I’ve made it to the end of my latest online photography workshop and what a game changer that was, I don’t think any review of mine could possibly explain just how amazing the whole experience was! Shooting 301 : Composition and Creativity hosted by Sarah Wilkerson on the Clickin’ Moms forum is an advanced level course aimed at photographers who have a good grasp of the technical side of photography and are looking for something to inspire their creative juices and take their photos to the next level. This class sold out within 30minutes and I almost didn’t get a place as my work computer blocks external websites and I crashed my account (whoops!) but thanks to the wonderful photographer friends I’ve made around the world somehow a place in the class was found for me.
It was 4 weeks on an emotional roller coaster, I now need to sleep for another 4 weeks! Sarah is an amazing instructor and she gets you to reach inside your soul and start to realise just what it is about photography that is important to each individual participant. I learnt new skills about how to use light, I’ve learnt how to not be scared to shoot when it’s dark or when it’s really bright and I’ve learnt most importantly to shoot in a way that can make my heart sing.
Over the next few weeks I will be sharing a lot of the photos I took in this class and today I am going to start with the one which is my personal favourite. This photo is different from the type of photo I’d normally take and I suspect a little less accessible to the casual viewer. Instead of my words here is the critique Sarah left on my photo as it’s a wonderful description of exactly what I was trying to show, please read her words and then look at my photo and I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you Sarah for letting me publish your words here.
“Rebecca, this is wonderful – vital, storytelling, and emotive … to be sure! … but there’s also a quirky/surreal quality about it that I don’t think I’ve seen in your other work … I wonder how this fits in the rest of your portfolio from your perspective. Let’s talk first about the light – it is FANTASTIC. I love knowing that you manipulated it — both angle and intensity are perfection – and it’s just the perfect bit of light and warmth in what feels like a dark and cozy room. Your exposure is perfect as well.
The comp and focus are both really interesting – I love how the light comes in from the left — leads my eye right in, and then we wrap around this cherubic face — the little mouth open breathing … I can almost feel the rise and fall of his chest … there’s such a purity and rich sensory experience there — any mom can look at this and hear the soft little snoring, feel the warmth of the breath and the smoothness of the perfect skin — it’s beautiful. And then we come to the bear — I LOVE the way this is the point at which focus really starts to become pulled — there’s a tension in that blur, and it’s like the boy and bear are being swept off to dreamland … and in that suspension between dream and reality, where things begin to really get blurry, the bear has come to life. Partly because of the pull, I see a movement in his paw and body — and it looks like he’s making eye contact with the camera. The bear is the life, the movement — it’s like the reverse of reality (Where the child would be the animated one, and the bear would be still). It’s really fascinating – it’s like a peek into the child’s dream, where toys – like his beloved bear, all textured and loved, as we see in the fur – has come to life. GREAT story here. This would be a beautiful sleeping child image without the bear, but the bear is an intriguing and captivating element that draws me in and takes the image to a whole other level … wonderful!! “