The Genesis Connection

A Newsletter for Through the Lens Photography Club

"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1

May 2013 Edition

This Month's Meeting: May 14th at 7:00 PM Gateway Church of the Nazarene

FINALLY! It has been a long time coming, but the weather is finally getting warmer and the days are getting longer. That means you'll have more opportunities to get your camera out and shoot away. I want to encourage you to take a picture every day if possible. It doesn't have to be much, and you don't have to publish it, but the only way you'll become a better photographer is if you practice, practice, practice. If you truly want to improve your skills, keep a journal of the time, place, various camera settings, etc. of your photos. By documenting these things, you will learn what works and what doesn't work under different circumstances.

For our May meeting I will quickly list 100 Tips from a Professional Photographer. Now don't get all excited - this won't take long - I'll just run through the list and we'll discuss them as needed. I think you'll get a kick out of some of the tips.

A Child Is Born!

Congratulations go to Traci Hewitt on the birth of her new daughter Piper Jo. Piper was born April 29, 2013 and weighed 7 pounds, 6 ounces. Mother and baby are doing just fine (although things got a little tense during delivery). I look forward to meeting little Piper at one of our future meetings. It will be fun to watch Piper grow and change "through the lens." Perhaps we can have a baby photo shoot at an upcoming meeting!

Photographer of the Month --- David Stropes

David is fairly new to Through the Lens, but he jumped in with both feet and has hit the ground running. He has an incredible eye and some amazing photos. All of us will benefit greatly from his contribution to the club. To view more of David's beautiful work, click here to view his Flickr page or check out his entries on the theme pages of the club's website.

Ideas to Inspire You

Lens Lessons: Photography Tips & Tricks

Three Simple Reasons Why Some People's Photography Does Not Improve

This article will likely not apply to most of us, but there are reasons why some photographers are better than others (and it has NOTHING to do with equipment).

They Don’t Take Their Cameras With Them

Those who don’t practice using their cameras are unlikely to ever grow in their understanding of and skill in photography. If they rarely have their camera with them, they’ll not get the practice needed to improve. That doesn't mean they have to lug their DSLR around with them all the time though. When it isn't practical to have the heavier, more bulky DSLR with them, they could always use a smaller point and shoot or even their phone's camera. While the quality of those images may not be as great with these cameras, at least they'll be practicing composition, thinking about light, color and other aspects of photography.

They're Going Too Fast

Many people lead life at such a fast pace that they rarely stop to see the opportunities right before them. They can carry their cameras around with them 24/7 for the rest of their lives, but unless they learn to slow down and to look at the world a little differently, they may never actually use it.

But how do they do this? They need to find ways to slow down – or at least slow down temporarily. They need to set aside time to be a bit more intentional about photography. A good place to start is by taking a walk with the sole purpose of shooting a few frames. Next, they could try something bigger - a weekend away with their cameras, taking a photography class, or going on a photography tour. It's all about building photography into their daily rhythm. It takes time to create a new habit, but when it starts to become a more natural thing, they'll find themselves seeing life a little differently - more "through the lens."

They Worry What Others Think

Some photographers suffer from ‘framing paralysis’. They take their camera with them, and even though they've slowed down enough to see the photographic opportunities around them, there’s something that stops them from lifting their camera up to frame the shot. These are the photographers who are worried about what others around them think. Their sub-conscience mind asks, "Will I look stupid?" "Will people think that I'm photographing them?" "But what if the shot turns out bad?" The key to moving through framing paralysis for these photographers is to build up their confidence as photographers. To overcome this paralysis, they could try taking a photography buddy with them when they go out to shoot (there IS safety in numbers, you know). Or they could go somewhere where they don't have to worry about being seen by someone they know - sometimes it's easier to look "silly" if you know you'll never see those people again in your life. Of course, the best way to build confidence in oneself as a photographer is to PRACTICE.


The Go-To Source

Photographers who desire to improve their photography skills spend time studying the works of other photographers and "listening" to what they have to say. In an attempt to help you broaden your knowledge base, each month I will introduce you to some fantastic photographers. I will post the links to these sites here. If you find a site you especially enjoy, be sure to bookmark it for future reference.

My all-time favorite "go-to source" is Digital Photography School. This site is a community of photographers of all experience levels who come together to learn, share and grow in the understanding of photography. It contains multiple articles covering topics from photography tips and tutorials, to camera equipment, to post-processing tips. Just click on a link, read the article, then click on the related links for more information. There is no shortage of links on this website. The site conveniently contains a "search" bar to help you locate precisely the information you're looking for. The digital community of members often upload their photos for viewing or critiquing, so browse away.

Along with a wealth of information and photographic examples, the site also contains a "Weekly Assignment" (see the "Forum" tab at the top of the site's home page) where you will find a topic to challenge you when you need inspiration. You can simply take the challenge for yourself, OR, for those who are a little more brave, you can add your challenge-photo to the forum. Step out of your comfort zone and take a risk!

Once you discover Digital Photography School, I'm certain you visit the site time and again.

Prepare to Have Some Fun at Club in June

Summer is a busy time for all of us, but it is the BEST time of year to snap some amazing photos. I hope that in the midst of all the yard work, ball games, family vacations, and other outdoor activities that suck up your time, you make time to do the things you love. To help you a little, I'm putting together a fun activity for our June meeting. You'll want to bring your camera with you because we'll be going on an adventure filled with photo ops and intriguing clues. See you on the 11th!

Next Meeting

Tuesday, June 11th, 7-8:30pm

Gateway Church of the Nazarene, Oskaloosa, IA

Contact Info

Through the Lens Photography Club is a Christian-based photography club open to anyone aged 16 and over, living in the Oskaloosa and surrounding areas, with a passion for the art of photography. The aim of this ministry is to unite, in Christian fellowship, those who share an interest in capturing the beauty of God's creation through the art of photography, and to provide educational opportunities to promote and encourage the advancement of its members in the knowledge and practice of photography.

Remember to Bring Your Camera to Each Meeting!