My New Project: Shooting in Manual Mode

I will admit it: most of the time while I’m doing photography I’m shooting in Aperture mode with Auto-Focus and almost never shoot completely in Manual mode.  For those who don’t really understand what I’m saying, here’s an analogy:  Instead of making the desserts from scratch, I’ve been using the good quality box versions.  Still produces a good result, but would be a little bit better and more satisfying from scratch.  So, my next project is to break that habit by shooting in manual mode for a while.  I will still shoot with what I know for important photoshoots (paid jobs) but for myself I will start learning manual mode.  But I’m ready to take my photography to the next level.

My biggest challenge is not relying on auto-focus because my eyes are not very good.  Even with corrective lenses I still find myself squinting to make sure that I’m focus and getting the clear shot that I want.  (My eyes are REALLY horrible and we’ll just leave it at that.)  However, I suppose the more I practice without auto-focus, the easier it will become for my eyes to recognize it (at least that’s what I’m hoping.)  And actually, so far it seems to be getting a little easier.  Here are some shots from my experiment:

I also just bought a new lens, so there will be more photos from my project later on.  Until next time!

~nestorakarts

A Hint of Summer Vacation

No, it’s not summer vacation just yet.  However, things are starting to wind down for vacation. Granted, little things are popping up here and there, but especially with the end in site for a few large projects I’ve been working on for months and the weather outside staying a little warmer each day and the trees blooming, I’d say it feels like I’m getting close to my summer vacation.

About three weeks ago I got the opportunity to go to Holland for a photoshoot and we (my brother and I) stopped by Lake Michigan after we were finished.  It’s been a while since I’ve seen the lake and I have to say I love going there.  When we got to Holland it was nice and sunny out, but by the time we got to the lake it wasn’t quite so sunny.  Bright, but a hazy brightness which made looking at the lake a little dull.  However, it makes for great portrait weather because it reduces the harsh contrast between light and shadow on faces.  Normally I’m the one taking the pictures but I asked my brother to a couple shots of me at the lake (since I don’t like most of the pictures taken of me.)  He doesn’t really consider himself a photographer, so he just kept clicking and said  “We’ll get a good one in here somewhere!”  (These turned out to be a few of the best ones:)

We didn’t stay long because we had to get back on the road but it was nice just to make a quick trip to walk on the sand, listen to the waves on the shore, and become enchanted by looking out onto a horizon full of sky and water.  I’m almost certain that’s just the first time I will see the lake this summer, as my friends and I have a history of visiting the lake and I have a feeling we will be making a beach day trip again this year.

The other thing that was nice about this adventure were the tulips!  I’ve always wondered what it would be like to go to the Tulip Festival and although we missed it by a week or so, the tulips were already in full bloom and we were able to enjoy the large flower beds of tulips everywhere.  To my surprise, the tulips were even planted next to the curb along the main roads!  Again we didn’t stop it was nice to take in a taste of what the excitement was about and perhaps I can return another year.

Needless to say, the trip to the lake and the break in routine definitely made me start to feel like summer was just around the corner.  I think most people consider Memorial Weekend as the beginning of summer but with the warmer weather, and general change of pace I feel like summer has been calling me a little earlier this year, and I can’t wait to find out what other adventures it’ll bring!

~nestorakarts