Thursday, January 17, 2013

Intuitive Lens with Thea

Ever since university I have been really intimidated by the manual settings on my camera. I had good friends who studied photography when i majored in painting and I was always so impressed by their beautiful images and their technical knowledge, it was a foreign language to me and one I never took the time to learn, or thought that i could. Because i couldn't develop my own images in a dark-room and only used the automatic settings on a very old camera i inherited from my father's belongings, I hardly every took photos. Most of my years at Rhodes are not documented - the odd photo here and there from digs-mates or someone who happened to be carrying a camera around, but I only took a handful myself.

And then I went to London and suddenly it was more important to be able to record places I went to, things I did - i wanted to send images home, to share my travels and my life overseas. I started with a simple very inexpensive point-and-shoot but the manual settings worked well and I was happy - simple quick shots of where we went, who we were with. And then Clint bought me my first canon at the airport in Heathrow, a totally spontaneous gift - and I was hooked. I fell in love with the quality of detail I could capture, and from there my love for photography has grown. Now I use a digital version of my first camera and as a mother, recording the day to day has become that much more important. It's not just about creating memories for myself of what we did when, now it's about capturing Hayden and Lexi's days - the things they love doing, their expressions, their personalities, capturing something of the mood, a little soulfulness. Over the years I have grown to love my camera more and more and now I feel a little lost if it's not in my hand when we go somewhere. I pay more attention to light and composition and I really cherish the fact that we have so many images, so many memories of their first years.

And now it's time for the next step - to feel a little more technically-savvy. Since i started my blog a year ago I have been concentrating a lot more on photography and writing, before that it really was always painting. So quite a shift for me but also one which feels natural and which I am really enjoying. When i applied to Tech and Rhodes all those years ago, photography was on my list of first choices for Tech, after Graphic Design and Interior design and although it's years later and on a whole different scale, I am having a lot of fun getting back to it and spending more time on it nowadays.

Thea Coughlin is running an online course through SQUAM, called Intuitive Lens, we're in week 2 and I am loving it. It's the perfect pace for me and just enough technical information not to be overwhelming for a beginner. Photography is such a vast subject and I don't think you ever stop learning, but for me it's so exciting to finally be using my camera on manual and to feel a tiny bit less intimidated by it all. What i love most is that it's online - the community of students is amazing, there is a lot of support and discussion when we post our images or ask questions. And I can take it at my own pace.

There is a growing trend for e-courses - they are inexpensive (mostly) and wonderful if you want to do something for yourself, in your spare time, at your own pace. There's no real getting left behind and it's a really great way to learn something new, or pick up a new hobby. Have a look around and see what you can find, it just might spark a wonderful new direction for you.

On a little side note, a few of you have been asking how to get post updates in your email inbox ... if you look to the right of the main page, there is a small window where you can put your email address - you might be asked to verify another link later on but once you're subscribed the updates will be emailed to you directly, no need to go to Facebook.
The other option, which is what i do with most of the blogs i read, is to save the page as a favorite or in the bookmarks menu (mac) - that way you can scroll through and check on updates at your own time.

Happy memory-making.


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