beginners

January 24, 2016

Let’s see if I can do a post a week, or am I at one every ten days?  The hard part is coming up with a photo for each post, because who wants to read a bunch of words without a flashy picture? Okay, this picture isn’t flashy, but it’s got a lot of light. Now I just have to figure out what to do with them…

It’s always irritated me that people are so unforgiving with beginners.  I usually think that people who talk shit about other people are just small-minded and don’t have anything better to do, but bagging on beginners is especially annoying.  Yes some people are just trying to give feedback, but others are just being rude because it makes them feel better about their own achievements (or lack thereof).

For example, I sing.  I don’t sing around other people if I can possibly avoid it.  I actually have a pretty decent voice with solid technique after three years of private lessons.  No, I can’t just stand up and belt out (nor would I, belting is just bad) something amazing, but with practice on a piece I can do very nicely. People think singers either a “born with it” or not.  Nope.  A fine voice can be developed at any age, and most people’s voices don’t settle until they are quite mature. But a child probably is encouraged to spend time developing passions, and that practice time turns into technique and behold: talent.

Then there’s costumers.  The ones who disdain anything that isn’t historically accurate.  Oh those sleeves, that fabric, did you hand-sew that?  Whatever.  I understand that if we don’t maintain some standards we will lose historical techniques and possibly quality.  But people have to start somewhere.  This nastiness has kept me from sewing the costumes I love so much.  I invest the time and money and love into making the best thing I can, and then someone isn’t nice about it.  It turns people away from contributing and participating, which in the end makes for fewer people keeping the knowledge alive.  Speaking of costumes, I am going to make myself something for an event next year.  Stay tuned.

My next personal frontier is photography.  Everyone’s a photographer as far as I can tell, but I do know a few people who really focus and excel at this.  Those people spend a great deal of time and money on this hobby.  It’s funny to me that photographers get annoyed when an uninitiated asks about their equipment, because for me knowing if it was shot on a $500 or a $1000  (or the tens of thousands I’m sure a couple of my friends have spent) setup was really just a way for me to gauge how serious the photographer really is; how much they’ve invested, how much more advanced on the curve they are.  In addition I kinda hope that if that picture I admire so much was taken on equipment in the range of what I have, then perhaps I have a chance to take something amazing on my equipment. Or at least amazing to me. But really, the quality of the equipment does matter.

I just spent two days trying to take a studio portrait of myself, and I definitely understand that this is going to take a lot of practice before I’m any good at it. I could also probably handle a better-looking model than myself. I now have lights that I can control at least. But I also was walking around the barn and took a very pleasing landscape-like shot and it was mostly because the camera has the range to capture what I wanted. The quality of the equipment is important.  Familiarity with the equipment, techniques, and concepts is important. Practice and positive feedback is important. I guess we’ll see what happens. I still need to take two more pictures for my first “week” of class. See you soon.

By levanah