Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Calling All Wannabe Photographers

When I was ten years old, I got my first camera. Ever since then, I have been fascinated by the art of photography. In high school I took a black and white photography class. I loved working in the darkroom and experimenting with different camera settings and exposures. When Jayson and I graduated from college, my in-laws gave us a Sony Mavica digital camera, which at the time was state-of-the-art. It recorded the pictures on 3.5 inch floppy disks, and could fit about 9-10 pictures per disk. The quality of the pictures was not the greatest, but I could take as many as I wanted without having to buy and develop film.

Having children only fueled the flames of my passion for photography. I got a better camera (this one took pictures up to 3.3 megapixels, which I was soooo excited about at the time!) and I made Riley and Kaiya do all kinds of crazy things with props, costumes, etc. all in the name of art. I went through a "Kim Anderson" phase where I did black and white with partial colorization. When the quints came along, they became easy targets of my hobby. With the quints I explored my inner "Anne Geddes" and made them pose in flower pots, wheelbarrows, chicken costumes, etc. I am not picky about my subjects---I love it when friends ask me to take their family picture because it gives me a chance to do something different and experiment a little (also families with older kids are usually better than toddlers at holding still! If all else fails, they can be bribed!)

I have had the same journal since I was eight years old and it is not even half full. If "a picture is worth a thousand words", then I am hoping that the thousands upon thousands of pictures I have taken over the years will make up for my lack of prose. We recently started looking into online computer back-up services to make sure that none of these valuable pictures is ever lost. Many of the sites we looked at had a limit of 50 gigs of storage, but reviewers claimed this was not a problem since the average person needs only 20 gigs. We have 200 gigs in pictures alone. Yikes!

Some of my pictures, through the years...

Exploring my "Kim Anderson" side with Riley and Kaiya

Sharing an ice cream cone

Hard to believe that Kaiya was 2 and Riley was 5 in this picture----it doesn't seem like it was that long ago!

This one was inspired by "Lady and the Tramp"

Part of my "Anne Geddes" phase with the quints

I think this is one of my favorite pictures of the quints....there is something so cute about baby bums, and I love how this picture really shows their different hair colors

The Fab Five in black and white

I am a little obsessed with taking pictures of flowers

Waikiki from the top of Diamond Head crater. I love it when mother nature helps out my pictures with things like rainbows!

It is hard not to get a great picture when you are in Hawaii! Texas isn't quite this scenic!

These surf boards held completely still---no bribing necessary!

My latest photographic subject of interest: food!

So, where am I going with all of this? Well despite my love for photography, I still feel a bit clueless when it comes to my camera. I tend to leave my camera (I have a nice Sony DSLR these days) on "Auto", shoot pictures and hope for the best. I have many books on photography, and I know the basics of shutter speed, ISO, aperture, etc., however in the moment I can't always remember which settings are best for which lighting, subject type, etc. I am secretly jealous of people like my photographer friend, Kristen Duke, who know exactly what they are doing with their camera and who manage to get fabulous pictures no matter the situation. I have told Kristen on more than one occasion that I want to be her apprentice so I can learn all her secrets, so no one was more excited than me to learn that Kristen has published an e-book on photography basics. If you are a wannabe photographer like me, YOU NEED THIS BOOK! the book is called "Say No! to Auto" and it is a great introduction to getting over the fear of manual mode. It explains the basics, and has lists of guidelines for what ISO setting, f-stop, shutter speed, etc. are best in specific situations. Best of all, the book is actually made up of 4x6 jpg images so it can be printed out, bound (or put in a small photo album) and thrown in your camera bag for easy access when you are "in the moment". The e-book is available on Kristen's website. I am looking forward to "intermediate" and "advanced" e-books from Kristen in the future!


Ayyob Family said...

I love photos, and have a nice camera but do not know how to use it. I do not have time to invest in the big books on the must know. So I just invested in this book and hope it works! Thanks,

Anonymous said...

I took a black and white photography class in high school too!! I had a 35 millimeter point and shoot camera that I used in that class.

I think you are a wonderful photographer! I love the photo you took of Kevin and Sylvia for the Christmas card.

Aiketa said...

I am a wannabe photographer! And I would like to buy that book, but I'm not sure if it is suitable for my camera. I have a sony DSC-W300. What do you think?

Here is a link to the sony site: http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?storeId=10151&catalogId=10551&langId=-1&productId=8198552921665309162

M Hastings said...

Love this whole concept of easy on-the-go 'books' to show you the basics about manual photography. Will be investing in it myself! Thanks for the heads-up!

Anonymous said...

I have been shooting digital since 1999 and have over 5,000 pictures on my hard drive. Rather than use an online service for back up, I recommend an external hard drive that you can back them all up to. I do mine each time I clear my camera cards because I have had computer crashes, and it is not fun. Everyone in my house knows, if there is ever a fire, grab the external drive! I actually have a 750g external, this is an example of what I am talking about if you are not familar with them:

Anonymous said...

Looks like the link got cut off:


Hopefully this one will work

Andrea. said...

Where they sleep the quints now ¿ We wanna see your bedroom =D

lenjerie intima said...

They are very good photos I love, I wish you health to all