Thursday, January 19, 2017

"Friday Fotos" - from my "Guided365" online course

 One of my "New Year's Resolutions" is to improve my skills in the 
hobbies that I love, mainly photography and making jewelry - and if you have 
read my blog before, you know I am a huge, hobbiest photographer!

If you click on any of the hashtags, they will take you to the photo on Instagram.
To see all the photos from the entire class on one page
click on following hashtag..

In order to achieve the goal of improving my photography skills, 
I actually committed to a course that will last the entire year!  
It is called Guided365, and we will literally get a daily email every day this year, with an
 emphasis on various skills that will build upon each other.
This is no wimpy, kindergarten course... within the first
 two weeks, we are already off the "auto" setting, and shooting 
on the Program and Aperture settings.  Next week, we move to the manual setting. I am 
a self-taught photographer that has read thousands of blogs, studied many an article, 
and poured through my camera manual countless times to figure out exactly what 
all the buttons and settings actually do!  This blog is truly the outlet for my 
love of photography, combined with
 my love to write and journal.
I won't post all the daily photos we submit for "homework", but will cherry pick the best. Don't think that every photo you see here turns out perfect, because for every photo posted on this blog, I probably took ten to twenty shots to "get it right"!  Each day we get 
an email that explains a topic, gives us "prompts" of how to take a photo for homework, and we post it to Instagram with #guided365 and # of each day...which I had no idea how to use when I 
started this class! I am learning so much! The goal for above photo was to pick one part of a subject's face, and bring it into perfect focus, while blurring the background. 
Doesn't Toula have the cutest, little nose ever?

This photo's goal was to shoot a fast moving subject, and capture it with
the entire subject in focus. Now that was hard! This photo looks like Toula is just casually strolling  back to me, but she was literally in a full gallop! 
The object in her mouth is a stuffed, (or rather "unstuffed" rabbit).
 I made sure to note this fact in my Instagram posting, so animal
activists would not be protesting outside my backdoor! 

My goal for this day was to take an animal or person, pick the eyes as a focal point,
 bring them into clear focus (making it the first part of photo to which your eyes are naturally drawn), while leaving the rest of the face still in focus, but blurring the background. 
This is all easier said then done, and thankfully, I have a pretty 
good, self-taught background, but it a scary step for students new to photography taking 
this class, and have never taken a photo out of "Auto" mode.
  Kudos to our horse, "Doc",  what a great model! 

Homework for this photo was to shoot a building at an upward angle in Aperture mode, with an aperture that allowed you to keep the closest and furtherest point of the building in focus. 

Secondly,  we were challenged to shoot with a large aperture (which means very little light comes through the camera) and capture a "sun-flare". The reason photography is so confusing is that large aperture means small len's opening. This took many practice photos and lots of patience!
 Toula, my trusty photography assistant, and faithful model, was of little help! I had to kneel, and get down low to the ground, in order to shoot 
at an upward angle. Toula took this motion as permission to 
come right over, and "lick" my camera lens!.
Dog slobber and my very expensive camera lens became well acquainted!

For this assignment, we were asked to take a photograph on Aperture mode. Once we had that photo, we had to manually override the light meter, and shoot same photo one stop lighter, and one stop darker. As I previously stated, this is no baby course! We were to post the best photo from the three. Mine turned out to be the photo that was manually stopped down one stop, 
(in layman' s terms that means to make it darker then the camera computer originally photographed)  teaching us that even as good as digital cameras are now days,  the
  camera doesn't always choose the right exposure! 
That is why you should shoot on the "Manual mode", if you are a serious photographer. 
I know how to do this; but this lesson and homework drove the point home!

And the final photo of the week was to take everything we learned, and roll it into one photo! This entailed photographing a moving subject, all in focus, with the right exposure and a blurred background! My sweet six month old Golden Retriever, ("Toula") 
helped me achieve this, as she was heading to the river for another dip.
"Only in Louisiana",  does one enjoy seventy-three degree weather in mid-January,  and  joyfully jump in and out of a river! I am going to make "Friday Fotos" a weekly routine, so I can post my best photos of the week, and hopefully document inprovement
 of my photography skills as we move through 2017! Maybe,  I can even invite my classmates to join me, and post their best photo of the week on my Friday post! There is a lot of talent in my class, and as you can  tell by this post, I am excited about it! 


  1. beautiful photos!! I find the more you are with your camera the better you get with your camera :)

  2. WOW!...all of the photos are beautiful...I used to photograph in manual mode a lot more than I do now...and it's just a time thing mode is so much easier...but I'd love to get back into it... the new banner too!

    ~Have a lovely day!

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