I’ve been taking lots of pictures.
I checked a couple photography books out of the library and have been reading them like novels. I’m learning all sorts of new things, but mostly I’m just learning that I don’t really know anything about photography. It’s kind of invigorating.
I don’t understand half of what I read, but that doesn’t stop me from trying. Much of the time, I just look at the pictures. But I don’t just look at them, I study study study them. And then I study them some more. It’s my attempt to learn to see like a photographer. How to move like a photographer. Photography is a dance, really. (And I’m the dancer who is tromping on toes and poking my elbow into strangers’ ribs, forever terrified that I’ll be booted off the floor.)
Even with all my reading and picture pondering, when I pick up my camera and go outside, I draw a blank. What’s aperture again? Um, when is shooting in monochrome effective? Is my ISO speed too high?
That my only human models are my children complicates matters even more. I’m convinced they move into the shadows and flare their nostrils just to provoke me.
But I keep plodding along. My daughter is my most willing, though spazzy, model.
I sat her beside the back door this morning and used a piece of white paper as a reflector to lighten the shaded side of her face. You can see the paper in her eyeball.
Part of my problem is that I don’t know what I’m looking for. I don’t want my pictures to appear contrived, but at the same time I want an element of surprise, something that stands out and catches the eye, drawing the looker into the picture. Quite by accident, this last picture gave me that—one of her eyes is obscured by her hair which makes the other eye stand out boldly. I like that.