I am teaching again, this time it is photography. I am so delighted to be doing this. I have 4 students that I teach one on one, and we have a blast!
This is a photograph that one of my students took of me. We were going for that blurred background look with only the subject in the focus. This has to do with depth of field. (Great job, Judy!)
In the two above pictures, we were again practicing depth of field. In the first image, the goal was to get everything in the frame, in focus. In the second photo, the iced tea was to be in focus and everything else out of focus, hence , a shallower depth of field.
In order to use these above techniques, you need to know how to use your camera. Cameras do look pretty scary with all those different buttons and knobs, but that's what I am there for, to help you learn how to use your camera.
So many people ask me what camera they should buy. Well, if you don't plan on doing anything but recording life's events, a point and shoot camera works great, so do many cell phone cameras. I use mine all the time because it is always with me. However, if you want to get more creative, or you have a "fancy" camera and only use it on automatic mode, I would love to teach you how to use it.
This is Ashita, one of my students. I am so excited about the progress she is making. Yesterday, we ventured to Borderland for our lesson. I asked her to take a picture of something she liked with my camera while I was figuring out the settings on her camera. (She has an awesome Sony mirrorless camera that I am falling in love with.) The photo below was the first shot.
Before anyone is quick to judge, I wanted it just to be what ever it came out as. I then asked her to use her knowledge of the exposure triangle that we were learning about, to improve it.
Here is the second shot, getting better. You can see me off to the left fiddling with her camera.
This is her 3rd attempt. Wow, what a difference! She is really getting it!
Here she is working on photographing in dark, indoor light without a flash. Not that easy for a beginner, but she did it.
Today, my student Ashley and I went out to shoot at a nearby waterfall. We had been talking about using shutter speed for stopping action or blurring action and waterfalls are a good place to practice. Also, it was the perfect day to experiment because it was overcast out. Too much sun when you are trying to get that blurred effect of a waterfall, will blow out the picture.(overexpose it causing loss of detail) You need to have a UV filter to do that. We didn't have one.
This picture is the waterfall at a slow shutter speed, notice the blurred water.
This one is at a fast shutter speed. See the difference? I t really is not as easy as just changing the shutter speed. Other setting adjustments have to be made and a tripod should be used, but the difference is easy to see.
While we were at the waterfall, a swan came over to interact with us.
We took off to go to the lake in Sharon to get a few shots, but it started to rain.
Serendipitously, while at the lake, I ran into a former 3rd grade student, now an adult, while I was with a current photography student. And what was that previous student doing? He was taking photos. What a nice way to bring the blog about returning to teaching to an end.
If you have an interest in taking lessons, too. I would love to include you in my growing number of students. Just contact me through my web site contact page or on Facebook.
What a treat to be able to photograph a wedding for two wonderful people at very unique and interesting place, The Metropolitan Water Works Museum in Boston.
Liz and Leland were such a great couple to work for. They know what they like and they know how to have a good time. The unique venue, with a mix of industrial machines and rich textures of brick and wood, made for great pictures. I love the mood brought on by the lighting around the museum.
I love this image captured by my second shooter, Axie Breen.
There were so many special moments that night. I love the emotion here as as Dad and Liz share a special dance together.
The vows were beautiful. Look at the way they are looking at each other....
..and how both sets of parents are looking at them.
The groom's sister helped Liz get ready and was such a delight to be around.
Mom, dad, (he's behind there, see his hand) ,sister, and groom share a moment. I am a sucker for seeking out and documenting emotion.
I truly enjoyed photographing this wedding. Here are a few more shots from this memorable night.
The favorite cousin!
A special shout out to Jules Catering of Somerville, MA, the food was fabulous! http://www.julescatering.com
Congratulations Liz and Leland. I wish you many blessings in your life together!
For any of you that know my husband and I, you might find it strange that we bought a vacation home in Maine and not in warmer North Carolina, like we originally planned. We actually made an offer on a piece of property right on the water in N.C., which was accepted. Sadly, we had to pull out of that deal because erosion had compromised the septic system.
tFast forward to the summer of 2016, my husband continued to look a properties online. He asked me to come look at one he had found in Maine. He said, " It's the one!" I was surprised he was looking in Maine and even more surprised that he was so excited about it. I was born in Fort Kent , Maine and went to college in Maine. I took a look, and he was right, it was the one. There was just something about it. A bonus to its location, my brother and his family live only 25 minutes from it in nearby Camden.
The house was listed as "For sale by owner" so I asked my brother to look into it for me. He contacted the owners for me and was excited to tell me what he found out. He said, " You're not going to believe this, but the people selling the house have the same last name as you and the wife's name is Ann and they are originally from Massachusetts."
He gave me her number and we talked on the phone. I liked her right away. We made an appointment to go view the property.
My Brother met us, and we went to view the property. I absolutely fell in love with everything about it. Bob Ford, the owner, built the home himself, what a perfectionist and a super nice person. Everything was so well done. It was the perfect size and surrounded by nature. Bob built a larger house for them on their land on the other side of the road. So they would be our neighbors if we bought the house.
This is the granite step to the wood shed, it says, "FORD." How cool is that? We knew we had to buy this place.
We did buy the house and know God led us to the right property. We love it so much! We have enjoyed picking out the right furnishings, my husband is awesome at that, and getting the house ready to enjoy and share with others.
It wasn't long before the house was set up and feeling like home. One essential piece was the piano. Like I need photography, my husband needs his music. We had piano movers and a pianist Bob Barry, from Pennsylvania, where my husband purchased the piano, come and join us overnight after they delivered the piano. What a great time we had.
They were the first to sign our guest book.
I love to listen to him play.
My new bedroom is huge and overlooks the woods and stream.
Gotta have wood in Maine.
No pool boy here, just a happy woodshed man.
The wildlife here is amazing!
Our new fall fashion color is orange.
and the views, are beautiful.
There have been so many wonderful memories made here already, and a wonderful friendship has started with my new neighbors, I look forward to what the future will bring in Maine.
Every wedding is unique, that's why I love photographing them! Mary and Darren's evenig wedding was just beautiful! Take a few minutes to enjoy. Mary actually sang the song, "At Last", by Etta James, to Darren. It was awesome! Congratulations to both of you!
Recently I had the pleasure of photographing this sweet boy who is almost 1 . He really was not into it. Kudos to his mom and dad, who came well prepared for our session.
They brought bubbles and snacks.
Dad showed him pictures of himself, which he usually loves, on his cell phone.
Lots of strategies were used to get him more in the mood.
We were able to sneak this one picture in thanks to a little teardrop removal in Photoshop.
The important thing to know when photographing children is that it is on their terms and not ours. You need to give them time to play and relax. I think he was clearly giving me a message when he turned his back to me.
He was just so cute and clearly not interested until.............
wheels were introduced. He still didn't care about having his picture taken, but he no longer seemed to even notice me.
Then out came the wagon. What a change! I love how he put his tongue out when he was immersed in play.
This little guy not only enjoyed the wagon, he just loved being outside. Here are a few more that really show off his personality.
And.........we're done. I am so glad we took the time to let him get comfortable. We had a really great time, and I love the results. Who he is really comes across in the photos! When taking photos of children, take your time. It will be time well spent.
This August I had the pleasure of photographing Chelsea and Dana's wedding. I loved this couple from the first time I met them. They are just the perfect mix of traditional and modern. They care so deeply about each other and they know how to have fun!
The day started with the typical getting ready. Chelsea and her attendants were beautiful to begin with, so the makeup artists and hair designer just enhanced their looks.
I really enjoyed being with everyone while they were getting ready, it's always such an exciting time, but I especially liked getting to know Chelsea's mom. We had a lot in common and I felt like I had known her for longer and we could have easily been friends.
Chelsea's very talented sister, made the amazing cake.
Dana, his groomsmen and his dad, got ready and then shared a toast.
All the details of the wedding were beautiful.
The bride had killer shoes and pretty lace on her dress.
The centerpieces were so romantic.
The colors were so pretty.
I just loved the guy's socks.
The flowers were stunning!
Iv'e taken so many pictures that I have loved, but this is one is one of my all time favorites. It just captures their personalities.
There were so many special moments to capture, so scroll though and enjoy a few.
To be honest, there are a lot more than ten, but who would read more than ten? A Better question is, why are you even reading this now? Don't you have better things to do?
I woke up in the night and started thinking about my photography obsession. I couldn't fall back to sleep, so I had to get up and start writing this blog.
I get my family and friends to weird things just so I can take pictures of them. My daughter, Maddie is always a willing participant. That is her in the picture above. My other daughter Sarah will humor me sometimes, too.
Sign # 3
I purchase random objects , like this glass frog, just because I like the way they might look in a photo. I actually did a series of photos with the glass frog Called, "The Adventures of Mr. Glass Frog." I took photos of him as I took him along with me as I went about life. If you are wondering what happened to Mr. Glass Frog, you probably aren't, here are the last pictures in the series.
Sign # 4
I take my camera pretty much everywhere I go. The above pictures are ones I took at a physics course I took at Boston University.
I will get up way before the sun and venture out to get shots like these.
I go to the amazing Brimfield Fair to take photos, not to buy antiques.
When hiking down a very steep and muddy path to view an awesome waterfall in Hawaii, I yelled to my husband, who has just dangerously slipped down the trail while holding one of my cameras, "Is my camera okay?"
Sign # 8
I love to photograph people who don't know they are being photographed. If you're out in public, you're fair game.
When packing to go on a trip, I never have trouble selecting what clothes to bring, I don't need a lot. I have trouble deciding what gear to pack.
Finally Sign # 10
I left teaching to pursue a career in photography, knowing that my early retirement meant I would collect less than half of my pension. The support of my husband must be mentioned here. He fully supported my choice and has had to pick up the slack for my lower earnings. He is my rock. I actually love him more than photography, but he might question that.
When you see something that catches your eye and you decide to take a picture of it, don't just snap. That is what I did in the picture above. It is nothing special. Kevin is a beautiful cat, but the composition does not cause you to look any longer than for a quick glance. What you should do when you decide to take, really to "make" a photo, is to stop and think. How can I take this in such a way that the viewer lingers a bit longer when looking, and maybe even thinks about what might be happening. What caught your eye? How can you show what you were drawn to?
Let me take you through my thought processes in these next photos. I saw Kevin looking out at the rain and I liked the contrast of his coloring, the flowers and the blue of the pool. I also liked the water on the floor next to him and the water droplet on the screen. The droplets leads the viewer to know that it's probably raining out. I love the melancholy look of someone looking out the window on a rainy day. A cat doing so makes me wonder what he is thinking. Does he not understand rain since he is an indoor cat? Does he want to explore? I like this effect, but I wanted to improve it. Not having his full tail felt wrong to me. The final version below works better for me.
After moving back a bit, I was able to get his tail, which mimics the angle of the door, leading us to him. It just feels better that it is not cut off. All the other elements are still there and now he turned his head a bit so we now can see a bit of his face and where he is looking.
I like Queen Ann's Lace because of its intricate structure. Taking a photo of a field of it might be boring so I thought about what could make a more interesting shot. My decision was to get down low to make that one stem taller than the tree-line in the background and let the blue sky provide a background that brings it out more.
Liking the effect of the blue sky, I decided to get down even lower and shoot up. Some people may not like the bright sun spot and I can understand that, but I chose to keep it this way because I liked the way it tilts the balance of the photo to one side. A little bit of tension added. When you are the photographer, you get to choose what is included in the frame.
I found this bathroom quite interesting, but didn't want to stay in it to read everything. Having the picture of it allows me time to read it unscented. Including the TP, the pen, and the edge of the toilet seat, gives more information for the viewer to think about. See if you can figure out where this bathroom might be.
Driving back from dropping off my daughter at the airport just before sunrise, I saw the beautiful colors in the sky off in the distance near Boston. I knew I wanted to take a picture, but needed something to contrast with the sky to add interest. So I went in search of something. I found this streetlight and thought it was perfect. I loved its style. The birds were just luck.
The old peeling paint and color of this aging barn was appealing to me. It made me think of an Andrew Wyeth painting. I tried to think of how he might have painted the scene. So many of his paintings include multi paned windows so I decided to concentrate on the window. I moved in close and noticed the reflection. My intent was to make the image black and white like many of Wyeth's paintings, but seeing the contrast of the window reflection color and the exterior color of the barn, I decided to keep the color.
The above Andrew Wyeth inspiration is titled "Around The Corner"
In my final example in this blog, I have this image.It was taken when I was photographing a wedding. I liked the way the light was hitting the fountain. I thought about how to showcase the water in the best way. I decided to make the focus the water droplets. In order to do that, I had to increase the shutter speed in order to freeze the droplets and focus on the outer edge of the fountain.
Sometimes when you see something that would make a good picture, you have to act fast and you are not able to stop and ponder how to make the photo better. However, when you are able to do so; stop, think, compose, take the shot, and then adjust if needed and retake. Don't just take a photo, make a photo .
Danielle and Zach knew of each other when they attended Bates College, but were not a couple. It wasn't until after college when they met again, that the chemistry began. Talk about passionate, these two have so much passion for life and even more for each other.
Their wedding was held in Zach's parent's gorgeous backyard in Rockport, Massachusetts. Wooden planks over both lobster traps and chunks of, wood, provided benches for the guests, many of whom were fellow Bates alums. Even-though thunderstorms were forecast, the weather turned out to be beautiful.
The service was also beautiful . The minister was engaging and thoughtful. One of the groomsmen read a portion from Tuesdays with Morrie, the bride's sister spoke eloquently to the couple, and the mother of the bride read a portion of scripture. The personally written vows evoked both tears and laughter, just the right mix. It was a very special ceremony.
After refreshments and lawn games, pictures for the wedding party, a big old yellow school bus transported the wedding party to Tavern on the Harbor in Gloucester for a seaside reception. Beautiful tributes and blessings were given by the co-maids of honor, the brides sisters, and by the best man, and the parents of the bride. Instead of traditional wedding cake, the sister of the bride, Jaime, baked enough pies for all the guests. This was no small undertaking. They were delicious! A wonderful band, lead by the brides family friend, kept everyone dancing all night.
Danielle is like a daughter to me. Our families have been friends since the kids were little. We share so many memories together, so it was such an honor to capture Danielle and Zach's wedding. More wonderful memories were made. Here are some of my favorite images from the day.
*There are some slide shows embedded.
Now that Chris and Maddie's wedding has come and gone, I am a little sad. ( Below is the proposal picture)
Since last November when they got engaged, wedding planning has been pretty paramount in our lives. It has been a time of a lot of family and friend involvement. I so love being around people. I already miss everyone not being around. Don't get me wrong, it was chaotic and hectic a lot of the time, but all in all, I LOVED it! Now everyone is gone and it is life as usual and I miss the hubbub.
Here is a pretty long recap of all the events of the last year:
One of the first tasks we had was to find Maddie a wedding dress. Maddie was interested in remaking my dress into a more modern style.
I found someone who was willing to remake the dress. The plan was to take the sleeves off and slim the skirt. My other two daughters suggested she look for a dress just in case. What were they trying to say?
So, off to the bridal shop a whole crew of us went.
She tried on several different dresses. I love the back on this one.
The neckline was beautiful here.
I have to say, she looked good in all of the dresses.
Then she put this one on and we all knew it was the one.
She said yes to the dress! No need to remake my dress and the price was less than what I paid for my wedding gown 30 years ago! I think the sisters were relieved.
Next on the wedding planning timeline, practice flower arranging to see if I was capable of doing the flowers.
Not bad for a first try. I decided to take it on.
Maddie's two sisters were chosen as co-Maid of Honors. Seeing that Sarah lives in Hawaii and would not be home until the week before the wedding, it was up to Emily to plan the bridal shower, and I tell you, if you need someone to plan an event, you want Emily. She did a fabulous job. She thought of everything. She meticulously planned and put on one beautiful shower with help from others, especially Aunt Ginnie.
Unfortunately, as the evening went on, it started to pour, so it was an actual "Shower".
I made the invitations and the Save The Date cards. My Photoshop skills came in handy and saved us lots of money.
Of course the week before the wedding, the pool liner was replaced because it got a rip in it.
In preparation for the wedding to make our house and yard presentable, my husband did so much work . He dug out old fence posts and replaced them, fixed the broken gate, painted the whole fence, did a lot of landscape work, fixed and painted the front porch, built new brick steps at the end of the walkway in front of the house, installed a new front door and many other things. I am one lucky women to have him around!
Once Sarah returned from Hawaii, she worked hard to get rid of the name she had been given while she was away, "The Deadbeat Hawaiian." She was called this lovingly because Emily was doing all the Maid of Honor jobs. She set out to rectify this by organizing and putting on an excellent bachelorette celebration that started in the late afternoon with delicious food and drinks.This was followed by followed by an excellent choice of going to Boston to be entertained by trying to escape the drunk room at Trapology. After our escape, we had dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant. The evening ended in typical fashion with all of us playing games at the Ford house. The night was a huge success!
As the time of the wedding got closer, I had to make a big list so I wouldn't forget anything. Checking off the boxes felt so good.
The last days before the wedding were filled with lots of preparation. Here we were making table number holders out of wire and old door knobs. We ended up using playing cards instead of numbers. Oscar the dog was a big help.
John made sure the program was done perfectly.
Sarah made sure Chris was well groomed.
My wonderful friend, Linda, beautifully decorated the church. It is helpful to have talented friends.
Speaking of talented friends, my friend Reta shopped with me at Costco, Whole Foods, and Wegmans to buy the flowers for the reception and to make bouquets and boutonnieres. She spent all day with me in the church basement, making flower creations. At night, the reinforcements, the family cousins, aunt Ginnie ,Sarah, and even Maddie, joined us in centerpiece making, followed by pizza at our house. It was so amazing to see the variety of centerpieces that were created after I told them my general ideas. It was cool to see them take shape after I had spent the last ear collecting items at antique stores. I so enjoying spending time with everyone while creating things for the wedding.
Emily, my talented daughter, spent countless hours creating things for the wedding. Below are some samples of her work.
Finally, it is time for the rehearsal, so well run by the father of the bride, who made it clear that opinions on how to run things were not welcomed. The only person to break that rule, was yours truly, I couldn't help myself.
After a delicious rehearsal dinner, thanks to the Dumais family, many people seemed to end up in he pool.
If you have gotten this far in this blog (novel), I'm impressed. Perhaps you need to get out more.
The day has finally arrived, so many people need to get ready together, WHAT A BLAST!!! I love a day surrounded by people I love. A big thanks to uncle Eddie and Patty, who hosted the guys at their house.
.........And finally, The wedding. My dad was sitting behind me and was in charge of holding my camera. Even though I hired my friend to do the photography, it didn't take me long to lean back and get my camera from my dad, so I have a few unofficial photos of the wedding already.
I loved the wedding and would not change a thing. I am so happy for both of them. Now, I can't wait to see some pictures!
After 31 years of teaching, I have decided to retire and start a new chapter of my life as a photographer. It has been my passion for about 7 years now.