Friday, April 28, 2006

Is there an echo in here??

All right friends, the last official photo shoot of our first semester hath come! We're going to Glen Echo Park, and we'll shoot it up like we do best! I've never been there before, so there will definitely be the usual element of "wingin' it." =) (Directions here)

The receptionist I spoke with said "the end of the bridge" near Oxford Rd. was a good place to meet. That means nothing to me right now, but we're just gonna go with it. Let's all plan on meeting there at noon and bringing a packed lunch. We'll find a good spot to sit and enjoy a nice picnic together! Feel free to join us later if you can't make it for lunch.

Also, if anybody has a spare memory card (Compact Flash) please let me know if you're willing to let me borrow it for the shoot. I've got two fancy schmancy digital SLR cameras, but only one memory card at the moment. I would be glad to let someone use one for the day, but I need a memory card to make that happen.

Can't wait 'til tomorrow! Hope you all can make it!

Monday, April 24, 2006

several down, one to go

Hey gang, despite less than ideal weather conditions at the start of last Saturday, we worked it out and had a great time exploring U Street. I have to say this was the most challenging week for me. If you recall, we had a list of words that determined the pictures we took. There were many times when I would want to take a picture, but after reviewing the list realized that it just didn't seem to fit. Honestly I got kinda frustrated with it at first. Stuart, in all his wisdom suggested it might be easier with a shorter list, so I picked five words and focused on those.

It wasn't until maybe an hour later that I stumbled across an alley when the inspiration hit. I found a handful of pictures that got my gears turning, and left me feeling satisfied about the shoot.

The point I was hoping to make by doing word pictures is ability of a single photograph to tell a story. As I looked through my own pictures, and the ones that have been posted already, it occurred to me that some of the pictures don't move me until I read the name. Which leads us to a new Exercise! Giving a picture a name (as opposed to a description) goes a long way to giving the photograph a history, a personality, a story all its own.

After our shoot on Saturday, I concluded that Word Pictures is an exercise I will be doing for years to come. It really forces you to be intentional about what you're shooting and why. Those are just my thoughts/experiences, but I would love to hear from anybody else! Post a comment, post a comment!!

-----In Other News-----

This coming Saturday is our last official photo shoot for the semester =( As usual, I don't know where we'll go, but we have one vote for the Capitol-ish area. We'll still meet from time to time in May, but we'll broaden our horizons and maybe just trying hanging out without any cameras around (is anyone else a little scared of that idea?? =) However, that doesn't mean we can't do any shoots in May; it just means I won't be organizing any of them. I'm totally up for whatever if anyone wants to take charge and put something together. Lemme know!

Also, I got an email from Nina today asking for some photos of the Childrens Ministry at both locations this Sunday. I'll be at Ballston. Is anybody gonna be at Union?? Here is what she's looking for:

The site coordinators at each place should be
able to help get the best pics...but here is what I am

The setup tables/entrance area
The place we hang the nametags
Each classroom once it is completely setup (maybe some
pics without kids and some once the kids are there for
Worship time
The curtains at Union (we use to divide classes)
The Production setup at Union
Anything else that seems cool..
That's all for now, folks!

Saturday, April 22, 2006


Hey guys, sorry this is so late in coming. Here are the "notes" of what we talked about when we had our first Photoshop session. I did the first two pages shortly after we met, but didn't finish the last page until just now. It's little more than a quick overview of what we talked about, but hopefully it will trigger something in your memory or arouse some curiosity. There is also a new link in the Resources section to the right. At the moment, all it does is bounce you right back here, but this post will be revamped as we dig deeper into Photoshop. As always, let me know if you have any questions or if you just feel like telling me how good I look in biker shorts.

.......I'm out!

Friday, April 21, 2006

the verdict is in....

U Street is the place to be tomorrow. We'll meet at the top of the escalators at 13th St. (U Street Metro on the green line) at 11 AM. I'll print out several copies of our list of words (thank you Kacey) and we'll set out with the list as our map and see what happens! If it's raining ("isolated thunderstorms" usually doesn't mean much) we'll hit up a local coffee shop or something and finally figure out what that aperture setting is all about. See ya then, my friends!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

insert kitchen sink here

Yet again, I totally enjoyed taking pictures with you guys at the Cathedral last night. (Will it ever be understood even when not explicitly stated that you guys rock!? Oh well, I'll keep reminding you anyway =) For those of you who came, I hope you found it helpful to experiment with a style of photography different from what we normally do. It can be frustrating to try something new, but hopefully you feel like you at least learned something.

I enjoyed observing the dynamics between my sister's group and us photo peeps. One guy from Heather's group, Peter, was just standing there, soaking up the grandeur of the building while Rodney was asking me what a certain number on his camera means. Meanwhile, I heard Stuart behind me whisper to Angela, "Pssst, do you know how to use a tripod?" It was priceless!

On a different note, we are still going to meet this Saturday. The when and where is yet to be determined, but we've got the "what" figured out. We are going to do Word Pictures. Here's what that means: given a list of words such as, "joy, apprehention, wonder, terror, etc..." we will set out to take pictures that encapsulate that word. It will be interesting to see how everybody interprets them. In case you didn't catch the hint from the above hyperlink, go to the message board to add your ideas to the mix.

Now for the miscellaneous topics:

Several of you have asked if we are going to keep meeting in the summer. The answer: yes, we will, but we're gonna change things up slightly. To be honest, I'm not quite sure what that means yet, but one idea is to incorporate more Photoshop into our rhythm. Please let me know if you have any ideas for the summer. I'm definitely open to suggestions. If this semester wasn't quite what you were hoping it would be, let me know and we can try integrating your ideas this summer.

We are going to take the month of May off as far as organized photo shoots are concerned. That means we only have two shoots left until the summer. Obviously we're doing word pictures this Saturday, but does anybody have cool ideas for the 29th? Anything in particular that you want to do / haven't done yet??

Even though we won't be running around like tourists with our cameras in May, there are a handful of things to keep us busy. All of which I am stoked about!

First, if you're willing and able, the Buzz Conference has requested some photographers to capture the event. I'll be there all day Thursday and possibly Friday. For what it's worth, they're also looking for volunteers to help with all sorts of stuff. Contact Juliet if you're interested.

Secondly, a big group of people (guys and girls) are going camping in the Shenandoahs on May 5th - 7th. Some of you have expressed interest in taking pictures there, so this would be a great opportunity to do that and meet some other rockin' cool NCCers along the way. You can expect an evite in your inbox shortly.

Angela has graciously offered to host a potluck/movie at her place, pending scheduling with her roommates.

Hopefully I'll make some time in May to finish my photography book. I put it on hold shortly after we started meeting because I was learning so much from you all. Props to ya!

We don't yet have a date(s) nailed down, but we will be setting up a photo exhibit at Ebenezers of our favorite pictures from the semester. This excites me like cake to a fat kid!!

I would love to get together for the sole purpose of critiquing and getting feedback about our pictures. Maybe we'll do this to help us decide which pictures to display at Ebenezers.

Stuart, Rodney, and I all suffered from camera envy, so we all upgraded(??) to digital SLRs within a week of each other. Maybe we should rename this group, "The Discontent Photographers Club." =)

Keep on rockin' my face off and then you won't have to see the "camel face" any longer!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Shooters of the Night

As mentioned a couple weeks back, we are going to do a round of night photography this week! Tomorrow night (April 19th) we are going to meet at the front door/lawn of the National Cathedral at 7:30. We will be teaming up with my sister's group. ...they just wanna be like us =)

We'll do a quick crash course in night photography then we'll start shooting it up. A tripod is crucial for night photography, so if you have one, bring it. Don't let it stop you from coming if you don't have one. I will be bringing two and everybody is welcome to use them.

Shooting at night is a technique all its own. I think you guys will really enjoy it! See ya there!

Friday, April 14, 2006

Eggs Eggs Everywhere!!

All righty, here's the 411 for tomorrow. Joel has called upon the expertise of the NCC paparazzi to record the events of the Easter Eggstravaganza tomorrow. We're going to meet at 11:45 at Lincoln Park. Then we're all gonna burst out singing, "...but in the end, it doesn't even matter." ...okay, nobody got that. Moving on...

If you like taking pictures of little kids, this is THE place to be tomorrow. If you have an NCC "CREW" shirt, please wear it. If you, like me, don't have one just wear a royal blue shirt. This is a perfect opportunity to wear that Superman t-shirt you bought at an amusement park 4 years ago and haven't worn since. Also, I would recommend that you eat before you come. I going to pack a lunch and get there a little bit early. Give me a call if you want to join me. Here's a breakdown of the shots they're looking for:

Close-ups of kids, where you can see the smiles on their faces.
edium range shots, where you can see the entire game going on.
Wide angle shots
to capture how big the event is and the feel of a lot going on at once and the huge number of kids.

Also, we'll grab pictures of the games, the egg hunt, awards, the raffle, and the volunteers. Oh, and of course, whatever else strikes your fancy. =)

It'll be good times indeed! I'm looking forward to taking pictures with you all again. Is it just me or does it feel like it's been so long?? Anyway, see you tomorrow!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Friday feature

I can almost count on my fingers the number of days that I have left in D.C. and now I'm starting to feel nostalgic. I'd love to take photos of the Mall at sunset, so I threw out the idea last Saturday and Stephen didn't shoot it down, so it looks like it's a go.

This Friday, for those who can make it, meet at 7:30pm by the relfecting pool, in front of the Lincoln Memorial. We can start there, and see where the wind blows us.

(Thanks Stephen for letting me throw out this activity/idea.)


P.S. If it isn't a particularly picturesque sunset, Stephen can just us how to Photoshop that in.

thoughts of a running horsey

Am I the only one who comes away from our group activities totally jazzed and excited?! You all are so fun to be around! Thanks for letting me be a part of it!

Thanks again to Rodney for opening his rockin' pad to us! You were a most generous host, and for that, I give you props. Thanks also to everybody who showed up! Karen, it was great to finally meet you; hope to have you join us more often.

For those of you who couldn't make it (and as a reminder to those who could) below is the outline of topics we covered tonight. I will be putting together a more detailed "handout" with before and after images of everything we talked about. I hope to have the PDF online by the end of this week.

Batch Processing
Scanned Files

Cropping and Straightening
Levels / Curves
Hue / Saturation
Clone Stamp
Healing Brush
Color Tint
Merge Multiple Exposures

Special Effects
B&W / RGB Channels
Sepia and Film Grain
Artificial Depth of Field


The goal tonight was simply to show you how Photoshop can complement your skills as a photographer and hopefully spark some creative ideas along the way. I truly hope you weren't frustrated or discouraged by the broad overview. Believe me, I know how annoying it can be to walk away feeling like you just watched somebody show off for two hours --that's not cool and I hope it wasn't like that for you. I wish we could have gotten into more specifics, but Photoshop is so huge and we had so many different skill levels represented that it would have been difficult to dig much deeper.

For our next Photoshop session, you guys will get to take the wheel and learn/do whatever strikes your fancy. Let me know if you have any ideas or suggestions about tonight or the next round with Photoshop. Until then, stick around; stay cool; fight the power.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

big yellow toenails with a soft chewy center!

Man, I say this every week (and I mean it!), but I really had a great time with you all today! Maybe I'm the odd one out, but I really enjoy hanging out with you guys. I'm so blessed and honored that I get to spend a few hours on Saturdays to learn, laugh, and enjoy life with you. Props to you all!

I normally don't call people out --okay, well maybe I do, but whatever =) -- but I gotta give some major kudos to the rock stars among us who woke up at a ridiculous hour this Saturday to partake in the goodness of our sunrise shoot. Kacey, Rodney, Lisa, and Laura; ya'll seriously rock the party! Your commitment and willingness are admirable indeed! =)

This week is gonna look a little bit different for us. Tuesday night at 7:30 we are going to take a look at Photoshop and how you can use it to enhance, correct, stylize, and optimize, your photography. Here's a little somethin' to whet your appetite. Rodney has been kind enough to open his place for us --check your inbox for directions. Anybody wanna bring some snacks?? =) hmmm.... didn't Becky say she was helping with cooking classes? I think I heard a rumor that Stuart bakes a mean banana bread... =D No pressure.

Shifting gears here, today marked Laura's last Saturday with the group =( She is gonna hit the road this summer in her spiffy VW pop-top van. She's got a little someth'n some'n up her sleeve for this Friday night. Stayed tuned for details from the Leagin herself. Since we've got something happenin' on Tuesday and Friday of this week, we're gonna take next Saturday (8th) off. Alas! You can sleep in!

Dude.... I just had a thought and I lost it. ...that stinks.

Anyway, some of you have asked about next semester, so here's a rundown of what I'm thinking. For the month of May we'll take a break from photography, and we'll kick things off again in June and go through the summer semester. Now that we've got one semester under our belts, we'll try some new things and see what sticks. As always I'm open to suggestions, so if you've got an idea, toss it out there.

Ah ha! I just remembered my thought! April 19th (it's a Wednesday) we are gonna team up with my sister's small group, Creative Expressions. We're gonna go to the National Cathedral and do some night photography. This will be a great experience for anyone who hasn't done night shots before (it's kinda addicting, I have to warn you =)

I just created a new album titled Misc Picts. I've noticed that several of you have taken some sweet-awesome pictures during the week that have never made it to our yahoo page. This new album is a place for you to share anything that doesn't fit neatly into the other categories. I, for one, am not too concerned about everything being categorized perfectly; I just want you all to have an outlet to show your pictures even if they weren't from an organized event.

Lastly, we still need a time and place for a movie night or potluck (provided you are willing to hang out when I'm not talking about nerdy things like shutter speed =) If anybody is interested in spearheading that notion then feel free to take the reigns and go for it.

May thoughts of geckos be in your dreams tonight...