Over spring break, I had enough free time to get in the mood to take pictures again. I’d gotten so stuck in a certain setup and process that I’d “perfected” over the years that it never occurred to me it might not be serving me well anymore. Looking over some really early photos gave me the idea to experiment with some techniques I hadn’t used in years, and they worked out brilliantly.
I’ve always been partial to using softer light than this, but I’ve had the technology to use stronger, brighter light for a long time. As I’ve gotten older, all those soft shadows I’ve been using on my face weren’t as flattering as they used to be – LOL – and directing more light to my face really did the trick.
I’ve also gotten away from using my wide-angle lens for portraits, because to be honest, that totally makes sense, but when I first bought my 17-40 I used it for everything, and in looking over old portraits I realized that hey, they actually didn’t look half-bad. Plus, when working in a space as small as mine the wide-angle really makes it easier to take photos, even if I am just doing portraits. It allows me to incorporate more movement and flowy fabric as well as creating stronger lines that for whatever reason are really working for me right now.
I had a lot of fun doing this over the course of two days, but soon real life emerged again and I haven’t had time to do a photoshoot since.
When the pandemic began, my husband and I committed to staying home as much as possible because we didn’t have to leave the house at all. I switched easily to tutoring from home, and he was already retired, so we went into full lockdown in March of 2020 and still have just barely come out of it. We got vaccinated a month ago – Johnson & Johnson vaccine, but since it’s been over a month we aren’t at risk of blood clots – and while my husband was able to meet up with a few friends to sit outside and have a nice lunch, no one I know has been fully vaccinated so I haven’t ventured out yet at all. But, when this all started I decided since I wasn’t going to be anywhere or doing anything, it would make sense to just tutor as much as possible so I didn’t get bored. So, since last March I’ve been tutoring every single day, seven days a week, and now I’m pretty much stuck with it until the end of the school year because I don’t want to abandon any of my students so close to the end of the semester. But part of my own personal return to normal will be setting some new boundaries and giving myself some days off again. My point is that this should allow me more time to get inspired to take photos again. But we’ll see – I’ve got some other creative endeavors going on at the moment that I’m balancing.
I’ve written about how I took up coloring last year, and while I am still doing that fairly often, more recently I decided to learn how to knit. I’ve only been doing it for about a month now, so I’ve not knitted much more than a bunch of lumpy squares, but I have to say it’s a very enjoyable hobby even when whatever I’m trying to make doesn’t turn out.
I’ve only managed to make one actual THING so far, which is a very skinny scarf -I tried to make a normal width at first but I kept screwing up when I got past about 6 stitches, so I settled for a very skinny one. It’s also kind of short because after successfully knitting a bunch of rows without having to start over, I began to fear screwing up and went ahead and bound it off.
I am currently trying to make a wider scarf in a different stitch pattern, but I’ve had to start over a ton of times so far, which is fine, because as I said before, it’s still a relaxing hobby even when I keep messing up. It only took me a few days to get the basic knitting stitches down – knits and purls – which is pretty miraculous considering my inability to follow instructions, so the rest of it is just finesse and practice. If you’ve ever wanted to try to knit, trust me, you can do it if I can. I am generally hopeless and being crafty with my hands. I’ve tried to learn to sew I don’t know how many times and have always failed, for example.
That’s all for now – I hope you all are getting your vaccine on and otherwise doing well!