Monday, April 20, 2009

Amythyst Lake


Illumination by amythyst_lake
This one was an easy choice. I was visiting my boyfriend’s family in France last spring and the weather was unseasonably cold. On Easter Sunday it snowed. We all went for walk in the hills above town and the kids had their toboggans and skis. The snow was coming down pretty hard all afternoon and my camera got very wet! On the way back, all of a sudden, and in spite of the heavily falling snow, the sun just popped out from behind a cloud and created the most amazing light. My boyfriend and his son were deep in conversation sheltering under a tree waiting for everyone to catch up – and I grabbed this shot.

Sail Away by amythyst_lake
Finding a second picture was much harder. I finally chose this one because I took it in Boston, where I live, and because it is representative of the sort of thing that I enjoy doing. In the summer, the Charles River fills up with little sailboats from Community Boating and the MIT sailing club. If you’ve seen an image of the Boston skyline you’ve probably seen them, they are very photogenic. As the sun sets on the Cambridge side of the Charles it hits the downtown skyscrapers and bounces back across the river. I waited on a bridge for one of the boats to sail into the light and then I snapped it.

1: How long have you been involved in photography?
On and off for a long time. My first camera was an Olympus OM10 which I bought in the late seventies. I was interested in drawing, and I thought that the camera would help me – but it turned me on to photography instead. I took many, many pictures with that camera, but after a while I put it to one side and got on with other things. Like many people, I got back on board when I bought my first digital camera (a Canon A540). The possibilities of digital were so exciting that I became hooked like never before.

2: Equipment you use?
I have a Nikon D80 with 18-200mm, 70-300mm (new!) and 50mm prime lenses and a Canon G9 for carrying around and for taking on bike rides etc. I also have a good lightweight tripod that I can sling over my shoulder. So much more is possible with a tripod.

3: Mac or PC?
I love my Mac.

4: What inspires you?
The seasons, the weather and any kind of interesting light. I like to go on long walks alone with my camera. Usually I have some sort of objective in mind, but invariably my best shot will be of something else entirely. This is the fun part of photography for me – never knowing just what is out there to be found.

5: Preferred subject matter?
The outdoors, especially beaches, but I shoot wherever I happen to be. Shooting on vacation is fun, and it certainly gives you a fresh eye, but I believe that the best shots are to be had in a place you know well. I take a lot of pictures in my neighborhood. I also like reflections, shadows and silhouettes and semiabstract shots of buildings.

6: Name one thing you haven't caught with the camera that you REALLY want to capture.
So many things! Rain. A time exposure of a plane coming in to land at night. I’d like to attach my camera to my bike and get some motion shots. That’s three already. But what I’d really like is to inject a little bit more soul and a little bit more humor into my pictures.

7: When in doubt about your art, who do you confide in?
My boyfriend sometimes, but mainly I rely on myself.

8: Qualifications/training in anything? ie: Photoshop
None. I’ve read plenty of books, mostly technical but I’ve learned most from studying other people’s work on Flickr (thank you everyone). I muddle along in Photoshop. I should be much more systematic about learning it – if I ever find time to take a course, it will probably be Photoshop.

9: Plans for the future?
To continue to enjoy myself, to try new things and to learn as much as I can.

10: In one word, describe your photography.

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