Monday, April 4, 2011

Photography Student

Both my husband and I have been interested in photography for quite a while.  We are blessed to have two nice digital SLRs between the two of us.  For a while it was just one and it would get frustrating when one wanted to use it, but the other had it.  My husband is a much better photographer than I, but I would like to get better.  So… I signed up for a class at our local community college, the College of Lake County.  It meets once a week on Tuesday evenings for 3 hours.  So far I’ve only had one class.  The main points I’ve learned are how light affects your pictures and how it is important to “make” your picture.  Mainly for me, I have started noticing my backgrounds and whether they add to or detract from the picture.  This week’s assignments are lines and light.  First we were to take several photos of straight lines and curved lines and bring one of each to class.  Here are mine:

Straight: (part of the roof of Central Bark in Grayslake)  Diagonal straight lines are supposed to suggest movement.


Curved: (flag outside of the local Park District Building)  Not sure if this counts as curved, as the curves are due to motion in the wind.


The second part of the assignment was to take photos of two different items in direct light, side light and back light.  Only one study will be submitted.  Here are mine:

My subject: A bouquet of roses that were on sale at the grocery store.

Front lighting.  Supposedly causes the subject to look “flatter”. Hmmm.


Side lighting.  Supposedly gives more dimension to the subject.  I would certainly say so.  More so than direct light, that’s for sure.


Back lighting.  Supposedly creates more of a silhouette.  In this case, it really gives some interesting affects.  Since the flowers have translucent petals, the light shines through them at certain points.  Though I don’t see much of a silhouette here per se, the shadows and lights are quite interesting and pretty.  I think it looks more romantic and dreamy.


Perhaps I AM learning some new things!  Hope this helps you if you are also looking for a few photo tips.  I’ll try to share more as I go along with the class.


Oh, and here are some photos I thought were just cute, but see how the background (and other noise) kinda ruins or takes away from the pictures.  (These are not for the class).

Subject one: Paris, our younger girl kitty.  The bag of stuff on the chair and the bag on the floor by the door really ruin the picture!  She was so daintily balancing on the arm of that old chair and I love the back lighting here.


Subject two: Velvet, our older boy cat.  I came home on Sunday to this scene.  The blanket and pillows really detract!  My daughter had set up all of these stuffed animals at her pillow and it was so cute how Velvet seemed to want to join the pillow party.


But really this one was worse:  Because of those cords!!!  I purposely changed angles to get the one above without the cords in the background.


The main problem here is that if I had taken the time to remove the offending objects, the subjects may have either gotten bored and moved on or gotten irritated by the movement and moved on.  So I guess the moral of the story is to always keep a perfectly clean house.  Ugh, right…


  1. I would love to take a photography class at a local college, but until that can happen I find the Digital Photography School website to be incredibly helpful. You should check it out because they've got a lot of great articles for specific topics.

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog, Kristi! I'm loving look around yours!

  3. Hi Kristi! I so want to improve my photography skills too but I wish I had your patience to learn. I sure picked up some useful tips from this post. Thanks!

  4. good for you kristi! i would love to take some photography classes too...though i am pretty picky about what i want so it may take a while to find the right class for me. :) good to "see" you friend! :) xo


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