Weekend Recap

This week I have been using up my computer time on a special project for one of my 4-H families. 4-Her, CMM, is graduating from high school tonight. Her mom is one of my 4-H volunteers. She asked me a long time ago if I would help her create a picture video for CMM's graduation. Her mom has been working for several weeks going through their photos, burning them to CDs and choosing the best 500 for a video.

I burnt the "draft" version this morning and handed it off for the debut tonight at the party. Later, we are going to add graduation photos and then create the final product. I loved seeing so many wonderful family moments and helping make a special gift. I know CMM is going to love it!

I hope you forgive my absence from the blog this week. I bet you have been on the edge of your seat waiting to hear about my weekend photo workshop. 

It was as wonderful as I anticipated. Miz Booshay was a sweet and wonderful teacher. I appreciated her attitude of encouragement the most. She welcomed six total strangers into her home with open arms - literally and figuratively :).

As the six students arrived we stood around visiting and being amazed at the connections we had. 

  • Three young moms (one is pregnant with her first), 
  • two grandmothers
  • three from Illinois
  • two "neighbors" from Chicago suburbs
  • six faithful Pioneer Woman and Miz Booshay readers 
  • six blog lovers
  • six amateur photographers wanting to look like professional
Miz Booshay set a beautiful table of morning treats. We joined her in the kitchen to continue chatting and getting to know one another and to begin class. 

One of the things that I appreciated most about the day was that her daughters and husband came and went just like it was completely normal for us to be at their house. Mid-morning, her youngest daughter Katie came home from softball (?) practice and shoe shopping with her dad. She immediately came into the kitchen, gave her mom and kiss on the cheek and said Hi to all of us. 

When Miz Booshay said "go change your clothes and put on something cute" Katie didn't hesitate. She "skipped" upstairs and came back down quickly ready to begin her day of modeling.

Oh! I just remembered! Miz Booshay also gave us each a Super bag of gifts.

This awesome LLBean bag was full of little treats....

This is my first LL Bean bag. I love that it is made in the U.S.A. I will have to do some LL Bean shopping and see if all of their products are USA.

We each had a bright red folder with the agenda and notes inside, plus the necessities of a bottle of water and pen. Attached to the outside of the folder was a nice laminated checklist. Everything a good photographer should check and adjust as they begin shooting. The best part was this...
This is a new chocolate favorite of mine. I've been savoring it slowly. I'm going to start giving them as gifts too. It is a special treat.

We enjoyed our morning together around the table learning

  • the differences among our cameras and lenses
  • more about the buttons on each of our cameras
  • metering
  • spot metering
  • changing the focus point
  • (please forgive me if I am not using the proper technical names)
  • what the numbers on the lens mean
  • white balance
  • ISO settings
I took a few test shots as I was playing with my settings

Nikon D60
ISO 400, 1/60s, focal length 42.0mm

The only thing that changed on this one is the shutter speed - 1/40s.

This one is at 1/30s.

and 1/25s.
These are all pretty "slow" shutter speeds. I think it only worked because the subject is completely still and I had my elbows propped on the table like a tripod.

I learned that the longer your lens, the faster your shutter speed needs to be, just because the lens is heavier and harder to hold perfectly still. I will begin paying better attention to this. For me, I think it will mean adjusting my ISO much more often than I have been.

Lighting was the next major topic. We jumped up from the table and Miz Booshay led us to the light. In her house it happens to be best at her front door and in the front of the garage.

I usually get caught up with the location and what the background looks like. I learned so much about lighting and now I understand how you can make a super photo with the right lighting in any location.
This one was taken using the light coming in the window. Katie is sitting on the arm of the couch. See the sparkle in her eye. That was the key to "finding the light."

It's time to get ready for the graduation party. I hope to get back to finish this post tonight, but just in case I don't, I'll go ahead and call this Part 1.

I know you'll love seeing the photos in Part 2. Til then....
Happy Weekend


  1. This was a perfect recap of our workshop. I had such a good time. It would be fun to have a class reunion!


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