Whoa! So much is going on this week that my head is spinning. If you haven’t entered the iPod nano giveaway, please do so! Did you know the iPod nano does video? I did not. I just found that out from Andrew… Hurry up and enter before I change my mind! ;) You have until midnight, Sunday September 27th. Just tell me what quintessential autumn is for you.
Not long after my last post, I woke up to fog as thick as pea soup. Next thing I heard was a peal of thunder so loud the house shook and suddenly a million balls of ice began pelting the whole world. Within minutes the hail blanketed everything in white and just as suddenly as it had started, it turned to soft fluffy snowflakes. We got four inches of snow on the last day of summer. That’s my kind of summer!
accumulation on kaweah in one minute
three seasons in one day: (last day of) summer, fall (colors), and winter (snow)
And today (the 23rd) is my birthday, but there isn’t any time to celebrate. All September celebrations in this house are being postponed to late October! So knock it off with the singing and the candles already – I’m STILL 37, got it?! Ha!
Today’s post is the first in a series of photowalks. Something that fascinates me is seeing how fellow photographers view the world through their lens(es). It’s not just that we may look at an object or a scene differently, but that we may be drawn to completely different things. I had the privilege of having lunch with Mr. Andrew Hyde yesterday, and afterward we went for a short walk… a photowalk. Of course, any time I am with Andrew I meet new people. But this time, we ran into Michael Brown, that pleasant fellow who silenced the packed Boulder Theater last week at Ignite Boulder 6 with his amazing and inspiring talk on Reward and Risk. Still unassuming and very sweet – I have great respect for this man. Okay, so the rules of the photowalk: we take turns picking a location to stop and shoot approximately 5 frames each.
meet andrew (yes, he’s wearing flip flops and a scarf)
Andrew: Canon EOS 5D Mark II with an EF24-70mm f/2.8L
Jen: Nikon D3x with Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED
The day was overcast and cool. We strolled a few blocks down Pearl Street pedestrian mall in Boulder where just last week this time the place would have been bursting with people. Instead, it was very mellow… nearly empty. Here is a sampling of what we saw:
andrew location #1: shot 4
jen location #1: shot 2
You can learn a lot by watching another photographer shoot. It doesn’t matter what the skill level of the photographer is – you will learn a lot if you are observant. I like how this exercise had me taking pictures of things I don’t typically think to capture. I shoot landscapes and food, but there were no expansive mountain vistas or mouth-watering plated desserts for me here (well – just step into any of the fine restaurants and sure… but that’s not what we were doing). I had to find interest in the everyday which is a good challenge for the brain.
andrew location #2: shot 1
jen location #2: shot 5
Andrew has a great eye and I know it has a lot to do with his outlook on life: curious, positive, sincere, fun. One day we’re going to sit down and have a heart to heart about MANUAL mode, but Andrew does a lovely job of bringing the world to you with the excitement of a child’s inquisitive eyes.
andrew location #3: shot 1
jen location #3: shot 4
We also walked into the prAna store after Megan (another friend of Andrew’s) greeted us out on the street and invited us in. Inside the store I bumped my ISO to 400 (something I hate to do) since I had no tripod on me. I’m lucky to have left with only pictures because I really like their stuff. Better yet, their displays were full of great textures and colors.
andrew location #4: shot 3
jen location #4: shot 3
The education of the photowalk doesn’t end with the walk. In fact, it’s just beginning when the walk is over. I got to view Andrew’s shots before I even loaded mine onto the computer (the boy is quick). Andrew had asked me if it was uncool to post process photos at our last shooting location. I said post processing is like darkroom work. If you think about taking a picture as merely registering light data on a CCD sensor and recognize that “straight out of the camera” is not a photograph in pure form (it undergoes basic algorithms as it is written to memory), then you know the post processing is where you bring that capture to your best recollection or representation of what you saw. Some people take post proc to extremes with great success, but most are not so successful at it. I generally dislike techniques that heavily distort reality. That’s just me. While I processed my photos I was pleasantly surprised by a few that I had little hope for and disappointed in a few that I expected to come out better – or differently. Shoot. Watch. Process. Learn. Repeat.
Thank you, Andrew, for shooting with me and helping me become a better photographer.
My photowalk series will continue until I run out of photographer friends to arm twist into shooting with me.