Saturday, October 5, 2013

On Learning

white gull feather on the sand
Softly on the Sand
copyright 2013, Stephanie Maatta Smith
This week our photography group was asked to explore the new techniques we each want to learn to enhance and extend our photography. In the words of Dr. Suess -- "Oh the places I can go..." There's just so much I want to learn and to be able to do with my cameras. But here are some of my goals: macro photography, long exposure photography, and shooting the aurora borealis.

Macro Photography

close up image of gold flower against blue autumn sky
Complements in Gold and Blue
copyright 2013, Stephanie Maatta Smith
I'm intrigued by macro photography. The narrow depth of field and the close-up view of the subject attracts me. I've made some attempts at using macro techniques. "Complements in Gold and Blue" was taken with at 48mm, f/5.6. Next time I'll try my 35mm fixed length at f/1.8 to hone in on the beautiful details of the flowers. After some reading and attending a nature photography lecture, I feel more confident that I can capture the finest details. Some of what I want to try with macro photography requires the use of a tripod; now it's time to practice without pinching my finger every time I set it up. I also discovered that a couple of extra pieces of equipment will provide additional options for high quality macro shots, including reflectors and an external flash. I'll be attending a fall color shoot later in October which will give me an opportunity to get up close and personal with trees, leaves, and other natural subjects.

Long Exposure Photography

Long exposure photography provides some excellent artistic opportunities. I haven't attempted this yet, and need to read and explore a bit more before attempting the technique. I do have a couple of sites in mind as possible subjects. Must practice, practice, practice with focusing and my tripod so I feel comfortable and confident with long exposures.

The Aurora Borealis

My photographer's dream is to travel to the Arctic Circle to photograph the aurora. Norway, Finland, Alaska .... For now I'll settle for a crisp, cool night in northern Michigan where the aurora borealis bounce off the lake. I've been reading through articles and looking at images to learn techniques for successful aurora shoots. Along with technique, I think I'll need to learn to use Photoshop to create panoramic images. Photos to follow after my next venture north.

Documentary Photography

I recently ran across a short article on documentary photography, capturing and documenting people and things. I want to spend some time learning more about this particular style of photography. My suspicion is I'll be more suited to things than to people, but that's okay. 

1 comment:

  1. You have quite a list of things you want to learn! It's great that you are taking the initiative to start on all of these things. It looks like your learning style also may tend toward learning several parallel things at once, allowing you to be flexible as different opportunities present themselves.

    Your explorations into macro photography should be interesting! You'll get the hang of that tripod, don't worry. :)