Saturday, February 9, 2013

Snap Snap

With photography I work on the theory that taking more photos increases the chance of getting a truly great shot. Many will potentially be rubbish but there will usually be a few gems among them.

I took 261 photos of our little house as a learning exercise with my digital SLR. Fifty-one of these were shots taken while reading the manual and learning about the different settings before I ventured outside to snap our Queenslander.

For this exercise I started with the ‘basic settings’ for the camera (creative auto, portrait, landscape, close up, etc), playing with various lighting, focus and filter settings. I think the monochrome setting worked well for our house, but I also liked playing with the close up and different lighting options. Still a lot to learn!

Here are a choice few, unedited–no photoshopping, well, except for the layout in sets.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Digital SLR cameras and photography for dummies

I have always enjoyed photography but really only every used a simple digital camera, looking for interesting angles or different perspectives, and taking a quick snap, hoping that what I saw will magically transform into the little digital screen. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn’t.

So when my birthday was coming up I added a digital SLR camera to my wish list, mostly as a bit of a joke because I knew roughly the cost involved. My awesome husband, however, had other ideas and with my thoughtful parents gave me such an amazing present, a Canon EOS 600D. Now all I have to do is learn how to use it!

I took it away with me to Japan recently. I played around with the manual focus and a couple of other settings a little but mostly let the auto function work it’s magic. Here is a sample of what I captured. There are many, many more because, let’s face it, Japan is very photogenic.

The Iron Giant, Ghibli Museum - Taro doll, Osaka -  souvenir Torii,
Fushim-Inari - Yoyogi Park, Harajuku © Megan O'Neill 2013
Lolita fashion style, Harajuku - Sake barrels, Miyajima - Ponto-cho,
Kyoto - Koumokuten, Nara © Megan O'Neill 2013

For Christmas a dear friend gave me a copy of Digital SLR Cameras and Photography for Dummies, which has taught me about aperture, depth of field and shutter speed. That, along with going through my camera manual has started to give me a basic understanding of my camera and photography. Now I just need to practice.

With that in mind I have decided that my first practice subject will be our little house–a typical old Queenslander. Nothing particularly special about it from the street but we have much love for it and I am hoping to uncover some of it’s hidden beauty.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It's been a while!

Wo, November 4, 2011 I certainly have neglected my little portfolio blog! Hopefully you’ll think I have a reasonable excuse.

Not long after I set this portfolio blog up I started working at the now Department of Environment and Heritage Protection as a full time Graphic Designer and it has been really great! I feel very lucky to have a job that I enjoy and with some fantastic people that make going to work easy.

So that’s my excuse. My original goal was to become a full time designer and continue to do some freelance work here and there for some added variety. Goal achieved! So as it is the start to a new year I wanted to make some new goals to grow creatively and thought that blogging about my progress would keep me on track.

Let me say this, I am not looking for a new job, however I do know that one day I might be, or one day I might have children and want to work from home. Having these extra skills may make me more employable in the future or help me create something where I can work at home and be a mum. I’m not saying that’s what’s going to happen but I’d like to have the option if it does.

Ok time for the goals! Well really they are the things I want to learn about or learn how to do this year. Here goes:
1. Photography – I was very lucky to receive a digital SLR camera for my birthday last year and I am still working out how to use it.
2. Calligraphy – I have always loved beautiful handwritten script so why not give it a go!
3. Photoshop – I know how to touch up photos, remove wrinkles and the like, but there is so much you can do with this program. So I plan to explore.
4. Watercolour – I have always loved painting and drawing, but have never really used watercolour. There are some really beautiful and interesting ways I have seen watercolour used.
5. Illustration – See above! Something I don’t make time to do anymore and I’d like to get back into it.
6. Dreamweaver – My study taught me how to design a website, how to lay it out in a user friendly and aesthetic manner, but not how to build one.
7. Typography – I guess this one fits in a bit with my calligraphy learning goal. My aim is to add to the many inspirational/funny/thought-provoking/outrageous/posters out there.

Now my goal is not to become an expert in all of these within the year, but to try all of them. If I find I enjoy something then I will keep practicing and learning more. If I am struggling with something then I will stick with it until the end of the year. If after that I still don’t grasp it or enjoy it then I will let it go, but only if I have really worked at it. No half-assed BS.

Welcome to 2013. BOOM *said in Will Farrell, Talladega nights, style voice*