Have you ever looked at a photograph on a Facebook or Instagram page and thought "Wow, I want to go there", or "I wish I could take photos like that"? Well I have, and so this year I have enrolled on an online photography course called A Year With My Camera #ayearwithmycamera
Before the course actually starts, we have been given a project of making 30 photos, each with a different theme, ranging from "Filling the Frame with Colour" to "Extreme Edit". The idea behind this is to get us thinking about what picture we are actually taking, and how we want it to come out.
Well, what I see in my mind's eye is not what the camera sees. I think it has a mind of its own. (It has, it's called auto). But, I am promised, all this will change when I learn to #getoffauto. In the meantime I'm having a go.
In theory I could look back through all my photos and see what came out well, see if it fits one of the themes and put that in as one of my #make30photos. I like the photo below, taken of the Usk Reservoir, and it would fit the theme of reflection rather nicely.
But I took it in November 2010. By luck, and the auto setting, it turned out beautifully, but if I'm going to learn how to make a nice photo, rather than take one, then I need to put more thought into it. Here's the one I "made" for the project - as you can see it's nowhere near as nice as the photo that I took by chance one day 7 years ago.
I had hoped that the reflection of the Christmas Tree in the centre of the mirror, together with Mr. & Mrs. Christmas, and the reindeer and sleigh, would present a nice Christmassy theme. But on reflection (ha ha, geddit?) it just looks messy. If I take the bits and pieces off, and leave just the reflection of the tree , that might make a better photo. And it might not.
"Just Two Colours" is a theme I was struggling with. I did think of getting two pieces of differently coloured card and putting them together, but only for a fleeting second. There's no fun in that. Instead, as I was out walking one day, I saw a Fly Agarick against a mossy background, and also some Devil's matchsticks, again against a mossy background. Red against green - what could be better?
What came out was not quite what I had expected. All the different colours of the mosses and grasses, meant I had quite a few more than two colours in my pictures! And the Fly Agarick was rather moth eaten as well, which I didn't see when I took the photo.
I decided then to stage a photo, and after several attempts, I came up with this.
They are shot glasses which we used for some very nice home-made Sloe gin.
Thinking about these things is the difference, and this is how I know, that even before I've started the course proper - it begins on 4th January 2018 - I am already learning.
Hopefully, over the coming months when I put up some photos of my ambles, someone will look at one and think "Wow, I want to go there".
Then I will know that, for me, the penny has dropped.