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The Magic of being a Student studying Photography!

Well I'm half way through college and still alive! Over dramatic much! Which is exactly what I feel when I look back to my past self and her anxiety over starting college again. Admittedly its not easy, there are daily struggles still with my confidence and sensory overload that comes with interacting with people in general. No offense people but all those emotions and thoughts are just out right draining. Damn I have a hard time just sifting through the weight of my own thoughts and emotions! That, people, is the daily struggles of being a creative Introvert Empath! I'm not complaining though, some things and some people are worth that daily struggle! I've had an amazing amount of encouragement and support from allot of people which has helped me have the courage to push myself far and beyond my comfort zone! I find myself actively practicing and engaging in that mantra I started last year that 'the things I am most afraid of doing should be the things I should chose to do the most' Its a riviting edge to be living on but I dare say its working! Not only have I learnt allot about Photography but I've learnt about life and myself! I've become much more confident with equiptment and working in manual mode. I can see an improvement in the quality of work I'm producing. I can even admit to an increase in confidence, maybe not allot, or as much as I would like, but an increase non the less! Done some crazy out there things like accept the responsibility of being the second class rep when I was volunteered. That was interesting to say the least. Then theres that recent time I chose to become a Team leader for our upcoming Exhibition, what. was. I thinking.

I have learnt that I love the intricacy of studio still life as much as I love macro & close-ups, these are the times I find I experience that "in the zone" state of mind the most. It is an incredibly awesome experience each and every time.

I've learnt that even though I consider myself very open minded, there is always room for improvement! One of our first tasks was to discover how light travels into our cameras and creates an image, even with out a lens our cameras can record an image. When I realised what "Pinhole" Photography entailed I have to admit to being just a bit 'judgey'! Even after I did the exercise and seen the images I have to admit to looking down the nose at them. But they grew on my, I started to understand Artistic expression and the surrealist vision. I soon realised that these images had a great affect on the viewers mind taking them places that were not quite reality, this actually appealed to my Reclusive Introvert nature!

It is quite Phenomenal just how much I've learnt in a short 5 months, especially considering it feels like I have done very little in the traditional sense of the world 'learning'. Lessons that often feel like allot of messing around & having fun, that you think has no purpose nor pattern to, you look back and think WOW, those sneaky little buggers, they actually do know what they are doing! What a way to learn & teach!! Its no wonder the lecturers always look like they are having so much fun, and their enthusiasm is contagious!

Techniques & phrases like, Pinhole, Panning, slow shutter speeds, Shallow Depth of field, Extended Depth of field, focal length & its affects. All seemed like ideas I only just managed to grasp or a whole load of gobble de goo techno jargon. But going out and actively doing the tasks through trial and error on that horrifying 'Manual' mode actually taught so much!

As I began to explore new Imaging software, that fear of the new and unknown creeped in again, you would have thought after discovering that Photoshop is not as difficult and scary as I first thought, that I would have learnt to give things a chance before making judgements. No I hadn't! Lightroom's new work flow immediately petrified me, the idea that there was no "File, Save As" was extremely disconcerting. I dragged my heals, stuck in my way insisting that I liked the work flow I had. Boy was I wrong. I learnt that my Stubbornness could make me just a tad rigid at times and that I should monitor and keep that in check. Once I understood Lightrooms Import to Export process I discovered that Lightroom is efficiently designed to quickly sift through, star rate, batch edit and then do more in-depth optimising, the catalogue system allows you to edit across multiple platforms, making it the perfect editing software for busy on the go photographers and students. The editing options are visually easy to navigate and Lightroom can be used from Import all the way through to out put. Definitely a modern Photographers best friend!

Now I use Lightroom Allot!

I had fun this term with my Product Photography. Using Reflectors & Flags was a new and very educational experience, I'm starting to get confident about knowing where the light is falling and how to manipulate it to suit my purpose. There is allot more to product Photography than first meets the eye. Allot of time you only see the end result.

Here is a snapshot taken on my phone whilst I was working on this product.

Which only shows a little more of what was involved to obtain those two final shots.

I've become much more confident with my Studio Portrait Photography, though I still have a level of awkwardness and have to push myself socially to get the desired shots I want. In the past when I've done the odd photoshoot I've had much more confidence knowing that the model is there because they want to be photographed, or in the case of children, their parents want them to be photographed. You are expected to take charge as a photographer. But in the studio classrooms we are photographing fellow classmates who prefer to be behind the camera than in front of it. That awareness makes me extremely conscious. I'm still nowhere near as confident at portrait Photography as I would like to be. My lack of confidence in communication and effectively expressing myself accurately has not helped me feel any less awkward. But there is an improvement in my confidence even if it's a small one.

The task of producing a 45 degree, frontal, side, Rim & Window Light Portraits has taught me allot about how light falls on a model and the effect it has on the model.

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