Friday, January 23, 2009

Meeting People Via Photography

When I started really getting involved in horse photography I quickly realized that it could help me with a big problem in my life. I was isolated. I had a handful of good friends but my life wasn't busy enough.

Years have gone by now and my life is so full I can't find the time to do everything I want to do! I've met so many diverse and interesting people through photography, gone lots of places and seen all kinds of things.

The shared interest is a real door opener. There is always something to talk about and something to do. And, we have so much fun doing it!

On our school website we say "meet new people" in our descriptions and we mean it. It is such an amazing thing how social networking and photography fit like hand and glove. Recently, I have started participating in Facebook and have connected and reconnnected with all kinds of people. Facebook and photographers seem like a very good match.

We have met dozens of people at workshops we have given and taken and stayed in touch. This afternoon I am going to take pictures for our silhouette course with a lady I met last year at a workshop. She lives only about a half hour away on a beautiful farm. If not for the shared interest of photography we probably would not have met.

It's a wonderful life!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Learn To Take Photos Announces Winter Snow Photography Challenge Winners

Photography Challenge winners come from all over the US and Canada. Online photography course offering digital photography tips for beautiful winter snow photos will run two additional sessions in February.

(PRWEB) January 19, 2009 – Learn To Take Photos is pleased to announce the winners of the January Winter Snow Photography Challenge. Photos were submitted from all over the US and Canada. The winning photo was submitted by Carol Fjellanger of Zumbro Falls, Minnesota. The photo titled “Simmer Down” is a portrait of an adorable miniature horse in the snow.

Carol says "I'm so excited you selected my photo as the winner, there were so many good photographs, it was a very interesting class, and very informative to read your critique of each photo."

The photographs were as diverse in subject matter as they are in location. In addition to the winner, five runner-ups were chosen. They are: “Urban Broodmares” by Jessica Hein of Justin, Texas, “Foggy Morning” by Kathy Higgins of West Sacramento, California, “Frozen in Motion” by Wendy Hodges of Hayden, Idaho, “Split Rail Fence” by Jo-Ann Hodgson of Burnt River, Ontario and “Winter Feed” by Bryan Smith of Ogema, Saskatchewan.

Wendy Hodges of Idaho says “This was a great course. It challenged me to get out there and take some pictures! It was a lot of fun, a great learning experience and I was impressed with all the feedback and help from the instructors. Thank you so much!”

The online photography course is offered by and taught by Canadian photographer Christina Handley. It snows up to 6 months out of the year in Ontario and few photographers have more opportunity or experience shooting in the challenging conditions of snow.

The popular course offers digital photography tips for taking great winter snow photos and includes tips for finding subjects, protecting your gear and getting good exposures in the snow. “Exposure is the trickiest part of photographing snow scenes,” says Handley. “We teach step by step how your camera sees the snow and how to get a correct exposure.”

The course is attracting dozens of students from all over the world. The online photography course consists of a written lesson with lots of examples and a photography assignment. Students upload their photos and receive helpful feedback and advice. The learning environment is supportive, fun and creative. Everyone is encouraged to ask questions, discuss ideas and participate.

Learn to Take Photos offers a free short course each month for new students. With ongoing enrollment you can join anytime. The Winter Snow Photography course will begin Monday Feb 2 with a second session starting Feb 18. New students can use the coupon code SNOWINFEB at checkout and the course is FREE.

Go to for the course outline.

About Learn To Take Photos
Learn To Take Photos is an online photography school taught by well known horse photographers Christina Handley and Laura Cotterman. Students learn photography, get to know new people and share ideas in a fun, encouraging and supportive environment. Learn To Take Photos’ online photography courses are designed for adult learners and are self-directed, creative and motivating. Students have one-to-one access to an expert photographer.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Thoughts about image quality

I was looking through some old Nikon D70 photos for some good examples of digital noise. I found lots! I also found that many photos I remember as good are pretty blurry - not very sharp at all. Actually they are pretty terrible truth be told.

I was telling Christina on the phone about my blurry, crap photos and she was saying she finds the same thing. We were reminiscing about cameras like the D1X and the D70 that we thought were so great when we first got them. Even comparing the first digital cameras we had to the Nikon F5. It seems like every generation of camera seemed like a great improvement at the time but in hindsight the images from the D1X other obsolete bodies look terrible now.

We've gotten so picky about image quality. Having been early adopters of cameras like the D2X and Mark III that had focusing problems has made us focusing freaks who overanalyze the files looking for signs of camera malfuntions. Its absurd really because even those crappy old D70 files (at least the good ones) print up very nicely.

So, does that mean our image libraries become sort of obsolete as technology marches on? In one wya, yes. But I have many old pictures of dogs that have gone to heaven and kids that have grown up that I wouldn't trade for the most technically perfect 21 megapixel image in the world. All of which reminds me of one of the most real values of a photograph which are the memories it captures and preserves.