Shoot Out 2015: Week One


I was on Pinterest last night and came upon a quote …

“Nothing Will Make You Feel Better Except Doing the Work.” 

THIS should be my motto for the year.  From where I sit right now, truer words were never spoken.  I have never had more obstacles and hurdles to jump through to get it done.  But the only way I feel true accomplishment at the end of the day is if I have done something labor intensive that moves the dial of my life forward.

“I’m gonna” really learn how to work my camera has come out of my mouth more than once since I made the plunge to buy my Nikon D600 camera and three lenses in 2013.  In an effort to remove, “learn how to work my camera” from my bucket list, I enrolled in an online photography group — Shoot Out 2015.  To supplement this, I’ve begun watching Photoshop tutorials through my Lynda.com membership.  For those of you who do not know Lynda.com you should check it out.  If there is any program you want to learn, I would be surprised if you did not find it here.

I laugh at how much time I had prior to September 16, 2013 to sit in a chair and do whatever I wanted.  I would not trade where I sit today for anything, but I believe we all need time alone to sit and think and dream.  Silence for the mind.  Of course, I might believe this because I am an only child who grew up with this sort of unencumbered alone time.  I would spend hours and hours alone, especially when I went to Arkansas during the summers.  I had no friends my own age there.  I spent a lot of time running around talking to cows and dogs.  I have had some pretty amazing conversations with cows and dogs.  I often found them easier to talk to than actual people.

On some days, I still do.

It’s 5:15 a.m.  Sipping fresh, hot coffee.  It’s so quiet in this house it’s almost creepy.  I’ve been forcing myself to get up and take this time in the morning for myself.  It’s not easy, but it’s been worth it.  I’ve written more this week than I have in a long time.  This is keeping me sane amidst so much chaos.

If something can help keep you sane, you need to bear hug it and never let it go.  Ultimately you’re a better person to be around, at least I know am.

The Shoot Out group and Photoshop work well together.  I need to know how to work my camera better and edit the pictures —  not only for my personal photos, but work photos.  It’s a win-win for all aspects of my life, but I know once you really know how to work the camera you are rarely in the pictures.  I’m okay with this.

For January our assignment is ten composition photos.

“No one is an artist unless he carries his picture in his head before painting it, and is sure of his method and composition.”

Claude Monet



1.  the nature of something’s ingredients or constituents; the way in which a whole or mixture is made up.

2.   a work of music, literature or art

The nature of something’s ingredients.  I like it.  It’s a good visual to keep in my mind as I move forward.

Each week I will write about and share my work here, as it helps to keep me accountable for both classes — Shoot Out 2015 and Photoshop.  Every month we get our assignment emailed to us and we are encouraged to upload our finished photos to the forum for feedback and discussion.  I have not uploaded to the forum yet, but here are the first five photos I am going to work on for composition:

James with Fry Los Angeles Zoo, January 2015

Baby with Fry
Los Angeles Zoo, January 2015

Jackson Enjoying Berry Oatmeal January 2015

Berry Oatmeal Baby
January 2015

Here, Eat This Leaf. January 2015

Here, Eat This Leaf.
January 2015

Excuse Me, Brother! January 2015

Excuse Me, Brother!
January 2015

Peek-a-Boo January 2015

January 2015

My main subject will be the Dumplings, though I might venture out and take some other shots as well.  Next week, I’ll upload them after Photoshop correction so you can see what I did.

I love these photos.  My favorite place to shoot photos is outside.  They always look better without much effort.  The boys keep you on your toes when trying to take a picture, for sure.  Sometimes I take hundreds of shots just to get one or two good ones.

I love this time to be able to write uninterrupted — just sit in a chair, alone, in complete silence and do something I love. Think. Dream. Write.  It takes a lot of discipline for me to do this, as I am the worst sort of sleeper.  I am not a morning person nor am I a night owl.  They say morning people rule the world.  I am researching how much truth there is to that statement and I’ll get back with you.

Have a blessed weekend everyone!


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