Monday, January 28, 2019

Week 4 Goal: Digital Photography with Help from a Professional Photographer

It's the last day of Week #4 and that means it's time for my "demo" of the goal I focused on this week: #17 in my list of 60 until 60

Learn digital photography better with the help of a professional photographer (my sister, Michele)

Why did I want to do this?

I've been wanting to improve my photography skills for years. Michele is a professional photographer, so who better to help me? I especially wanted to learn to take better photos this year for my 60 until 60 project! I'm really focusing on celebration, connection, and experiencing new things, so I want to capture those special moments. I wanted to take advantage of the photo apps and editing tools that are available so I can create a special slideshow at the end of my project.

How will I know when I'm done?

This is tough because learning a skill is on-going.  The more I learned, the more I realized how much more there is to learn! For this particular goal, my acceptance criteria was:

* Complete any lessons Michele gave me and review my photos with her for a critique
* Feel confident and have a system for organizing and collecting the photos for my 60 until 60 slideshow
* Write a blog post about the experience (that's what I'm doing now!)

What we did:

Michele took her role in this goal very seriously.  She patiently taught me some basic rules of composition as well as some good tips about using my iPhone camera. She also introduced me to Snapseed, a photo editing app.

My first assignment was to capture some "rainy day" pictures. I was spending the day at Universal Studios and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter with my friend, Nancie, and, being a Hermione-like student (always an over-achiever), I took my assignment very seriously! By the end of the day, I had enough rainy day pictures to fill a rainy day art gallery. 

I'll include the 3 I choose for my assignment in the post below. Even Nancie wanted to get in on the assignment and was snapping puddles, rain-drops, and umbrellas. However, I have to include the video she took that CRACKED ME UP! She had the camera in 'selfie mode' pointed at herself as she was struggling to take a picture of me!

Throughout the week, Michele gave me more assignments, and every day I looked at the world differently..  looking at colors and angles and artsy photo composition in mind. I noticed the twinkling sparkles the sun made on the water and the iridescent bubbles in the foamy aftermath left from a wave, and the tree-like design left in the wet sand at the beach.

I tried to capture the natural smiles and candid moments of connection: my thoughtful nephew who guided me with my selfie-stick up a steep hillside to explore some caves. I love the photo I caught of him at the entrance to the cave. 

There were just so many photos and memories from the week that I absolutely loved.

What worked well:

  • I absolutely LOVED this goal! It's like I've discovered a whole new world. 
  • This really helped me tap into being more creative with my pictures.
  • I learned a lot about using my iPhone camera more effectively and how to edit pictures.
  • This was quite a bonding experience with Michele. I really appreciate how patient and supportive she was in helping me to learn. I also have a deeper appreciation for her talent and art.
What could be better:

  • OMG! I have a zillion pictures now! And way too many apps that are confusing me! I really need to spend some time getting more organized in how I process these pictures.
  • I have so much I want to learn. I've barely scratched the surface and I know that to really get better will take a lot of time. 

My rainy day 'artsy' shot

Rainy day selfie that shows we were at Universal Studios
I loved the colorful park against the cloudy sky

We laughed so hard when we saw this!

My nephew, Reece, after guiding me up a steep climwith my selfie-stick

Original: Michele taking photos at Oxnard Beach

Cropped and edited

Bubbles left from a foamy wave
Tree-like 'art' in the sand
Twinkling sparkles


Michele Hebrank said...

Well, this is certainly one of my favorites of your blog posts.

I was so excited about this choice for one of your goals. Especially since I could be such a big part of it. And not only did you embrace it with gusto, but I really did see such a dramatic improvement in your work in just that short week. It IS a whole new world and such a fun one. I loved seeing the difference in how you were "looking and seeing" the world and all your surroundings with new eyes.

Super fun. Keep up the good work.


Yvette Francino said...

Thanks, Sis! Not only are you a talented photographer, you're a wonderful teacher as well!

Anonymous said...

Did you ever charge the batteries of the selfie stick I gave you?

And by the way, anonymous and ambivert folks like myself don't like to have their pictures taken. just saying...

Thank You...Thank you very much.

PS: I wasn't the sole person who makes comments! Looks like your sister also reads your blog!

Yvette Francino said...

I know you've given me a lot of things, but I do not remember you ever giving me a battery-operated selfie-stick. And if you did (or think you did) then, of course, you know I'd need to use it to take our picture. The selfie stick I do use is one my sister gave me and now that I'm a much-improved photographer, you certainly need to be prepared to have your picture taken (like it or not!)

You're welcome. You're welcome very much.

Anonymous said...

My mind is apparently "going" along with everything else! I realize I never gave it you because it is in my "Yvette birthday box."

Oh well, it will go to someone else...

Anonymous said...

If you shove the selfie stick up anonymous butthole you will see how full of shit he is ;-)