I completed the last of the regular semester grading last night and I am giddy with excitement! I have classes this week, finals next week, and then summer is officially here.
I celebrated the advent of freedom by taking a photography class last night at our local library. It was a two hour class taught by a local photographer and it met all my expectations! He lectured for about 45 minutes, not really telling me anything I had not already read, but saying it in a slightly different way that made me take notice. He had plenty of examples – which is great for a visual learner like myself.
After the lecture we then went outside for about a half hour to practice what we had learned. The evening was beautiful for early May: clear skies, warm sun, and a temperature of about 80 degrees. We wandered around the perimeter of the library, trying to train our eye to see the beauty in every day life. While I have a long way to go…. I did enjoy trying to take an “emotional” shot of this park bench. I know that I want to capture the Parisian lifestyle this summer and anticipate taking several photos of local cafes; I thought this bench provided the perfect practice opportunity. (as a side note….in surfing the web today I discovered an amazing site: City Daily Photo. I plan to use the Paris listings to help me develop a list of photo opportunities for my summer trip)
As I walked around the building and through the parking lot, I noticed the flag – its bright red stripes flying in contrast to the clear blue sky; I noticed the vertical lines of the garbage can, although I did not seem to get quite close enough to make art out of trash; I noticed the city worker cutting the green grass atop his yellow lawn mower; I noticed the beauty in the rock formations that section off the parking lot. It was nice to slow down and appreciate the little things in life.
When then returned to the classroom for the final twenty minutes and some brave students shared their pictures. I was astounded at the differing perspectives we all brought to our photographs. Some showcased talent in framing a subject using an available tree branch, bike rack, or hole in a picket fence. Others zoomed in on an everyday bicycle and focused on the gears, or the handle bars, or the bicycle seat. At times I was intimated by their creativity – but I was also greatly inspired.
I know that photography is like anything else in life: it requires practice – practice – practice. Now that I am armed with some practical advice, I am ready to put in the work.