Saturday, February 8, 2014

Been a while...

As a one person show, I find myself to be scattered all over the map. I've been putting forth concerted effort learning new skills to enrich my development. Over the last year, I took a digital photography workshop. Well, I have to blame my husband. He insisted I purchase a better camera. With this newly acquired equipment, it was time that I got over my clumsiness of working with digital photography applications. I was fortunate to take a workshop under a very skilled and knowledgeable photographer. Plug goes out to you, Lori! If you need a good photographer, want to learn or brush up on skills, Lori offers arts in education workshops in the Putnam and Dutchess County areas of New York State.

One of the assignments I had to do for the photography class was capturing random images of strangers in the street. Have you heard of Human's of New York? Using HONY as a framework, I was required to go out and about town taking pictures of people. This project certainly forced me to get out of my comfort zone. I have to say, it was awkward. I'm truly not a extroverted person. For me, it's a work in progress to walk up to people I don't know and say, "Hi!" "I would like to take your picture for a class assignment." I don't know, maybe I could've approached it differently. I have to admit, I tried to take pics of people unaware - that was so much easier. I didn't bring the zoom lens. And, I didn't want to hide behind a bush or tree. I was attempting to be discreet but that's a challenge when I'm practically on top of people trying to take their picture! For instance, I didn't want to disturb the man in the pic below.  He was enjoying a warm summer day reading his book on the bench.  I was sitting on the bench at the other side of the planter.  Using the plant in my attempt at being discreet, I took this snap: 

Leisure Man  

Keep in mind, I was just getting warmed up to the idea of doing this assignment.  In the next image, the woman in the picture made it so easy for me.  She was very happy to allow me to photograph her without any question whatsoever.  Thank you woman with the cold drink! 

Woman With Drink

What's important to remember here, the whole point of this exercise was for said student to learn to get comfortable with the camera and working with the various functions on it.  With that being said, I wasn't focusing on composition as much as I was getting a feel for the equipment and pushing myself to engage total strangers.

Although it was a hot enough summer day when I took these images, the majority of the people I met, were happy to assist me.  In this next image, the young woman had just come out of the coffee shop.  As it turned out, she decided to sit next to me.  I asked to take her picture and she thought at first she wouldn't make a good subject.  I disagreed ever so poltiiely.  She wanted me to direct her.  I simply said, "just relax":

Young Woman
As it turns out, she was on her break in town and was so gracious to give me a few minutes of her time.  I think she provided a lovely picture.

In the next image, I had to work a little bit to gain permission from protective mom.  When I told her I was a student (I'm, ahem not as young as 'young woman' above), she queried me a bit, somewhat hesitant and eyed me with a little skepticism.  Mom wanted to know where exactly I was studying.  I managed to place her at ease when I was able to identify the Barrett Art Center in Poughkeepsie, NY.  Whew!  I just loved the look of this family so I was gratefully relieved when she allowed me to snap the image:


Reluctant Student

I couldn't do this assignment without including myself.  I was a willing but a tad shy participant by capturing my reflection in this storefront glass door.  After all, doing all of this was for my own good!

The above images were taken in Millerton, NY.  Thanks to all those who helped me take the leap out of my comfort zone just by saying "yes".

 ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.”   ~ Patrick Overton, The leaning tree

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