Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pigeon Point Diary


Four years ago, my Loved One gave me a camera for Christmas, a Canon S2.  While technically this was still a point-and-shoot camera, it far surpassed anything I'd had before to take snapshots (something I almost never did, in any case).  Because my first response to almost anything is "get a book on it," I ordered Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure and began to devour it.  

I leapt right in and began trying the things he was suggesting.  One that caught my attention was to take a picture of the same thing every day for a year, in different seasons, different times of day, different light, and so on.  Since I had a huge commute that took me up and down the coast highway every working day, I looked for something I could use for that project, and there really was only one choice:  the Pigeon Point Lighthouse.


I began the project right away.  Every time I drove by the lighthouse, at least 8 times a week, I photographed it.   I tried every conceivable vantage point, stopped in every kind of weather, was there at dawn, sunset, and almost every time in between, at some point.

[Linkup to Texture Thursday]

Bryan Peterson says that if you do this exercise, by the end of a year, ". . . you'll have amassed a knowledge and insight about light that few professional photographers -- and even fewer amateurs -- possess."  I learned many, many things about photography from taking pictures of the lighthouse -- exposure, perspective, composition, framing, when you can hand-hold and when you need a tripod, and the certainty that the biggest wave will break spectacularly the second after you've given up and turned the camera off.


I know that many people join a "365" group, in which they pledge to take a picture a day (at least) for a year, and I know you can learn a lot from that, too.  But if you have a fixed landmark or vista or something you can take pictures of over and over again, you should give it a try.  It's extremely educational.

 
If you'd like to look at my Pigeon Point set on flickr, you can see it here.  Happy shooting, everyone -- it's almost the weekend!


14 comments:

Gale Wall said...

I got that book not long ago. My learning journey started about 6 months ago. I'm going to go back and read this again as I love a view I have out of my backyard across a wheat field where the sun sets. Hmmmmm. Your photos are great!

Mom of M&Ms said...

I love this reminder to shoot the same thing... I remember that book too! I am off to start.. What a blessing for you to remind me!

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thanks very much --

Nancy said...

Spectacular photos, Elise. Especially the last one. :)

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thanks, Nancy -- it was one of those OMG moments, screeching the car to a halt and praying I didn't mess it up . . .

Jane said...

I love your story here and it is a great idea to repeatedly photograph the same scene as you did, something I would like to try. As for your photos, they are lovely, the light in that fourth shot is just wonderful, but my favorite is that last shot, just wonderful.

Kristy said...

I love your added texture! And that truly is a great lesson. Light is the most important part of photograph!

Bella Skye said...

Beautiful pictures! The last one is. absolutely. gorgeous. LOVE it!

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thanks very much -- the last one actually made it onto the local news station, where the weatherman shows interesting photos . . .

Linda Makiej said...

Every one of these is STUNNING!

Elise Ann Wormuth said...

Thank you, Linda -- I appreciate it.

mdawnt1 said...

Wonderful photos, Elise, and a great idea from Peterson that you have passed along. Hard to think it's only been four years that you have been serious about your photography. Amazing progress!

Henrietta said...

Your photos are so beautiful. The last one is so vivid and I love the texture Thursday edit.

Jaymi said...

beautiful lighthouse photos! I love the texture one and the rainbow one!