We talk a lot about getting out of our comfort zones, I rather like to think of it more as making new ones. The idea isn’t to be perpetually beyond our skills, but to acquire new skills and ideas to be comfortable with.
This seems to be cyclical for me. I get tired of the groove I’m in and shake up the snow globe till the snow settles and I find a look I’m happy with. This is where I’ve been since early December. At home I’ve been steadily working, looking at lots of photos, thinking about what I like and what I don’t, and trying to replicate the feel of the ones that speak most clearly.
At the end of this, with the ideas really starting to take shape, I spoke again at the Photo Venture Camera Club that I belong to about lighting. I explained at the start that I wanted to show some of the ideas I had been playing with, but that there were still some pretty rough edges.
One of the ideas was the home made Lightbreak that I wrote about a few weeks back. I’ve also been playing a with with Christmas lights as a backdrop for portraits. I have two strings of standard larger bulb outdoor lights and one set of net lights, like this. These are what I used for the portrait in this post.
It’s been great having the club to practice teaching on. I’d like to think I get better each time I teach, but it wasn’t the case this time. With the plastic globe snow still settling I presented ideas that weren’t fully formed, but close. The talk was a bit of a struggle, mostly knowing what I had in mind but not quite. Add other frustrations, like a light stand coming apart, and it was a triumph when i finally made a photo I was happy with.
It was a relief both for the teaching moment in the club and for the work I’ve been doing these last few months. Projected on the screen I recognized finally what I had in mind during all the time struggling with half-formed ideas.