Sunday, April 15, 2007

On Mount Olympus, well, kinda...

My sister in law had just had her first two rolls of film developed.
I already know she has an "eye" and a feel for good composition through her commenting on images in photography books I have. Never my pics....thems the breaks, huh?

It's her first two rolls , she has only an inkling of the technical controls of her camera. Yes, it has a built in meter but this is learning the hard way. I think it will stand her in good stead.

He pictures were of family and friends and a couple of fields of sheep and photos taken in botanic gardens in Belfast. My first comment was "Focus?" as a few were woefully out. I did warn her that it was the technical aspects I would be commenting on first.

One picture she took she explained that she saw it first before she raised the camera to her eye. This was the secret, I told her. Do that all the time, make the picture in your minds eye first and then use the camera.

I have impressed on her the importance of learning all the "rules" as once she has mastered them she can then learn to ignore them when she needs to, to achieve the image she wants. To this end I bought her a copy of 35mm Photography by Michael Langford in the Ballymena Library sale yesterday, for peanuts. --I was amazed it was still on the shelves as that section had been shopped to bits, but I digress. This book will help her with the technical side of things as my sparse lessons are not going to be enough.

She took a picture of her friend walking away through a pergola in botanic gardens that would be perfect for an album cover. High praise indeed and well deserved. Composition is excellent, her shutterspeed was off and that is what makes the shot, giving it a blurry dreamy look. A straight shot wouldn't have the X factor. I used this as an example to show her that her "mistake" was great but that she had to learn how to know when to make it on purpose. She totally got this and hopefully is reading the book cover to cover, endlessly like I did in the 80's.
Is this what it is to get older, enjoying someone else's enthusiasm for something that feels like a part of who I am?

As opposed to vicariously living ones life through another?

Couldn't resist that one. Heh.


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