Monday, September 21, 2009

Wildlife Photography Class and Other Weekend Happenings

Take care of your teeth or they'll turn mossy!
Critiqued as "out of the box" composition - and it wasn't a compliment!

I had a great weekend; time spent learning something new and applying it, the chance to use some creativity, spending almost the entire day outside Saturday, and time with friends, it doesn't get any better!
The Tamron Wildlife Photography class held in Sioux Falls was fantastic. Friday night the workshop started with a rather intense 3 hour talk on aperature, depth of field, tonality, etc. At least it was intense for me as I hadn't really taken my camera off of the auto mode before!
Saturday morning I arrived at the zoo where we spent the entire day shooting and getting tips from the instructor, Jim Shadle, a professinal wildlife photographer. In addition, there were photographers from Harold's Photo who were also very helpful. It took me awhile to understand the histograms as we reviewed our photos but I think it has finally started to "click."
I tried out the 18-270mm Tamran lens which I purchased (early Christmas present to myself!) as well at the 70-300mm lens. I was embarrassed to bring my 30 year old tripod out of the car after some teasing about my 30 year old camera bag so I tried out a couple of tripods. As I listened to the sales rep as he gave me the pitch about the carbon composition that reduces vibration and makes the tripod very light, I was thinking to myself that he could be bike salesman! At $440 for the tripod alone, not including the head, I decided I would definitely rather spend that kind of money on carbon in a bike frame! So I brought out the 30 year old tripod which I was starting to form a new appreciation of.
Later in the afternoon and about 200 pictures later, the group went back to the Harold's Photo where the 2 photos we each submmitted were critiqued by the pro in front of the entire group. I was nervous! I think basically he thought one of my photos was "okay" but didn't like the other so much as he described it as "out of the box" thinking. Then they gave out prizes and ranked all the photos - out of the 15 people in the class my alligator phote was 5th and Nancy's macro photo of a bee on a flower was 3rd! Align Left
A great day - but long day, it was 6:30pm by the time I left Sioux Falls. When I got home I went immediately to the grand opening of our new conveince store in Wakonda; the Eagle Stop, where I met up with Charlie. There was a band and beer garden - my kind of grand opening! The festivities finished at the store around 9pm. Then 11 of us piled in to a 1976 Holiday Rambler motor home one of our friends just purchased so that we can all go out on some road trips together. Our maiden voyage was to Volin to the "Uf-ta" Norwegian celebration in Volin and then on to Gayville. Lots of laughter and fun! I'd love to use the motor home for a bike trip, it would make a great SAG wagon!

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Ham(m)er said...

That sounds like a great Saturday!! I liked your monkey photo. I didn't think that it was BAD. :-| I suppose it could be tweaked, but oh well. Congrats to you two for having photos in the top third!!

I'm happy that there's a gas station in Wakonda again. I haven't biked to Wakonda this summer, but it'll be nice to have a place to stop when I go the next time.

Tez said...

You bought the 70-300 also? Woo-Hoo!

I didn't think his comment of being "out of the box" was bad. It was taking a picture that was different. Remember the guy who got first had a picture "out of the box" also that had the eyes, ears, legs and body cut off the picture!

You did excellent and it was fun to watch your confidence grow with every click of the camera!

Tez said...

OOOPS...sorry I read your blog fast and thought you had purchased the 70-300 also....MY BAD!