Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Photography & Paintings -- creative urges

Earlier this year I'd made it a goal to learn how to use my camera -- to be able to take it off the fully auto settings and get more interesting, sophisticated pictures. So far, I haven't followed up on that. Well. I did order a DVD instructional manual for my camera, but what I found, watching it twice, was that I need to understand the basic principles of photography first, before I can understand how to manipulate them on my camera. You know: aperture, shutter speed, white balance, etc. I got a little confused :-(

Last week I was emailing with a woman who was in our birthing class; she's had her baby too, and she sent a link to the local photographer they'd hired to take newborn pictures of him. Well, I don't come from a family that has ever had studio portraits done. Ever. It didn't even occur to me to do this, even though our birthing class teacher had given us all vouchers for the photographer, for a very nice discount. I guess I thought I could take pictures that were "good enough." Well. As soon as I saw the photographer's blog, I realized the drastic difference between professional portraits and my snapshots. My oh my. I immediately contacted the photographer to hire her to take some pictures before Clementine gets much bigger, but beyond that, it made me want more than ever to follow through on my goal of becoming a better photographer!

So I signed up for a night class for this semester. Yay! My dad is going to take it with me, and I'm really excited! It's a basics of digital photography class, for SLR, covering all those things I need to learn: f-stop and depth of field, shutter speed, ISO, etc. Perfect. I'm sure I will be posting *assignments* here over the next few months.

I'm also feeling a real urgency to do a little painting. It's been so long! I used to paint daily, but I can't recall the last time I uncapped a tube of oil paint. Cheap craft paint, yes, and that's not nothing. Anyway, my old "style" and techniques were way too painstaking for my current life style . . .

. . . and it's been long enough now since I've worked that way that I think it's feasible I could begin anew, with an all-new style, something much simpler and more suited to the minutes in the day I have available. First step: get a work station set up in the [newly decluttered] studio, with some small canvasses prepped, some ink, some acrylics and collage materials.

Really. I'm going to do it. Like, one-hour paintings instead of one-month paintings like I used to do. I'll show you :-)

(And by the way, I'm writing with a sleeping baby in my lap again, just like in the photo from the last post. It's becoming a thing. Not ergonomic, but very cute!)

9 comments:

johanna said...

Go paintings, go photographs, go writings, go...Laini! Can't wait to see your artwork!! :)

storyqueen said...

I'd love to learn photography as well! I think, however, I might lack the "eye" for it. But I love to look at stunning photography. Photographers are doing really cool stuff these days!

And with a subject like Clementine.....bet the photos are gonna rock!

Shelley

Q said...

I am still in love with that balloon painting. It's so beautifully intricate.

Liana said...

Good luck, Laini! I can't wait to see your new-to-come photos and paintings.

I do ADORE that hot air balloon painting immensely...

It will be fun to see what you come up with- styles all your own with painting and photography, I have no doubt!

Thank you for continuing to be so inspiring! :)

persnickety_jen said...

I'm friends with a lot of professional photographers and it always makes me want to take a class. The quality of their images is just so amazing...

If you're interested in some cool photography tricks, Kyle Cassidy's your man. He most recently worked with Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman on Who Killed Amanda Palmer, and he is known for posting little tips and tricks in his LiveJournal (kylecassidy). I obsessively check his Where I Write project (http://www.whereiwrite.org/), where he photographs prominent SciFi & fantasy authors where they write! He's fabulous.

Kate said...

I took a photography class last winter and it was really helpful. I also learned a lot from the other people in my class. I am sure you'll be taking awesome shots of Clementine soon.

Katie said...

I just had to comment on the post below cuz little clementine just looks so cutie cute cute!

When mine were little they preferred sleeping on me too - so when I would move them to their beds, they'd wake up! It became a vicious cycle.

Until....

I learned to keep a heating pad next to their crib. When I nursed, I'd put the pad in their bed and get it all toasty warm. Then, I'd remove the pad (it's dangerous to leave it) and when I transferred the baby, she never woke up.

If you get desperate, you might try it :-)

I'm glad to see you two doing so well!!!

Carrie Harris said...

I am in awe. You cannot be a mother of a one month old baby and still doing all this uber cool stuff. I remember being a mom of a one month old baby. I was lucky if I managed to put on matching socks.

Cinde said...

Your paintings are amazing. Pure amazing. I'm in awe of your talent. :)