Creating is Different than Taking …

A few weeks ago, I attended a pre-conference session at NCTIES done by Ken Shelton called Visual Artistry and Storytelling Through The Lens.

Here were a few of the objectives for this session:

  • To help you develop a confidence and comfort level such that you can make amazing images that tell great stories
  • To help you develop strategies for building your own stock image library for use in presentations, instruction, and other forms of communication
  • To help you develop creative strategies that you can share with your colleagues and/or students

I have always enjoyed looking at and taking pictures. I even worked at Eckerd Express Photo from the time I was a senior in high school until after I graduated from college. Since I enjoy art, colors, and “playing” with pictures, creating scrapbooks was something that came naturally and served as a stress relief for me for many years. In the last couple of years, I seem to have moved away from all of that …. I am not really sure why, I guess life happened.

So when I saw this preconference session offered, I thought this might be a way to motivate me to get back in to creating and photographs … and it has!!

I also really enjoy finding images to go along with the many blog posts I write. I like to find images that may not look like they really fit with the subject matter at first, but make people think. Images tell a story too … and that story may be different for each person based on their background and experiences.

In Ken’s session, we talked about the difference in taking pictures and creating pictures …it is about composition with a focus. One of the things that jumps out at me from my notes is that I need to develop a vision for making photos rather than just an eye for taking photos.

We talked about the differences in shutter speed, depth of field, magapixels, focus, and the difference in automatic mode and manual mode on camera as well as many other topics. I paid attention and learned how to change a few things on my camera …. I use a point-and-click camera (not a fancy one) but I still learned can change a few things.

Ken Shelton showed us that we don’t have to have a fancy camera to make use of some techniques to compose good photographs. When we went on our photo safari, he took some pictures with his phone and was able to edit and create just using that.

From his session, I took away more about creating/composing the pictures than all the camera settings and stuff. We were encouraged to try different angles and perspectives when taking pictures. We were also encouraged to explore different textures to photograph.

So from our photo safari through downtown Raleigh, NC, I have a large collection of images of doors, windows, chairs, bricks, interesting angles, reflections, light posts, and clouds.  And I have continued to compose photos that way.

My 5 year old and I went out in the yard with our cameras when I got home from NCTIES …. she composed some pretty awesome pictures on her own!

I created a Picasa account to store my images. I can tag them and search through them easily.

I find that it makes me smile when I can find a photograph I took to accompany a blog post that I write … (the images for the my last several posts are ones I did). 🙂

I have a feeling this is just the start of a new learning journey …

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