Will Work For Chicken Jerky

There was a rain break this afternoon and I thought I would take the opportunity to walk around the neighborhood with my camera —  and see what I can discover. As I was putting on my shoes, the furry kids started to jump around me with excitement. When I told them “NO, you stay”, they looked so disappointed; I felt guilty. Then as I walked out the driveway and past the big piles of leaves, a bright idea came to mind. I thought it would be fun to shoot the furry kids playing in the leaves. It wasn’t as easy as I thought. They weren’t exactly thrill about the modeling session and protested but… in the end, they were willing to work for chicken jerky. 🙂

One of the biggest challenges about photographing Max and Evie together is probably their contrasting fur colors. Because of Evie’s white fur and dark features, the camera has a difficult time detecting the correct exposure. If I set the exposure for Evie, Max usually end up being too dark and vice versa — if I set it for Max then Evie’s fur ends up being over exposed and lack contrast. In this case, I set the exposure for Evie and that way in Lightroom3, I have more room to play with the lighting to bring out the correct exposure in Max and the surrounding elements.

SAD Transition

Fall season arrived with cooler weather, lots of rain, and shorter days — which also meant less sunlight — which makes me feel… so SAD. The SAD syndrome, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder is a common problem that affects many people. It’s not something that I think about and yet the SADness creeps up on me and makes me want to sing the blues. Living in the rainy Pacific Northwest definitely makes the situation more frequent for me. Although SAD is most common in the fall and winter because of the shorter daylight hours — the disorder can happen in other seasons as well. I know I feel the symptoms in the spring and summer when we have continuous cloudy, rainy days for weeks.

While I’m glad to know there is a scientific explanation and that I am not alone in this predicament — it is still frustrating to feel the affects of SAD. It alters the mood, metabolism and behavior in people. For me, I become very critical of my work and myself. This of course puts a damper on my creativity and motivation. It has been a few weeks since I’ve used my camera and I haven’t even wanted to look at it; hence the lack of activity for my blog the last couple of weeks. I woke up early this morning (3:00 a.m.) with the idea of posting some pictures from my archive collection, determined to overcome my SADness. But as I looked through my collections, I could feel the SADness overtaking my willpower. I didn’t like any of the pictures and of course my internal critic was being extra harsh about the quality. Feeling disgusted, I went back to bed but was unable to fall back to sleep. I lay there feeling guilty about not posting on my blog. After tossing and turning for couple of hours, I felt that I should at least make a post to let my readers know that I need to take a longer break. As I sat in front of the computer composing my post, the sun came out and cast a beautiful glow on the tree outside my office window. Somehow seeing the colorful autumn leaves dancing in the sunlight brought back my motivation. I thought I would take a picture of the tree and use it for today’s post. But something clicked after I took the first shot…

I took another…

And another… and another… each shot got me  to think more creatively with the composition and lighting.

During the shooting process, I used the sunlight to my advantage. It was a great opportunity for creating interesting bokeh effects and shallow depth of field. I experimented with different exposures to capture the details and contrast of the leaves and colors. And the next thing I know, I shot over 100 images of the trees around my neighborhood.

While I’m not exactly 100% back to “Normal” but at least I feel better today than I have in the past few weeks. Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend… happy shooting! 🙂