Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Blog Name Change

I've decided to change the name of the blog from (the rather lame) Reflections II to what I think I will call my photo business if it ever becomes one. I rather like just using my first name, in full and so Timothy's Photography it is (for now anyway).

Processing Pictures

Whew! It is a far greater task than I anticipated to go through photos and sort them, convert from RAW and I still have cropping to do and some minor photo retouching to do. My eyes are aching, but it is a vast learning experience. I now begin to understand the importance of work flow. Mine currently needs a lot of refining.

I still intend to get some pictures up, but most of my time has been spent working on the pictures.

One thing I am beginning to understand: I either need to get a far speedier workflow or teach my wife how to do it. It would be next to impossible to shoot a wedding every week, still work at my mill job and try and stay on top of getting pictures ready. Not possible. Of course, I currently have no other weddings planned, but I have offered to do a church directory for my church so that will be the next project.

Someday, I hope to make some money at this, at least enough to support my photo habit.

I've put up a couple of links in the sidebar to two excellent sites. Have a look.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

What I've Learned

I got through my first wedding shoot yesterday. The pictures still need to be processed but a quick look through shows adequate coverage. I don't know if it's any better than what anyone can get just by grabbing a quality camera and shooting but it's a first learning step.

Some thoughts on what I still need to figure out:
  • posing techniques
  • better understanding of lighting
  • using fill flash for outdoor shots
  • keeping fit
On that last note, I have let my exercise slip these last several months and I suffered for it yesterday. My legs ache from squatting down to get shots free of background clutter and/or get to a level to shoot those who are seated. My left bicep is sore from bearing the brunt of carrying the camera while shooting. The camera isn't exactly light, especially with a flash perched on top and my arm was complaining by the end of the day.

In short, lots still to learn and it's hard work. Harder than I would have thought.

But now, some of the fun part; the processing and picking out the best shots, cleaning up some of the backgrounds and getting them up on a slide show for the bride and groom and family to see.

No money involved in this learning experience but I'm still interested in pursuing it to see how far I can take it. Nothing like a new venture as I approach my 53rd birthday.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

A First For Me

I'll be leaving in a few minutes to attend a wedding of a friend. They weren't going to have a photographer so, since I'm exploring this as a possible sideline, I offered to shoot their wedding in exchange for the experience and to start building a portfolio.

The only real thing I'm nervous about is making sure I get all the "standard" shots and hoping the rain holds off. Of course, I want to do my best to take it to a level beyond just a guy and a camera. This involves being more aware of lighting and angles and shot composure than the average shooter. So, we'll see.

Above all, it is a learning experience. I know the couple will get some higher quality pictures because the DSLR just takes better pictures than the average point and shoot. Plus, shooting in RAW I can go into the pictures and set the correct white balance and other things that can help make up for any minor mistakes in the field.

If I need to use flash, I have my shoot through umbrella ready to go off-camera aided by my lovely assistant who also happens to be my wife and very supportive of my attempts (although she's still making me pay personally for all my equipment).

Check back later. I'll try and post a couple of the better images.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Problems and Progress

Time to write a few comments on this new (renewed) passion (obsession). I've been busy reading photo blogs and playing with pictures and trying out Phanfare, an online photo site similar to Flickr but better in my opinion although I'll have to pay for it if I want to continue using it. I've protected most of my albums so only those I want to see can see them but, if you're interested you can have a look at some of my Favorites.

On to the problems. I had ordered a couple of lighting kits from a store in Ohio that arrived while I was on vacation. When I opened them up, one of the strobes was missing. Great. So I phoned the store the next morning and no problems, they would ship it to me. They did so very quickly. Along with the shipping via USPS comes a notification from them via email that allows you to track the progress of the parcel. Very nice. Last Thursday, the notification showed that there was an attempt to deliver it, but no indication in the mail box that the parcel was now waiting at the post office. (My assumption was that it went Canada Post once it crossed the border, just like the previous parcels.) The next day, I inquired at the post office, but they had no record of it. Great......where's my flash? The email notification that evening showed an attempt to deliver on Friday and that a notification had been left. But, I didn't have one.

Yesterday, I returned to the post office, they still had no record. So I went to a couple of couriers just in case it had come through them. No luck, although it turns out I was on the right track. Then I finally punched the number into Canada Post's web site and it showed attempts at delivery but that the parcel was still in Nanaimo, about 50 miles from where I live. So, back to the post office and she suggested that I go to the main post office today and talk to someone named Keith.

So off I went today to the main post office, Keith was out but a very nice postie copied my papers and said he would call and look into it. A little while later he called me and said it showed that it had gone to one of their partners at the border and the only partner they used was Purolator. So I called them and they told me it was at the local Purolator drop off. I went up at lunch and, at last, got my parcel. All along I was annoyed that a drop off card wasn't left, or someone brought it in and forgot it or it got mixed up with something else.

The final irony of it all is that after work today, I took a better look around our porch and, sheesh, there was the card lying beside some rose bushes. All that fretting and fussing and anger for nothing, except they need to use some better stick-um or something.

So, that's the problems. The progress? A union buddy who plays in a band asked if I would take photos for them so they could send them to places interested in hiring them. A good opportunity to continue to practice photography and build a portfolio and maybe someday, I'll actually feel like I can charge a fee for all of this.

My first wedding is coming up in a week and a half and that should be challenging and interesting and scary. Again, it's a freebie and they weren't going to have a photographer, but I still want to do the best job possible. A customer is a customer whether they are paying or not. The benefit for me is building a portfolio, getting experience and finding out if I might be any good at this.

The new picture on my profile is one I took last night using a flash and a shoot through umbrella. I was trying to do an assignment found on the Strobist blog. I didn't quite manage to accomplish the challenge but learned some about lighting. I think the picture is okay, considering it was taken in my kitchen, by myself using the camera's shutter timer. (Okay, my wife did push the button for the last couple of shots for me, including the one I've used.)

Of course, on close inspection I should have trimmed my beard and mustache. Another time.