I’m on my way…

Foreign Service LifePhotography
June 9, 2009

….to becoming an amateur photographer!  Today I ventured out with our brand new Canon Rebel Xsi Digital SLR camera.  If I’m being honest, I must confess that we’ve had the thing for 3 weeks now and I’ve been so scared of it that I mostly just stared at it in its case.  Oh the beauty of it… and all the glorious buttons and terms that I don’t understand yet!  Well, today I boldly decided I’d go out and use the thing instead of just looking at it longingly.  I picked out two techniques that I wanted to try.  One was shooting moving water.  The other was playing with blurring and focus.  My friend Beth had recommended the D.C. Botanical Gardens as one of her favorite spots and with a little prompting from Nick and a friend, I was off on my adventure!

Here are a couple of my favorite shots from the day.  For the full gallery, go to: www.minnesotagal.smugmug.com







I’m committing to this as my new hobby, as it seems like a fun new creative pursuit and a way to share the beautiful things we see with those of you around the world in other places.  I just found out that I got accepted to a 5 week photography course in the Philippines that runs for 5 Sundays in a row for 8 hours a day.  I had to beg, but I’m so excited that Nick agreed I can start the series on Sunday, July 5th (4 days after we arrive!)  The Federation of Philippine Photographers Foundation puts it on for a mere $75!  Check out this great schedule:

Day One

  • Camera operation and handling
  • Basic camera parts and icons
  • Correct exposure by adjusting aperture and shutter speed
  • Reading the camera meter
  • Practice shoot inside Fort Santiago

Day Two

  • Review of Day 1 lecture
  • Critique of photos from last session
  • Understanding composition: leading lines, rule of thirds, frames, foreground and background, S-curves, patterns, light and shadow
  • Practice shoot on composition

Day Three

  • Art History & Elements of Design

Day Four

  • Critique of photos from last session
  • Portraiture and posing
  • Lighting theory and practice
  • Using flash and studio lights
  • Choosing filters for portraits
  • Hands-on shoot indoors and outdoors using studio lights, reflectors, and available light

Day Five

  • Basic lighting, shooting setup, using props
  • Flash photography & use of filters
  • Introduction to basic digital imaging
  • Critique and judging of prints
  • Presentation of certiticates of attendance, awarding of prizes for photo contest

Talk about a thorough introduction to Photography!  Bring it on!  There’s even an advanced course I can take if I really love it!

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  1. Becky says:

    Check out the photography section of the Pioneer Woman blog for some fun info-plus it’s just fun to read the many parts of her blog.

  2. minnesotagal says:

    I’d love to look at it. Can you send me the link? I’m not sure what you’re referencing… thanks!

  3. Becky says:


    You’ll see the photography tab along the top of the page. She has some great free actions for photoshop too.

  4. minnesotagal says:

    Thank you!

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