Search

demeatria's blog

My journey with photography……..

Category

Uncategorized

Going Low With the Platypod

I’m glad before I jump into photographing something I take another minute to think about what I am going to do. I have no clue how many times I’ve photographed dandelions but I always think it’s a challenge. They’re just always different and being semi-limited because COVID-19, I will always find something to photograph, continue to work on my craft.

On this day, I decided after my workout I would go outside and shoot dandelions before I cut them down. Camera and tripod was setup and I took it downstairs with me. But as I was riding my bike I was looking at my camera setup and wasn’t happy. I think I felt that because I was going to get the same old photograph –  from the top and angles from the side…same ol’ blah, blah, blah. 

I soon remembered I had the Platypod. In the middle of my workout I stopped to go outside and shoot. Yes, the Platypod was a game changer. Platypod was a huge difference than with a tripod. I was able to get lower to the dandelions than what I would have had with the tripod. This was the first time using the spikes and they were a big help.

going low

 

I didn’t try to avoid pieces of grass or cut/pull them out of my vision. All I wanted to do was shoot and see what I was able to create. The morning was a little cloudy which I liked. My settings were in manual. The good thing about mirrorless cameras you can see all your settings/adjustments before shooting. 

Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, XF 60mm f/2.4 R macro lens, Platypod.

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

Dandelions_3

Dandelions_4

Dandelions_5

Dandelions_6

Dandelions_7

Dandelions_8

Photography Adventures

Good day. I decided to start a Podcast. This has been something I’ve wanted to do for some time and now is the time. Hopefully you will listen and enjoy. Thank you in advance.

https://anchor.fm/dawn-hester

 

Picking It Apart

I don’t have a “green thumb” when it comes to keeping plants/flowers alive. I hold my breathe if they last a week. Of my three flowers I have an African Violet. I’ve had it quite a while so I’m happy it’s still around. 

I sit and have my morning coffee right beside the African Violet. As the morning sun comes through the blinds I see how the flowers sparkle. This particular day I decided that I would go outside and photograph the dandelions. I have photographed them before but was never really happy with the outcome. And why not? It’s not like I have to get dressed to go and shoot. My camera was all ready: X-H1, 60mm macro lens and tripod. As I was sitting there finishing my coffee I asked myself why not photograph this flower? I’m looking at it every morning. 

AfricanViolet_01

I was impressed of what I was able to capture just by taking my time, move the entire flower around and let the sun hit as it may. I adjusted the blinds from time to time to see if the light from the sun would make any difference. I didn’t focus on one; I wanted to see if I could capture different forms/patterns/angles of the flowers. It was challenging to maneuver my camera different ways to capture what I saw. In the middle of shooting I attached the Macro Extension Tube (MCEX-16) but I wasn’t feeling it so I took it off and continued with the 60 macro. 

The next time you decide to photograph something, take a second look at what’s near you.

Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, XF 60mm F/2.4 R macro lens, MeFoto tripod. Edit with Capture One.

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 

AfricanViolet_02

AfricanViolet_03

AfricanViolet_04

AfricanViolet_05

AfricanViolet_06

AfricanViolet_07

AfricanViolet_08

AfricanViolet_09

When I’m Ready

It’s always good to have people in your corner – like all of your work, never see any flaws, and to push you to take the next step. But the question is are you ready to take the next step? 

I have tried ways to sell my photography: weddings, mobile portrait photographer (I use to travel to clients homes), and selling by word of mouth. Much later came the website. Now I did these things because a lot of photographers I knew did these things; basically I was following others…plus I was told how good my work was. Honestly I wasn’t aggressive and I should have known then most of those things I really didn’t want to do. 
Many years later I had a vendor’s table setup with another artist and I totally blew that. I didn’t have a plan. For the longest time I never gave it another thought until a photographer friend was trying to sell her photography. I got excited because she was excited in what she was doing, not me. Then she got me pumped and I started to think about it; but I only thought about it. All of that changed late 2019.

Anita Walker, owner of  Anita’s Harmony (https://www.anitasharmony.com) held her 4th Annual Holiday Bazaar last November. She called and told me that I needed to bring my work over to Maryland for her event. I said okay. I said okay because I was ready.

DDHester_01

I still had a lot of work to do because I wanted to do it right this time. Of course it’s always about pricing. Yes, I’ve heard and I’ve read “you charge what you’re worth.” But I guess sometimes people forget about locations, demographics, your audience for anything you do. Just because others say it doesn’t mean they’re doing it. If I walk into a place with crazy prices I’ll be walking right out with those crazy prices still in the box…just like some of them. I began to research. I read a post where it was said you add the amount of ink that you use…..really? Okay. Then of course the time that it took to take the photograph, the time it took you to edit, to print, etc. OKAY I got it!! When I go out and shoot I don’t have a stop watch to record how long it takes me to shoot (and I’m shooting for myself). Normally when I get back within a few days I begin to edit and save in its designated folder. If it’s an image I really care for I edit pretty soon. Printing? I know how to set up my printer and computer so at least 98% of the time my print is on the money. Yeah but what about the 2%? I’m not going to stress over it. Should I add my water and bathroom breaks to the cost?  FINALLY I watched a tutorial about pricing your photography. Finally listened to someone that didn’t try to get over on people (just my opinion). I totally agreed with his information; I found someone that made sense for me.

A little fact: there are so many places people can go to buy fine art photography without paying a ton of money: Kirklands, Michaels, and plenty of online places. And now that everyone has a camera whether it’s DSLR, mirrorless, or your phone, it’s great competition out there. I have to create my photography in my unique way. I don’t want the “typical” image because everyone already has it. 

When I’m ready. I was ready because for the first time I was going with my heart. I was ready because I selected the photographs I liked not what I thought others would like.  I was ready because I believed in my prices. I was ready because I could care less of what people thought of my prices. Don’t worry about me, just do you.  I was ready when I thought and cared about the demographics. I was ready when I began to print my own work and thought out loud YES! 

The event went very well. I think I dotted all the i’s and crossed all my t’s. But more than anything what made me feel so good inside and made it a beautiful day was the conversations I overheard and also conversations they had with me. Listening to people talk about my work among each other was so rewarding. That is a good feeling. Laughing with them when they read my Bio and it stated “I don’t shoot weddings.” It was a relaxing day full of fellowship. Again I learned a lot. 

Will I do this again? When I’m ready. 

DDHester_02

DDHester_03

DDHester_04

DDHester_05

DDHester_06

DDHester_07

DDHester_08

DDHester_09

DDHester_10

Feeding Our Children and Others

As I was attending one of the many festivals that are held in Manassas, VA I met Sharita Rouse, owner of Tummy Yum Yum Gourmet Apples. The apples were SO-SO GOOD!! 

Business

 

One Saturday in March as this COVID-19 was beginning to change all our lives, I decided to walk around downtown Manassas to document/photograph for my own personal history and that’s when I noticed Tummy Yum Yum  Gourmet Apples was opened. YES the apples are still SO-SO GOOD!! What I learned that day was how Tummy Yum Yum  Gourmet Apples were feeding the children.

Since the schools in Virginia have been closed, there are many of children that depend on the school system for food. There’s no easy way to put it – many of children depend on the school systems for food. We all have heard this statement before “it takes a village” and Sharita Rouse truly believes that. Sharita has been feeding the children since the closing of the schools. She has volunteers that pack lunches for families and some that deliver to families. A local sheriff has permission from his police department to deliver food while he’s duty. Restaurants also help in providing cooked meals. How important are these meals? This lunch may be the only meal for some families the entire day. 

Not only does Tummy Yum Yum  Gourmet Apples help the children, they’re also feed the homeless or anyone that needs a meal. No justification of why you need a meal. If you’re hungry you will be fed. 

*** Some of the photographs without masks was before Virginia finalized their policies.***

 

To find out how to help:

Sharita Rouse

Website: https://www.tummy-yumyum.com

Phone: 571-208-2870

Email: tummyyumyumgc@gmail.com

TummyYumYum_02

TummyYumYum_03

TummyYumYum_04

TummyYumYum_05

TummyYumYum_06

TummyYumYum_07

TummyYumYum_10

TummyYumYum_11

TummyYumYum_12

TummyYumYum_13

TummyYumYum_08

TummyYumYum_09

TummyYumYum_14

TummyYumYum_15

 

Project: COLORS

Totally different from my Blog Project: GREEN, this time when I went out walking with

my camera I had a plan and that was to photograph COLORS. Not much had bloomed but

then again our weather has been crazy. Plants have been confused; don’t know whether

to bloom or just stay in until Spring season.

 

As I entered into the community parking space they have two patches of bright, colorful

flowers on each side. Even though the flowers haven’t been there long they have already

taken a beaten from the weather; but some are still in the process of blooming. That’s

what I enjoy about macro photography – you can’t see the details from far away. You

have to get close to see exactly the way they are. Regardless they are still beautiful.

 

At this time I know many photographers are kinda stuck in the house and/or just can’t

shoot like they normally do. Now is the time to do something different from your norm.

Take you camera out “with one lens” and shoot. Shoot around your neighborhood. Shoot

when you go to do daily errands. Keep the juices flowing. 

 

Gear used: Fujifilm X-Pro2, XF 60mm f/2.4 R macro lens.

 

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

DDH_COLORS_06

DDH_COLORS_01

DDH_COLORS_02

DDH_COLORS_03

DDH_COLORS_04

DDH_COLORS_05

DDH_COLORS_07

DDH_COLORS_08

DDH_COLORS_09

Project: GREEN

For the past couple of months I’ve been mentoring a friend that loves photography. The

other day he emailed me with attached images and said (not his direct words) that he

went out again with his camera gear with no plan. I emailed back and told him that was

fine BUT you can create a plan once you get there. 

 

That’s what I did last week. After I took care of some morning errands I decided to walk

some laps before heading back in for the day. As I was walking I began to shoot anything

that I saw interesting. Midway through my second lap I decided I needed a project. I

decided to focus on GREEN. There were some colors here and there but I want to go back

when hopefully they’re in full bloom or close to it. Once I decided on GREEN the next few

laps I went back to those same areas to make sure I didn’t miss anything and/or find a

better composition, etc. I focused on shallow depth of field hoping to separate a lot of the

green that was in the background or just pull a little bit of color out that was on the

edges. It was a little breezy but that help me focus more and try to stop the movement.

Again just seeing what works and take it from there. 

 

Gear used: Fujifilm X-H1, XF 60mm f/2.4 R macro lens.

 

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

GreenMACRO_01

GreenMACRO_02

GreenMACRO_03

GreenMACRO_04

GreenMACRO_05

GreenMACRO_06

GreenMACRO_07

GreenMACRO_08

Converting to black and white

Since the COVID-19 slowed me down a little 😉 I thought I go back to some old images to see how they would look if I convert to black and white. 

I didn’t get into the mirrorless cameras until 2016. One of the cameras I purchased was the Fujifilm X-E1. Later I purchased the XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM IOS lens. With these two I went out and did some night photography. I shot in manual mode. Looking back on the blog I have written I wanted my shutter speed to be no slower than 1/60th of a second and my ISO to start at 1600. 

That night I wanted to shoot in color only. I wanted to see how well the colors would look and how much noise I would get from my camera. I did keep in mind that at times the ISO was a s high as 5,000. Also the X-E1 was launched in 2012 so it did have some age.  Overall I thought the camera did well.

The other day I decided to convert the color images to black and white and place them side-by-side.  While the color images were processed with Lightroom, they were converted to black and white using Capture One. Since I’m a die-hard fan of both, either works for me. 

So if you have a little time on your hands go back to some of your old images and look at them with a different set of eyes. With software constantly changing you be amazed at what you can discover.

HAPPY SHOOTING!! 😊😊

one

two

three

four

five

six

eight

seven

 

 

 

anythinggoes newsletter

The Newsletter April 2020

Here’s what’s included in anythinggoes newsletter:

 

  1. Teen with rare illness gets wish to create Comic Book
  2. Top tips to deep clean this Spring
  3. Declutter your finances this Spring
  4. I Had an Epiphany – written by Tinya Porter
  5. Poems by Bernard Wright
  6. Simple Recipes by Mills

 

All articles are linked to its page. Click back on the article title and it will take you back to the first page.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑