My art and writing are two channels I use to express gratitude for all the goodness in my life.  Being creative requires me to step out of my comfort zone and explore new avenues.  When I write and paint from the heart, everything makes sense.  I am grateful for the opportunity to share my joy with you.

When the Pupil is Ready...

When the pupil is ready, the teacher will appear. ~ Anonymous

I have long been an admirer of photographers and their ability to capture not just a moment but also a mood.  I especially love photography that chronicles the small moments of life, the ordinary bits that make up our days.  There is so much beauty to be found in those tiny slices of life, isn't there?  Which is why I was thrilled when Michelle GD offered to mentor me for six weeks.  Michelle is a writer and photographer whose blog, Michelle GD, chronicles the quiet moments she treasures.  She also collaborates on the blogs Makings of Motherhood, Tandem Echoesand Viewfinders.  If you are not familiar with her work I strongly encourage you to take a look.  You will be so glad you did.

Briefly, the six weeks were broken up into different categories, starting with the basics on how to become comfortable with shooting a DSLR camera in manual mode and progressing to composition.  I was given weekly assignments which I would post on our private Flickr group and every ten days or so we would meet up via Zoom.  I valued our conversations the most because it was so nice to visit face to face!  

Michelle is an amazing teacher, supportive and patient, balancing her critiques of my work with equal parts praise and constructive suggestions.  I could tell by her comments that she carefully studied every shot, thoughtfully evaluating each one.  

I learned so much from her during our six weeks together.  I became comfortable shooting in manual and gained confidence experimenting with aperture and shutter speed.  Michelle encouraged me to play, especially with perspective.  She somehow sensed my tendency towards cautiousness when taking a shot, my literal mind wanting to follow her instructions exactly.  More importantly, Michelle taught me how to be mindful when taking a shot, to consider not only the settings I was using and composition but to focus on why I was taking the shot.  What was it I was hoping to convey?  

Five things I learned about photography during my time with Michelle:

1. Light is elusive, and capturing it is so satisfying.

2.  It is important to consider the whole frame when composing a shot.

3.  Take bold steps.  

4. Play with perspective.  A lot.

5.  Always keep in mind the relationship between shutter speed, aperture and ISO.

Five things I learned about myself:

1.  I am happiest when I am chasing the light, especially out in nature.

2. My photographs veer towards the quiet, reflective moments of my life.

3.  I really love creating bokeh.  

4.  I can be impatient while composing a shot and am learning to pause before pressing the shutter.

5.  I have a good eye, especially when I take the time to compose my shots mindfully.

I will be forever grateful to Michelle for generously sharing her knowledge with me, for her thoughtful critiques and her encouragement. Her guidance was invaluable.

Sharing Nurturing Thursday with Becca.

A Prayer for this Busy Season

December Tidings