Monday, October 29, 2012

Forever More

I'm feeling inspired and lost at the same time this week. Kelly's guest post on Friday hit on a sore spot for me (in a good way,Kelly). Style, style, style - what the heck is my style? As I said in my comments to her, my fatal flaw is that I'm too enthusiastic. Don't you all just feel that there is so much to learn in photography that you could spend years of your life and loads of your bank account and never learn it all? How does one decide what to focus on? (clever pun intended).

I attended the PDN (Photo District News) Photo Plus International Expo in NYC yesterday and wandering the exhibit floor, I was exposed to ideas and products I had never seen before. In the Julianna Kost seminar I took on Lightroom workflow, she taught us about  several hidden buttons and techniques that in 3 years of using Lightroom, I never knew existed. Then she progressed to Photoshop - which literally could take you the rest of our life to learn! (and that isn't even taking into consideration all the other PS packets for the graphic arts, design, etc! )

Last November, I bought my full frame camera , and with it the guides, and the DVD. I worked on that for about a month to get started, but I  haven't been able to find the time to  finish the second part. I'm sure that, a year later, I am not yet using at least half of what my camera is capable of doing. Did I plunge too soon?

Terry Hood learning from Nancy Ori

Years ago I started attending workshops, beginning with one called " Color, Light and Composition" - and of course, as are all photographers, I am always working on those three basic skills.
I got to the point where I could make images I am happy with. But then printing was too much delayed satisfaction, and often produced results I wasn't expecting. So I bought a good printer, and had to take courses on printing methods, calibrating your colors, choosing from the myriad of papers out there, and their effects on your image, etc.

By that time, happily, I had started qualifying for shows. So - guess what? I either had to spend a ton of money having my images framed, or - yup - take courses on framing to create a piece of art that could be hung in a show to it's best advantage, and that someone could buy with the expectation that it would not wrinkle or fade over the years. And there are show deadlines! (Yikes!)

Then there's deciding on equipment. I need a flash unit now - there must have been 100 options on the exhibit floor yesterday - guess I don't know enough about what to choose yet to spend my precious moolah.

And then comes  all of our precious sharing! I haven't played with high key lighting yet, Steph. Deanna - I want to explore those fonts, and I have so many favorite quotes to dig up in my reading. We're jumping into more extended Instagram use, and I want to do reflections like Leigh's carpool ones, and underwater shots like they showed us from Oasis Camp,and macros like Tracey Clark. There are many Klassen techniques and textures I haven't used yet, and I want to go jumping and animating around the city like Xanthe. Blogging is all new to me. I haven't used all the information from my black and white workshop last May. I'm in the city this weekend, so I want to try Michele's city photography suggestions. My daughter's roommate wants headshots ( I've never done portraits!), a friend is pan painting her images, there are light trailing methods and scanography and, as Yul Brynner once said "etcetera, etcetera, etcetera."
And - damn - there's work and children and parents and home owning and, by the way, I need to get out and - here's an idea - take a few pictures!


Deep breath - I am grateful that this is not my profession. I am doing this when, and how and where I want. I can relate all of my passions with what I choose and how I choose to photograph. I can  delve into whatever aspect I'm in the mood for. Each day can be something new, or I can do a month-long study. I have the rest of my life to fill in all the holes in my knowledge that learning this way leaves.  Breathe, breathe, breathe.


And here's the kicker......

I love every minute of it.

Please don't ever stop sharing because I never want to stop. 

 And your daily quote is from Michelangelo:

"I am still learning."




Dotti said...

Yup ... I feel your "pain". I think it's called growing pains ... But that's the thing I love about photography ... SO MUCH TO LEARN ... it will take a lifetime ... and more to learn. Always new challenges, new techniques ... new equipment. But, hey ... nobody said we have to do it all! Keep it fun!

Great post, Carol.

PS - Thinking about you on this stormy day on the East Coast.


Focusing on Life said...

Thanks Dotti - I agree - I'm willing to do this for a lifetime! Just sometimes I get "the yikes effect." I'll hanging in there!
And thanks for the storm thoughts. It's getting a little scary here..... I'll check in later!

terriporter said...

Oh, Carol, this is so ME! There is never enough time to learn and do all I want to. In 2011 my "one little word" was "Focus" because I felt pulled in so many different directions by all the things I wanted to do. At one point that year I was trying to master a new camera, a new operating system on my computer, a new printer, an updated version of Word, a new version of Photoshop and Lightroom among other things. Trying to do it all -- isn't that what women do? But Dotti is right, that's what is so great about photography -- we'll never "master" it and we get to have so much fun trying.

Take care of yourself and be sure to let us know how it is going with that storm. All of you on the east coast are in our thoughts and prayers.

Focusing on Life said...

This makes me laugh. That's how I feel now - and because of a computer virus I recently changed all my passwords - and I can't even remember any of them! LOL! Its hopeless!

Kim Stevens said...

Oh Carol, Carol . . . at one point reading this I needed a paper bag! haha Yes, at times it all seems just so overwhelming and that fork in the road - instead of this way or that way, it feels like a pitchfork, just too many directions to go. The great thing though about photography is that because no one person can ever be completely an expert, it makes us all in it together. Just a really fabulous post Carol!!

Carol said...

What a great take on that! You're right it makes us all students and all experts!

Sheila Hughes said...

Oh my! Can I relate to this entry! There is so much I want to learn and classes I want to sign up for, and lenses I want to buy and...and...and! I am so happy to know I am not alone and we are all in this together. What a great group of women you all are! Thank you!S Sheila

terriporter said...

Sheila, it is so great to see you here! I agree -- so much to learn and so much to want! Thanks for your sweet words and I hope we see more of you.

Roxi -Coppercurls Designs said...

OMG Carol, are you my sister? Right there on ALL accounts. I did start matting and framing tho.

stephmull said...

I've felt this way so many times....have you been reading my mind?? What a perfect post! There's so much to discover and learn about photography. At least it never gets dull!!

Linda said...

You are so lucky to have gone to that Photo Expo! What fun! Like you, there is so much to learn! Where to start? As long as I keep learning, I'll stick with it!


Naomi said...

YES! It is so wonderful to have so many things to learn and to enjoy it all. Yet it is stressful too sometimes to figure out how to do it all. I soooo understand.

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