projects and how to create it with a fabric spine as well.

A book is no good without something to go in it, so after preparing our book pages and setting them out to dry we will get out our cameras and photograph at close range a selection of colored objects (including fresh flowers which I will bring).  You will learn how to use your camera to photograph close-up using the macro feature.  Getting closer is the best way to improve your photographs.

Have you heard of White Balance and don't know what it is?  You don't have to have any technical expertise to learn about White Balance, but it is fun to see how it can change the color of your images. I'll show you the easy way how to learn all about the White Balance capabilities that may be available on your camera.  You'll also learn how to re-size photographs to fit into your journal.

Once you've played with your camera, you will return to your journal and add more color to the pages using parts of your personal color fan and color photographs to complete your journal.

And finally, for the visual journalers out there, we'll have a short discussion on how we relate to different colors, and what they might mean to you.

This will be a day full of learning and fun, and you don't even have to go out hunting for supplies as I will provide everything you need to create your journals, and you will get your own personal color kit when you arrive in class.

Register for this "Close Up - In Color with the Camera" class at the Art and Soul website.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Inner and Outer Vision: Intuition and Photography

At the end of February, Jennifer Halls and I co-facilitated a workshop entitled "Developing Your Inner and Outer Vision: An Intuition and Photography Retreat" at the Haw River State Park in Browns Summit, NC.

Both intuition and photograph require us to practice heightened awareness and perception.  As we do this we become more sensitive to subtle differences in color, shape and light.

One of the awareness exercises you can practice is to become more aware of the dance between contrasting elements.  To do this, take your camera out into your surroundings and explore this idea by photographing:

Light and Shadow
Rough and Smooth
Simple and Complex
Round and Straight
Wet and Dry
Old and New
Full and Empty

Notice how this practice increases your awareness of the subtle differences around you.