I have not taken my camera out of its case since we moved to Minnesota, over a year ago. Why? I love playing with my camera, but its just a hobby, and my life hasn't had a lot of time for hobbies this year. And I have a new iPhone that takes amazing pictures in its own right, and my phone is always right there ready to capture another darling moment with Leo, or the latest update to our house.
But I missed my camera. And I had a deadline coming up. We're going on an Alaskan cruise in a couple of weeks and I want to take my camera a long. But it has been so long since I've used it. What if I've forgotten how?
So I signed up for a photography class at the Minnesota Arboretum. The class was on modern photography. I wasn't exactly sure what this was but it sounded interesting.
The teacher, Frank Meuschke, was great. We spent the first part of the class talking about the history of photography as art, and its rise as part of the modern movement in painting, architecture and design. Modern photography had some of its origins in the late 19th century, when land surveyors headed out west in the United States to take pictures of the wilderness. They were learning and experimenting with their equipment as they recorded the scenery around them.
Modern photography isn't necessarily concerned with just representing what the photographer sees. It is interested is color, design, shapes, patterns.
In the last half of the class we went outside and tried our hand at our own idea of what modern photography might mean. This was lots of fun, and I remembered how to use my camera after all!
I took pictures of plants that looked circular:
And plants that went every which way:
I played with depth of field and made the foreground blurry and the background sharp:
I focused on the side of an old log:
I found these red stems beautiful:
And this dragonfly creepy:
Then we went over to the grasses exhibit at the Arboretum and shot some more.
There were blue-grey grasses:
Wispy grass heads against the blue sky:
Spiky brown grasses:
Flowing red grasses:
It was a sunny, hot day and by the end I was tired and sweaty, but I had a great time. I got my photography confidence back and I'm looking forward to taking pictures in Alaska. But if I get carried away and take some "modern" photos up there please don't make fun of me if things get a little arty! I just can't help myself sometimes.