Friday, June 21, 2013

Blogging with a Scorpion

This is my 400th blog post.  I never expected to get this far, and I'm not sure how much longer I can keep going, but thanks to my readers for sticking with me.

One of the advantages of my new part-time job is that I have much more flexibility in my schedule.  I still have work to do for my maintenance clients and for my online classes, but those things don't have to be done at a set time; if I want to take a nap or go to a movie or run errands in the afternoon, I can do them at night.

Last Friday and today I used some of that flexibility to attend a photography workshop by Arizona landscape photographer James Cowlin.  (To see his online gallery, go to  For the first session we were supposed to bring in our cameras and their manuals, and we learned where all the settings are and had an overview of photography basics like "the exposure triangle" (ISO, aperture, and shutter speed) and composition.  My camera originally came without a manual, but it was enough like my old film camera that I've been limping along without it.  For the class, though, I went online, found the manual, and printed it off.  Now I know what to do with some of the mystery controls that I'd been trying to ignore.  Amazing.

This week we viewed and discussed our homework.  Jim gave us a list of 10 exercises that were supposed to help us see things differently than we normally would; each participant was supposed to do at least 2 or 3 of the exercises.  The pictures below are some of the ones I took for this exercise:  "Focus on one subject and move the camera position... around the subject to shoot it from many locations and with the light from different angles."  We were supposed to bring in the pictures without cropping or editing them in any way.  The metal scorpion I used as my subject is one of the Social Invertebrates by Tom Otterness outside the Phoenix Convention Center.

Jim says he's thinking of putting on a more advanced workshop down the road for people who have taken this one.  I hope he does;  I'd like a few more lessons in seeing from him.

"Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others." ~Jonathan Swift

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