Quote of the Month:

"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." - Walt Disney
{Past Quotes}

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Mornings With Lucas

As many of you know, Lucas is what is called an "inside/outside" dog. He lives outside, but is allowed inside to play every now and then. He also has his own bed in the house where he sleeps at night. Dogs, like humans, often have the urge to "go" in the mornings right after waking up. Many people who let their dogs in at night know that letting the dog out is a main priority in the morning if you don't want an extra puddle to up clean up first thing in the morning.

Lucas is a strange one when it comes to morning routines. Unlike most dogs, his first urge in the morning isn't "gotta go, gotta go, gotta go right now!" It's more like "BREAKFAST TIME!!!!!". Lucas lives for his food.

Chris doesn't mind getting up early to feed Lucas when he decides it's breakfast time, be it 6 am or 8 am. I, on the other hand, enjoy staying in bed until at least 7 am before I'll give into his incessant head shaking (with those floppy ears, head shaking is extremely loud in the morning). As you also may know, Chris is a fireman and isn't always home every morning. Lucas knows that we react differently to his waking us up. On mornings when Chris is home, Lucas will wake up at 6 am, shake his head and then run over to the door and wait for Chris to get up and let him outside for breakfast. On mornings when Chris isn't home, Lucas will usually stay in bed until I decide to get up. On work days that's usually 7 am, and on some off days, it can be anywhere from 7 to 8:30 am.

This morning, however, was different. Lucas, foregoing his usual rule of waiting for me to wake up on my own, decided he really wanted outside at 6:30 am. He woke up, shook his head, and I told him to go back to bed. Which he reluctantly did, but he kept making random noises the whole time not letting me fall back into a deep sleep. About 15 minutes later he got up again and came over to my side of the bed to wake me up. He was very persistent and as soon as he realized my eyes were open he ran over to the bedroom door. I figured he probably actually had to go to the bathroom for once, and was being a good boy and telling me about it as opposed to relieving himself by the closet door (again).

So I got out of bed, pulled on my robe and opened the door. He ran down the stairs full speed and went right to the back door, which only encouraged my thought that he just really needed to go. So I walked quickly down the stairs, unlocked the door and he ran out.... only to turn right around and look up at me expectantly. He just wanted food. He thought he won until I closed the door in his face and walked back up stairs. I figured he could wait another 15 minutes or so until I was ready to wake up.

When he saw me coming down the stairs again he got very excited (BREAKFAST TIME!!!!!). So I walked over to the back door, opened it and grabbed his food bowl. Walked back through the house to the garage, scooped some food in his bowl and walked back into the house. He saw me coming out of the garage and got so excited he went to go run around the backyard in exultation (he lives for food). Since he had run out of sight of the back door, I decided to tease him and I hid from sight instead of going to the back door right away with his food. He ran back to the back door expecting me to be there and looked through the glass trying to find me. He looked left, right, up, and down. Then he ran to the other side of the house to look through the window over where my desk is to see if I was there. Then back to the back door, then back to the window. I could barely contain my laughter as he did this a few more times. I finally felt bad and let him have his breakfast, which he ate very politely with minimum drool.

Lucas is such a strange dog, but I love him.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Being a Photographer

Being a photographer is a learning process. You don't just wake up one day, decide go buy a fancy camera and call yourself a photographer. Sure, you could do that, and quite a lot a people do, but it takes a lot of time and practice to become a good photographer.

I have referred to myself as a "professional" photographer for the last year or so, but that doesn't mean that I know everything about photography. There are always new techniques and new technology to learn. Photography itself can be taught (point camera at target, push shutter button) but seeing is much harder to master. Every photographer has her/his own way of shooting- be it a certain angle the fancy, a certain lens, etc. As Garry Winogrand once said, "You have a lifetime to learn technique. But I can teach you what is more important than technique, how to see; learn that and all you have to do afterwards is press the shutter."

I was actually given a great opportunity today to learn from a photographer that I consider to be a better photographer than me. Luis Carranza of LC Photography. He has been in the business longer and has much more experience and knowledge about equipment than I do. He found my ad on Craigslist offering my photographic services and wrote me an e-mail asking if I would like to assist him with a wedding he was shooting today. He said he would need help with some minor shooting and with lighting. I have never worked with any sort of lighting on my own. When I worked at The Picture People the studio lighting was set a certain way and I never had to adjust anything- not a great learning experience in that aspect. I really wanted to help him, but I didn't want to burden him with my inexperience. I let him know that I had pretty much zero experience with lighting, but he said it would be no problem and I agreed to help him.

It was such a great experience for me getting to basically shadow him for the first part of the festivities. I even arrived quite a bit earlier than he had asked me to and he gave me a rundown of all his equipment and how it worked. He explained how a lot of the lighting worked and taught me a bit about the lenses he had. Throughout the day I assisted him by helping switch out lenses, holding lights for photos, and carrying camera equipment; in the evening I helped by taking candid photos of the guests at the reception while he took the more important shots. He gave me lots of tips and tricks for lighting and just for photography in general! He did pay me for helping him today, but I feel like I got the better half of the deal! I got to see how a "real" wedding photographer works- which is something I've never actually seen before. I've never been to a wedding with a hired photographer, so I've never actually seen how others do it. He was a really great guy and gave me much advice on how to shoot, on lighting, and how to expand my business. I can't wait to see the results of today's shoot!

I only hope that I helped him as much as he helped me today.

Today was a small stepping stone on my way to becoming a better photographer. I've gained much knowledge, but I still have a lot to learn. I see many conventions and workshops in my future. Being a photographer is a never ending cycle of learning and I plan on continuing and expanding my education... the only thing standing in my way is money :P


P.S. Hey look! An actual blog post! :O
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