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I just spent an entire day at a photography workshop in Mesa, hosted by one of my favorite bloggers, Holly from Sunshine In My Soul. She and her good friend Amanda, who flew in from Idaho, co-taught the workshop and did a fabulous job.  Since most of my experience has been in taking landscape shots, it was nice getting some professional advice in portraiture.

After spending most of the day learning all about photography, we got to put our newfound skills to test at a photo shoot. Several neighborhood kids showed up to be our models. There were 20 or so women standing around taking photographs, so I wasn’t always able to get directly in front of the models all of the time. But it was great practice, and I already feel more confident shooting in full manual mode!

The toddler was the most fun to shoot, but also the most challenging. She was always on the go, and wouldn’t sit or stand still at all. I definitely need to remember to shoot in continuous shot mode for toddlers.

Here are some of the pics of the gorgeous kiddos. I’d say this is one attractive neighborhood, wouldn’t you?

1. I forget this model’s name, but she was absolutely beautiful. A sophomore in high school, she’s also Holly’s babysitter.
2. I even caught her mid-laugh…what a stunning smile.
3. This is Amber. Her little fingers playing in the water are just precious.
4. Amber was soooo wiggly. She stayed in this chair for all of a millisecond…
5. This was Olivia, who’s also quite beautiful. This was my favorite shot of the day.
6. Babysitter and three of Holly’s kids (Bryson, Savannah, and Jarom)
7. Bryson was QUITE the little poser. He would switch poses after every shutter click. You can tell Holly has trained him well!
8. Savannah lying with strewn flower petals.

Holly & Amanda also taught us Photoshop, and I’m eager to use my new photo editing skills. But until I can find myself a copy of Photoshop CS, or fork over the $800 to buy it, I’ll have to continue using Picasa. I’m sure the photos would turn out much better after a bit of tweaking in Photoshop.

I know what I want for graduation and the next ten Christmases! This beauty:
Canon 24-70  2.8L

Yeah, it’s expensive. Photography is an expensive hobby. But this lens is so extremely versatile. If there’s one lens that can be used 95% of the time for both portrait and landscape shots, this is it. And now that I know what I want, I can eagerly start putting away money for it :) And man, what an investment – just think about how good I’ll be by the time I have kids of my own to take pictures of. Hehe.

I definitely experienced the limitations of my current lens during the photo shoot today. All of the photos taken above are quite grainy, because I had to shoot them at ISO1600 just to get a fast enough shutter speed in the lower light setting. I have the kit lens, which only has a maximum aperture of 5.6 at 55mm. Let’s face it. Kit lenses are pretty crappy. I figured it was good enough to learn on, and I was waiting until I had a job and could afford new lenses. I was also slightly overwhelmed by all the options. After having everything explained to me, I now know exactly WHY my lens is limited, and which new lens will be the best investment for me personally. 

I learned SO SO much. I’m so glad I went. It was definitely worth every penny. It was nice to be completely removed from an engineering environment and be surrounded by a bunch of really cool women all excited about the same hobby. 

One Response to “My First Photography Workshop”

  1. Anonymous says:

    nice kiddos- try gimp- its nearly a clone to photoshop and its free.

    http://downloads.sourceforge.net/gimp-win/gimp-2.6.1-i686-setup.exe copy and paste for the download-

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