Be ’12 — January

"Bicycle Graffiti", copyright 2012 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

"Bicycle Graffiti", copyright 2012 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

My January planned shoot was two weeks ago at the photo workshop I attended by Anne Almasy.

What a great time of reinforcing foundational skills, meeting other photographers and learning some new skills! I knew we were having some models at the workshop, so I was excited about that.

I came away with a renewed confidence in where I am in my skill level. I also gained confidence with shooting in complete manual. Since I purchased this camera, I have only used full auto on a few occasions when I was taking, essentially, snapshots. I normally shoot on aperture priority. But after spending an afternoon with some direction on full manual shooting, I was reminded of the satisfaction and control I always enjoyed from my film days.

I am excited about where my photography is, and where I see it going in 2012. The best way to improve skill is to shoot, shoot, shoot. So that’s what I’m going to continue to do. I am very excited about my February Be ’12. Be sure to check back to see the images!

Did you have a Be ’12 project in January? I hope you will post a link in the comments so I can enjoy your work.

"Anne", copyright 2012 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

"Anne", copyright 2012 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

"Emilie-1", copyright 2012 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

"Emilie-1", copyright 2012 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

"Emilie-2", copyright 2012 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

"Emilie-2", copyright 2012 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Michael and Susan", copyright 2012 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

"Michael and Susan", copyright 2012 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

"Susan and Michael", copyright 2012 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

"Susan and Michael", copyright 2012 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blessings!
Shannon \o/

Published in: on Saturday, February 4, 2012 at 12:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Be ’12

2012 is well underway and is shaping up to be as busy as ever. I had a hard time deciding on a project for 2012. I have an ongoing personal project, but it is not particularly intensive. I wanted my main project for 2012 to be challenging, yet doable, without the stress I incurred with my short deadlines last year. (I don’t know how people who have a full time job and family *ever* finish a 365 project!)

Announcing Be ’12! Be Creative~Be Intentional~

The Challenge: For each month in 2012, plan an intentional creative photo shoot. Pick a date. Pick a location. Plan what you want to accomplish on the shoot. Post your best photos.

Why participate? As non-full-time photographers, it’s easy to let your creativity languish. There always seems to be something more pressing to do. By accepting the challenge, you will make creativity, enhancing skill, and creating work an intentionally planned part of your calendar.

Q & A:

What if I don’t have a blog?

You can post to Facebook, Flickr, or some other social-type place. If you don’t have a blog and want to start one, Be ’12 is a great reason to! There are many great, free blog hosting sites. I have found WordPress (this site’s host) and Blogger to be nicely user-friendly.

How does having a project make me a better photographer?

It gets your eye behind the lens. One of the best ways to improve your photog skills is to simply shoot. You learn your gear. The more you use your gear, the more familiar you will become with it. You will learn what works best for the style and type of work you do.

Can I use a client shoot for the project?

You can if you wish but I would strongly encourage you to use this year’s project as a way to push yourself creatively. I plan to have client work this year, but I’m planning to do the creative work for me. My planned January shoot is going to be at the workshop. There should be a model, and I’ll be traveling to a part of Atlanta I haven’t been to before.

How did your project last year help you?

Most importantly, I learned to always have my camera with me. I can’t make the image if I don’t have the gear 🙂
I learned to “see” images. Everywhere I go, I see images I could make. Often I don’t get to actually stop and make the shot, but I’ve learned to look at things differently.
I know my gear better than ever. And that means I also know there is a huge amount I still don’t know. I’m going to attend a 101 workshop next week hosted by a friend of mine–just hitting on the basics again will help me reinforce the foundational knowledge.
I saw a marked improvement in my images by year’s end. Just getting out there and shooting cause my work to get better and better. I have some great work to show potential clients.
I also learned discipline–making the images, post processing, posting weekly. It was a commitment to my work and to myself.

If you decide to participate in Be ’12, leave a comment (or email me) so I can follow you. Let’s see who we can be in 2012!

"Sunset Clouds", copyright 2012 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

"Sunset Clouds", copyright 2012 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

Published in: on Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 7:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

52-’11 / Week Fifty-Two / December 25 — December 31 … The End

This is absolutely the hardest post of them all. Partly because it’s the last one of the 52-’11 Project. Can you believe I did it??

It was the hardest mostly because I am soooo uncomfortable on this side of the camera! I decided a couple of weeks ago that I wanted my last image for the project to be a self-portrait. Way outside my comfort zone! Due to a technology impasse, I had to bring along my VAT (Voice Activated Timer, aka Roy :-)) to snap the shutter for me. Definitely a challenge to set everything up for the photo, then try to explain from the wrong side of in front of the camera the adjustments I thought were needed. Great learning experience for us both!

It’s a bittersweet end. I have learned so much! From “bring the camera everywhere I go” to a better understanding of the art. Fun. Stressful. Satisfying on the good weeks, not so much on the difficult weeks. I’d encourage everyone to try a self-challenging project. Find one that suits where you are in your craft, and in your life. Make it your own. If you’re up for it, join me in 2012.

"Me", copyright 2011 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

"Me", copyright 2011 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

(Watch for an announcement of my 2012 project. Even though I had no takers last year, you are invited to join me on a new goal/project for 2012 :-)

God Bless every one of you who have followed along or offered encouragement.

Published in: on Saturday, December 31, 2011 at 10:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

52-’11 / Week Fifty-One / December 18 — December 24

Every year, we light the Hanukkah candles, following a small, basic book written by a Messianic Jew. I like the overall subdued tones and the reflection of the candlelight in the window.

"Hanukkah", copyright 2011 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

"Hanukkah", copyright 2011 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

Merry CHRISTmas and Happy Hanukkah! /

Published in: on Monday, December 26, 2011 at 10:04 am  Leave a Comment  

52-’11 / Week Fifty / December 11 — December 17

I’ve almost made it! It’s hard to believe I only have two more posts left in the 52-’11 Project. This week’s image is of a tree about which I know nothing. I love the contrast of the bursts of it’s (stinky) berries against the incredible blue sky. I made very little editing to this image–a little sharpening, a tiny bit of saturation and a small balance of the light. If you know what kind of tree this is, please let me know.

Blessings! \o/

"Berry Burst", copyright 2011 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

"Berry Burst", copyright 2011 Shannon M Herren, All Rights Reserved

Published in: on Thursday, December 22, 2011 at 10:11 am  Leave a Comment