Things

So I started the second year of my program this week and it was a little bit of a rocky start. New year, new apartment, new material same people. As much as I love my major, I had a hard time getting back into it this week. My guess is that the first week is always boring. You get about 6 syllabuses from each professor all regarding generally the same information. On top of that, one of my favorite professors left our school and his replacement is very sweet… Just maybe not cut out for teaching.
However
Today the director of the photography department who is also one of the best professors I’ve ever had talked to us all about our program, especially because this year we create a portfolio which will eventually (hopefully) land us all an amazing career.
He said “At some point this year, you will doubt yourself. You will feel like you can’t make it in this industry. In those times come talk to me. Its about how bad you want it, your passion for this field and all the amazing things you can do. Dont ever let anyone tell you that youre wasting your time here.” After his little speech I feel so motivated and inspired to make the most amazing portfolio that I can. I hope that all of you have people in your life who tell you not to give up or settle for second best. I know I do. One of those people is my amazing father who hours after my professors speech, sent me this comic that will hang on my wall in my new apartment. Heres to a new semester 🙂
http://zenpencils.com/comic/128-bill-watterson-a-cartoonists-advice/

CREATE. all day. every day. from wherever

CREATE. all day. every day. from wherever

If there was one thing I wish I knew about when I was starting photography, it would be CreativeLive. This is an amazing website. Basically, the hosts of the website find fantastic photographers, bring them into the studio with an audience and record live classes that you can tap into at any time, as long as you have internet. I have already taken “Mastering TTL Flash”, and “Glamour Portraiture” and I absolutely love them. There is a staff of photographers who put up fun contests and chat rooms so that you can talk with fellow students while watching the programs. Much like many things posted on my blog, it’s FREE! 😀 Unless of course you would like to purchase the class you watched, in which case it will cost a little bit of money. The classes are only a few hours long but you can learn SO much. In a business that is always growing and changing, value and use your resources 🙂
Clicking on the picture will allow you to go to their website to start signing up for classes!!

Inspiration

I haven’t shot for my portfolio in over a week and I’m going crazy. I feel like I have all these ideas and no time. My beautiful sister is getting married next weekend so I have been making sure that I have everything prepared for that, as well as still looking for a summer job. (Not having a summer job really makes me feel like a starving artist.) 

I thought today I’d share some of the places that I venture to for my inspiration. As artists we do gather inspiration from everything we see because honestly, we do look at things differently than most people. I will admit the majority of my ideas come to me when I’m relaxed and in a decent environment but there are those sparks that come to me when I’m stressed or rushing around. 

VOGUE. I have a subscription to Vogue and I will spend hours flipping through the same issue. Those photographers have some amazing photos. I mean, they’re doing SOMETHING right. Look through a magazine. Good ideas spark other good ideas

DeviantArt. Deviantart is a website in which you can make an account, upload your work and let others critique/favorite your images. There are some incredibly talented people on that site and best of all it’s FREE to join. I myself have been a member for at least a year and have gotten some great advice/tips. ALSO they have contests occasionally that you can win ca$h.

GO SIT OUTSIDE. For real though. Go take yourself and drive somewhere beautiful. Take a camera or a sketch pad. You’ll be surprised at how many ideas come to you. I have a little yellow sketch book that I always keep in my purse just in case I have an idea.

Last but not least, talk to other artists. You can work on a collaboration or just feed off of each other. (Another great reason to join deviantart, pinterest, or any other social media site actually)

Here’s a link to some porfolios that have been found inspiring by many other people. Feel free to share some tips! What inspires you?

http://www.1stwebdesigner.com/inspiration/photographers-portfolio/

Starry Night

Starry Night

Tonight I experimented with some star photography! It was such a beautiful clear night, I can’t believe how well this photo turned out. BUT it wasn’t easy to take.
This was probably the 30th photo I shot.
Focusing when you can’t see anything you’re looking at is difficult. I was shooting with a 50 mm 1.8 because it’s the widest thing I have (damn portrait photographers) Now. A lot of much older lenses as well as “L” series lenses (sorry Nikon shooters, I don’t know what the equivalent is.) have a ring on them where it tells you that you are “focusing to infinity”.
Focusing to infinity is a hard concept to explain. Wikipedia says “infinity focus is the state where a lens or other optical system forms an image of an object an infinite distance away”
Whatever that means, some lenses tell you where that point on your focus ring is, which is ideal for star photos.
Mine does not. 😦
SO I had to test every little tick mark on my focusing ring in order to check with one was infinity. I read a few tips on other websites before shooting tonight and a lot of them suggested “just a hair past infinity” so that’s what I was shooting for (ha. another photographer pun.)
Lucky for me I live in a beautiful area where the stars look like this almost every night. If you live in a city I suggest going at least 30 miles away from the bright lights. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t make a decent image on the first try! It is not an easy subject to shoot. I’d love to go again with a wider lens.

Oh! Also, before I went out,  I downloaded a FREE computer app called Stellarium. It’s an app that allows you to see where certain constellations are based on the coordinates you type in. I used this handy little app to find out which direction the main drag of the Milky Way was going to be, just in case I couldn’t already see it.  Everyone enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Contest! Sort of.

Contest! Sort of.

Popular Photography is the ultimate resource for photo information (other than this blog…of course.) They have lighting set ups, expert tips and awesome contests. This link will lead you to their newest giveaway. All you have to do is submit a question that you’d like the answer to and you are in the drawing to win a Tamron lens that is pretty darn expensive on it’s own. I’ve entered! Let me know if any of you win 🙂