I actually used to be one of those people who wished the weekend away. (I know!) I’ve always had a lot of friends, and I’ve always spent the weekends hanging out with friends, but my weekends used to feel so empty because I didn’t fill them with things that I was genuinely interested in. I’d tag along with friends to do things they were interested in, but that obviously wasn’t fulfilling. I used to look forward to Mondays because work was more fulfilling than boozing all weekend, laying on the couch and tagging along to do what everyone else wanted to do.
These days, some weekends are chock-full of things to do and some weekends are spent just relaxing, but either way–it’s just what I need. Sure, I’m still bored some weekends and I still get lonely sometimes (I am human, after all), but my weekends are much more fulfilling now because I’ve realized what makes me happy. I’ll always love pleasing other people, but I think of me first now, and what will make me happy. While I still obviously spend a lot of time with friends, I spend a lot of time with friends with similar interests, so I get to satisfy the side of me that needs people as well as the side of me that needs to be happy doing stuff that makes me happy.
Today was that kind of day, again. I got a massage at Equinox (Dwight, at the 74th Street location=AMAZING. It hurt like all hell, but it hurt so good) and then went over to Ashley’s for a blogger brunch, sponsored by Eggland’s Best. I only took pictures of food, not people. Go read Ashley’s blog if you want to see more than food 🙂
Afterwards, we headed to Grand Central to take a photography class we’d bought on Living Social. I’ve been interested in photography since majoring in journalism in college. I loved seeing how a picture could communicate things that words can’t always convey. I took a photography class at NYU one summer in college, and I learned a ton–how to use an SLR (not even a D-SLR! This was 2003, people), how to develop in the darkroom (so much fun), and how to take well-composed photos.
Unfortunately, I forgot every single thing I ever learned about apertures, shutter speed, and ISO, and I’m relearning it all now. When Ashley and I bought the deal, we both thought we were getting a “technical” class, which means a class that would teach us how to use our cameras. We actually nearly blew off the class, because we both are more interested in learning how to use our cameras, but at the last minute, we decided to head over to Grand Central anyway, and I’m glad we did.
The instructor made it very clear to us that this was a composition class, and not a technical class, and I was nervous that I was going to spend most of the class fiddling with settings on my camera to get decent photos. We shot from a few different locations around Grand Central, and she gave us some tips about composition, including:
- Look for patterns. Something that repeats can actually turn into a “neutral” backdrop and make your subject really pop.
- Look for a “leading line.” We started with the one below, and were to use it as a way to direct the viewer’s eye to the subject and give you perspective to the size of the background.
(Let’s pretend this wasn’t blurry, okay?)
We also took photos from really interesting angles–these were all from the top of a staircase.
I trained my lens on him and didn’t hit the button until he was almost up to me. (And no, he didn’t grab my camera and smack me with it afterwards, although he would have been within his grounds to, as I was the creeper on top of the stairs.)
This one was a lesson in looking at things from different angles.
This one was just pretty.
So was this one. Well, maybe he’s a little skinny…
Ignore that I was a little creepy here taking a photo of some random girl and let’s instead look at how, in crowded Grand Central, I managed to clearly capture this girl having a moment.
And this is why I love photography–what kind of moment? Was she waiting for her train to head upstate to see her parents for the afternoon? Was she waiting for her boyfriend whom she hadn’t seen in months? Is that bag a camera bag?
But for all these good ones, there were quite a few not-so-good ones. I’ve heard a lot of photographers before say that for every good photo, they have a gazillion (technical photo term) awful ones. I always thought that was just something people who were good with cameras said to make the rest of us feel better, but looking through the 300 photos I took this afternoon, I realize this is true. There’s somewhere between 20-30 photos that I like, and about 280 photos that are either terrible or just dull, like the ones below.
Meh. Flat lighting, boring angle.
Or this one which looked cool in the viewfinder, but is actually pretty blurry.
Or the ghost-y ones like these.
On my way home, I was HANGRY, and stopped for a turkey sausage flatbread and some coffee.
And then I came home and was sitting on my couch and had to capture this sunset.
Mm, sun-drenched apartment.
And then I ordered sushi. I’m going to FreshDirect, do some cleaning, and then be ready for this week.