Invested In Hobbies: Talus Recovery (Week Seven)

Then, there came week seven post injury, week 5 post surgery. I felt more pain in my foot every so often, but it seemed to be tendon pain and was manageable.

The main distraction for this week was diving into my hobbies. I also was able to watch the partial solar eclipse!

I took a class at the local photography store about lighting and using a speedlight.

That same day I went to the range with husband so he could showcase teaching someone self defense skills in a wheel chair.

Later that afternoon I worked on my first maternity shoot with dear friends in their nursery. It was definitely a challenge not only using new gear for a new photography style…but also because my wheelchair limited my angles. But it was a fun challenge.

 

Other diversions I had included:

Finally playing and defeating Pokemon Sun

And reading all the things!

Husband and I even had a “paint night” painting some kindness rocks. (He bought the paint for future 3D prints…but said we could test them out.)

And most enjoyably, my coworkers visited me, bringing delicious food and a fun evening of laughter. :0)

Become a Focused Photog

LobbyDay2014MEAt friends’ (really, lets face it, our second home) recently, we discussed how talented some people are at one thing. I shared my struggle to dedicate the amount of discipline and time it takes to become GREAT at something, and I just settled for being able to pick up on most things, pretty well. I settled for being generally okay at most things. A friend challenged me on it, and I decided to do something about it.PartialEclipse

(I mean it isn’t like I don’t have a ton of free time on my hand or anything ;))

Part of this time off, I’ve wanted to invest in myself. This past job took A LOT out of me, because I gave TOO much in some ways. Part of self care, for me, is realizing the importance of investing in more than just my current job. A job can’t be my only hobby or ministry, because if its gone, then I have nothing.

I LOVE taking pictures, I mean in reality I’d love to have a personal photographer following ME around everywhere so I could BE in the good pictures, but I’ll at least settle for being able to take great pictures of those around me.

So…its time for me to really invest in it. This past year I’ve been able to take pictures¬†for events at church, be published (and paid) in a homeschooling magazine, and learned some basic photo editing skills. But, I’m ready to become more focused (total, accidental pun that I’ll work with).

Saturday, husband and I stumbled upon a photography store! One that rents lenses, and offers photography classes. Besides turning beet red upon being asked any questions, I’m BEYOND excited for this series of classes!

I’m also hoping/planning to get a better kit lens for Birthday or Christmas! I’ve done some serious research, and have a few in mind. Now, just waiting to see which deals I happen upon.

Part of this focus, needed to include managing the gigs and gigs of pictures that I end up with. I actually cleaned up the duplicated files that were backed up since my college days. I’ve started a new system for when I copy new files to my computer, and eventually I’d like to tag all of my pictures in an easy to use piece of software. No more hunting for Spring pictures, but instead, they’d all have tags on them!

Finally, I started a face book photography page. I questioned doing this, because my skills are nowhere near professional at this point, and I don’t intend to become a full time photographer. However, I decided that this page would help me create a brand for myself, my style, and to distribute pictures that I take.

I went to a local race, without being asked to, to take pictures, because I couldn’t participate in the race. I almost chickened out of the 7am wake up time, but am glad that husband pushed/supported me to go. This was the race that I’d fully jogged the year prior, and I remembered how important it was to have pictures of that moment (from the poor poor husband I’d pestered into coming). I thought that maybe I could give people those pictures.

It was incredible, being at the finish line. So much emotion in these stranger’s faces. I couldn’t breath at this point last year, and was barely able to trot across the line. For most of them they’d get this look of determination to finish the end strong. A few would light up when they saw their cheering sections. It was incredible to be apart of! Now, it was a horribly drizzly day, again, so my limited skills were put to the test. Also, I learned that I have to be confident and pursue the shot in events like this. I can’t be shy and hover around the edges, I have to walk up, and own it.

Excited to see where my skills will be next year!

Winner

Discovered a New Couple Hobby

The husband and I have a tendency to sit around at home on our laptops, frustrated because we aren’t doing anything. We’ve struggled to find a hobby to do together because we tend to be identified by our many differences. Since he didn’t enjoy my hobbies (reading, etc), I ended up doing more of his hobbies (hanging out with his friends, shooting firearms, and political events). Many of those I do actually enjoy, but it isn’t as fulfilling as having hobbies that I already enjoyed that he does with me.

This past weekend we were sitting at Bojangles and husband randomly said, “Hey, I want to go take pictures down town, let’s do it.” He does not frequently get this impulse so I quickly agreed.

Despite the fact that we’ve lived in the area for the past 6 years we’ve not explored very much down town. There are some beautiful trails, bridges, and a giant fountain. We started higher up at a monument, and then worked our way down.

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I begged him to take pictures of me around the new “Love” sculpture, despite the threat of oncoming rain. Later, looking at those pictures I realized the importance of explaining the idea of “posing your subject so they look their best.” Apparently, husband has a tendency to look for my smile in pictures and not at the rest of my torso, and due to the way I was bending it created rolls where I have none, lol. But he was sweet enough to return the next day ¬†to get some better shots.

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IMG_5559editandshrunk IMG_5543editandshrunkOn the trail bridge it was obvious the abundance of rain we’d been receiving. The river was flooded, and many of the smaller islands weren’t visible. You could only guess they were there based on the trees sticking up out of the water.

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The bridge led me to discover my favorite subject of the day: a lock with a heart drawn on the side and what appeared to be faded names on the front. This reminded me of the Love Bridge in Paris I’ve read about. That bridge is covered with locks. Couples bring a lock, write their names or initials on it, lock it to the bridge, and throw the key into the river symbolizing their everlasting love. This lock was a great subject to really experiment with, especially with regards to different angles.

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This one is my personal favorite. I balanced the color levels in Gimp.

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This one I like for overall perspective of the lock on the bridge.

 

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Let me know which shot you enjoyed of the lock!

Returning to our one and only car (soon to be my car), we heard music playing. We discovered that there was a “Friday Cheers” festival with an outdoor concert. Husband had a lot of fun taking pictures of people, I really enjoyed the flowers nearby. However, this taught me two very important things with regards to photography: #1 Keeping the LCD screen open is important, as is reviewing your shots as you make them. Husband had closed it so our face oils wouldn’t smudge the screen. However, if you can’t see it, you have NO idea how your pictures are turning out. #2 I thought I was being all smart using Auto to read what ISO I needed and then I set it in Manual mode. However, the ISO you select at 4pm on an open bridge is not the same ISO you need at 6pm :-/ I didn’t find out till returning home that ALL of my flower pictures were too dark and terrible!

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The next day I was able to redeem some of these, taking some neat pictures of bees on the flowers. The pictures aren’t tack sharp like I’d like, makes me realize the importance of a tripod with shooting Macro. Since your subject is so zoomed in, even the tiniest shake can create dissonance. Practice makes perfect, right?

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So after two days of back to back photography adventures I was really starting to believe what husband said: “I always want to take pictures, I just don’t always have a camera” which I’ve never really seen displayed. Apparently, this is due to the fact that when he does have spontaneous inspiration I stopped “going with the flow” like when we were dating. For him he’s not committed enough to study photography, he enjoys taking pictures to document his other favorite hobbies like: firearms, politics, rallies, etc. Whereas for me, I would like to learn more to become a photographer. For me the goal is to be able to bend the camera to my will so that I can dependable get the shot that I want.

In college husband took some well composed shots, so I knew he had a creative knack, just never understood why I didn’t see it progress. Now I know!

It is exciting to be able to progressing in this hobby, even if progressing means failing a bunch and making newbie mistakes like forgetting to change the ISO. This is something else that I can spend my personal time in to get good at, and have adventures exploring together :0)!!!

Now, both of our favorite hobby is shooting in His and Her’s style: shooting firearms and shooting a camera, and we can enjoy both of them together!