Saturday, February 12, 2011

Longwood Gardens photo get-together!

I've mentioned this here before once or twice, but the single biggest reason for any growth in my photography skills over the last year is my membership on a private photography forum, where I've found so many other women who are as passionate about photography and dedicated to learning more about all of it as I am.  But I've also actually made some really dear friends through this forum -- much, I think, to David's chagrin.  :)  Because yes, on paper, I suppose it does sound weird to have "e-friends."  But what can I say -- I'm just community-oriented no matter where I go!  ;)

So occasionally, there will be a local get-together of women from this forum.  Last fall, a few of us in NJ/NY/PA went to Terhune Orchards for some photography fun.  As a follow-up to that trip, we decided to do a day trip to Longwood Gardens for some experiments in macro photography.  I thought it would just be a small handful of us again, and was looking forward to seeing the local ladies I'd seen at earlier gatherings.  But somehow, this get-together just exploded.  A couple girls from Maryland decided to make the trip up, since it was just a couple hours away from them.  That got a few girls from the DC area interested in joining in.  Then some from central/northern Virginia decided to make the much longer drive up.  Then one girl all the way from Alabama had a free plane ticket to use, and decided to spend it on this trip.  Before I knew it, there were 21 of us signed up to come!

It was such a fun trip -- in part, of course, because of the opportunity to spend several hours just focused on playing around with a type of photography I rarely, if ever, get to mess around with.  And Longwood was full of absolutely stunning flowers to practice on.  But mostly, I loved getting to hang out with these incredibly fun, kind, interesting, and all-around lovely women.  :)

So this was me pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, playing with a friend's extension tubes (which dramatically shorten your lens' minimum focusing distance, enabling you to approach 1:1 macro work with non-macro lenses), and also getting some faux macros with my 85mm lens and some creative cropping...

And here's me jumping right back into what I'm used to doing -- candid shots of people having fun.  :)

And a group shot of all of us, taken on my friend Michele's camera (check out her blog for some truly amazing macro work, and for tons of incredibly useful photography tips):

I may never be a macro photographer (I have SO much more respect for those who consistently pull it out and get beautifully composed macro shots -- it's hard figuring out focal planes and good compositions while working with such small focusing distances and shallow depths of field!), but it was a ton of fun pretending to be one for a day.  :)  And I had such a blast with all of these fun girls!  So glad so many of us could come together for the day!


Lisa said...

Beautiful photos! It looks like the get-together was so much fun!

Jodi said...

Your flower photos are beautiful and as always, you rock the candid shots.

I had so much fun meeting everyone!

h3b said...

your flower shots are gorgeous!! i love the 2 purple ones.

Amy F.W. said...

It took me forever to come comment on your blog post but just wanted to say the flower photos are STUNNING, and I am so happy to have finally met one of my e-friends in person. =D