Little Pieces of Glory

Not bad for photography basics!  After completing the six week course, I now know more about my camera than I ever learned just by dabbling with it myself.  Of course now that I know more about cameras, I am already salivating about a new camera body and new lenses, a tripod, a light meter, and all sorts of other accessories that  I didn’t know about before taking this class.  I think perhaps the school is in cahoots with camera manufacturers!

The shutter speed for the above shot was 30 seconds.  The room was pitch black, and my daughter carried a lantern down the stairs.  We will experiment with slightly shorter speeds to see if we can get more of her image. One of the best parts of taking the photography class was sharing my excitement with my family.  In just two weeks, they will get to share in a lot more excitement when I begin the advanced class!

Speaking of excitement, my daughter and I had a bit of that yesterday trying to get to the Cowtown Marathon to cheer my husband over the finish line after he ran the Half. I thought I was tech savvy…signed up for updates through the Cowtown so I’d know approximately what time he’d be crossing.  What I didn’t plan on was the magnitude of the runners themselves and the confusing array of streets in downtown Fort Worth.  I needed to drive and park near the finish line but couldn’t figure out a way to get there because all of the cross streets were blocked off.  So…I parked in a $10 lot and decided to walk.

And walk.  And walk.  Four miles and an hour and twenty minutes later, my daughter and I were the ones being cheered across the finish line by my husband, whose 2:06 time for the half marathon had him waiting over an hour for us to get there!  But we wore our Team RWB t-shirts and walked on the sidewalks, following the runners along their route.  If it wasn’t for the camera slung around my neck and our jeans, we could have been participants ourselves!

Now let me tell you that walking four miles is no small feat for me.  Since my surgery last fall, I don’t think I had walked even a mile.  Fibromyalgia pain grabbed at the small of my back as I walked, but I kept putting one painful foot in front of the other.  After the pain I endured on this walk, I know it was paltry to compared to those who run half marathons, marathons, and ultra marathons.  I have SO much respect for you people who pound the pavement with your feet, mile after mile after mile.  For awhile there I wasn’t even talking, especially as we crossed over a huge bridge with the cold wind whipping our hair every which way. Always one to look at the bright side, I thought I’d take advantage of our adventure and document it with photos. There were perfect shots along the way…a ribbon of runners stretching out as far as the eye could see!  After all, I knew how to use my camera.  I should be a pro by now, right?  WRONG.

Once again, I forgot that the previous night I had set my exposure compensation to +5 when I shot some photos outside in the dark.  So my photos of the runners in bright, bright sunlight were WAY overexposed.  (Although I do like the neon color effect.)

Ugh!  I was so angry with myself!  At the very least I wanted some great photos to immortalize our marathonish adventure, but that was not to be. If there’s a way to restore these pictures in iPhoto or Photoshop, I haven’t found it yet.

But by the time we finally arrived, we had this smile greeting us:

So while I don’t have the long shots of the runners stretching out as far as the eye could see, I captured them in my heart.  They are probably somewhere in my ankle, stomach and thighs, too — at least in terms of pain! The afternoon was redeemed somewhat when I found myself outside the Cowgirl Museum. I’m not a cowgirl by any stretch of the imagination, but I admire those gals who are. (In a different life I’d live on a ranch and be comfortable in a saddle.)

So what have I learned from these photographic finds and failures?

  • Always, always, always reset the exposure compensation button back to zero.  Did I say always?
  • If it’s bright outside, find some shade to review the pictures to make sure you haven’t blown it.
  • The next time hubby runs a race out of town, we will get a hotel room and take a shuttle!
  • Forty-something year old ankles and feet unused to exercise beyond the grocery store and housecleaning don’t like four mile walks.
  • The number of photographic gadgets I will wish to purchase will increase exponentially with each photography class I take.
  • The funkier the photo, the more interested my daughter is in helping me set — and participate in — the scene.

Now what?  I have two weeks with no photography teacher giving me assignments.  What’s a girl to do?  I’ve given myself an assignment called Signs of Spring.  Despite my chronic stuffy, sore nose and congestion, I LOVE spring!  My favorite color green is what I call “spring green.” The new leaves just peeking out from bare branches lift my spirits and make me excited about newness of life.  Spring reminds me of the resurrection. The same power behind the peeking of those leaves and the budding flowers was behind Jesus’ resurrection from dead to living. It’s the same power that wipes my slate clean and gives me a fresh start at loving God, my husband, at motherhood, at parenting, at raising up a daughter who loves the Lord and who loves her place in it.

I hope and pray that the photos I take these next two weeks will reflect a glimpse of that power…because I’ve learned something about myself through this class I’ve taken.  I want to do more than just take decent photos.  I want to capture pieces of glory, works of art worthy of the heavenly Father who created them in the first place.

I just hope my photographic adventures these next two weeks don’t involve any more four mile hikes!

2 thoughts on “Little Pieces of Glory

  1. If you shoot in RAW mode you can normally bring back about 1 stop of data if you overexpose, but not 5! We’ve all been there, it’s part of becoming a better photographer.

    If you like long exposures why not experiment with running water or grasses moving in the wind?

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