Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Week 1 Recap ...not to be confused with nightcap

For those of you who couldn't make it to the meeting last Saturday, and for those of you with short term memory loss, here's how things went down at our first meeting.

After several groupies experienced blessed encounters with parking in Crystal City (recall the bit about flossing your teeth) we kicked it off by chillin' at Stephen's crib. In an attempt to avoid the awkwardness that can often accompany the sometimes-dreaded "first meeting" --no, "first gathering"-- we each took a turn telling a little bit about ourselves and the worst meal we have ever eaten. Apparently some people think Kentucky is part of the South, and one confused member seems to think that Cheesecake Factory serves bad food. Who am I to judge, though? Everybody is entitled to their own opinion ...even if it's wrong =)

Anyway, after I stepped on way too many toes by making sarcastic comments I decided to shut up and let everybody fill out a survey. In addition to the usual name, contact info, birthday and random fact about yourself, the survey helps give me an idea of what everybody is looking to get from the group this semester. That's just it; the first meeting was all about casting and catching a vision for the group.

On a slightly more personal note, I found it encouraging that everybody who spoke up about "what they hope to get from the group" all said something different. I'm excited to see how the group will meet all those different needs and then some!

Below are some comments, suggestions, and ideas that were tossed around on Saturday. These have also been posted on the message board, so feel free to fire back new ideas as you have them or make comments about anything presented here.

This is NOT "Stephen Elliot's group." I am not the teacher, and you are not my students. My role is simply to get us organized so that the group can become a community with a life of its own. Each one of us has something to teach and I hope the group provides an opportunity for that to happen.

I gotta give props to the one and only Nathan Gonzales. As much as I would love to take credit for the group name "Just Shoot Me," I must give credit where it's due. Nathan was the one that came up with the group name, so go tell him how cool of a dude he is.

The blog and message board. I'm not entirely sure how they will be used, but I guess we'll just kinda see what happens over the next several weeks. I imagine the distinction will be something like this: the blog is more informational and networking-oriented; the message board is more for current activities and sharing miscellaneous thoughts. The message board is open to everyone. As for the blog, I would love to make you all contributors if you wish. This will allow you to create new posts on the blog. You need to have a Blogger profile, but you can create one for free. You can expect a contributor invite soon.

On a similar note, the blog has a section for Member Links. If you've got an online portfolio and would like to share, send me a link and I'll gladly put you on there. Also, there is a section for "Things that inspire us." Whatever gets you fired up and spurs creative ideas is game for this section. Other photographers, books, music, poetry, whateva! Send me links to any of that stuff so that in the end we'll have yet another great way to procrastinate.

Life is way more fun when you leave some room for creativity. I hope we can all develop our creativity more this semester, and one of the ways to do that is to be intentional about it. Each week I'll suggest some things you can do throughout the week to get the right side of your brain a bit more engaged. Don't worry, it's nowhere near "homework," and none of them are anything you have to go out of your way to do. I reserve the right to chastise you if you don't do them though, okay? =D

A couple months ago (shortly before I even knew I was going to start a photo group) I began collecting my notes and things I've learned about photography. As I continued to write, my ideas snowballed and now I'm in the process of writing a book about photography. (Crossing my fingers) I'm hoping to get it done within the next couple weeks. This will provide a guide for anyone who wants to learn photography and (this is more selfish honestly) hopefully I can get some feedback from you all about what parts you liked best and what parts were so boring that they made you wish you were clipping someone else's toenails instead of reading. So keep your eyes peeled for "A Crash Course in Photography," soon to be a PDF near you!

Serving opportunities, eh, this announcement is getting long enough and we already touched on this one in the blog. Any questions? ....didn't think so. Moving right along.

Activities. I definitely want your suggestions here! Here are a few that sprung up during our discussion on Saturday. Stroll through Eastern Market and check out any photos there (this will likely be a meeting point some week). Word Pictures - given a list of words (e.g. harmony, love, depth, hurt, strength, etc...) we will go out individually or corporately and try to capture pictures that best depict those words. Photo Scavenger Hunt - Laura had a great idea (wonder of wonders! =) of going around the city taking pictures with an NCC theme in each one.

.....Dude, I didn't realize we covered so much stuff on Saturday. I thought this was going to be a short note. Hope you didn't have anything important to be doing right now =)

Week to week. If you all are interested, we could emphasize a theme or technique as we go out and take pictures. One week could be Aperture, and the next week Light or whatever. Nobody says we have to follow the rules, but they might provide a decent starting point.

With the rise of digital photography, the dark room is nearly being replaced by digital editing programs like Photoshop. There seems to be enough of an interest in the group that we can incorporate Photoshop into the group somehow. I don't know all the logistics yet, but, like everything else, we'll figure that out as we go.

We can't control the weather, so if we find ourselves forced indoors by the rain we'll use the time instead to share photos, talk about techniques, and figure out "why, when I press this button, it looks like this..." One idea I had this morning is that a rainy day could lend itself quite well to "Photoshop 101." Maybe it's because I'm a geek, but I could get really excited at the thought of that =)

Finally! I think that covers everything (although, I still fee like I'm going to have to edit this post a dozen times as I think of more stuff). Anyway, thanks for your interest in the group!! It's been fun so far, and we ain't seen nothin' yet! ...now I need to go help some old lady with her computer.


At 3:06 PM, Blogger Heather Z said...

Looks like fun!

At 4:00 PM, Blogger .joe said...

so this looks like a lot of fun. is there any way we could meet early in the morning... say 7am or earlier to catch some good light... at some point?

also... start checking out photoblogs. start here... that will give you a lot of inspiration. if not... check your pulse.


At 7:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad everyone is enthusiastic about photography. Meeting early morning sometime would be great-if it gets warmer outside. Hopefully I will be able to come to the group eventually. I have a cooking class to facilitate (no I'm not teaching), and I might have to go for the next 5 weeks. There is a chance I can get there this weekend near 1. I don't have a portfolio, but I have some pictures of my recent trip to Kenya. If anyone wants to see them, email me at apfelmisty@yahoo.com so I can send you a link. Becky :)


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