It Went That-A-Way

(Photo by S. Rees-Bowen)


What I learned with this particular assignment of taking pictures of moving people/vehicles is that it is tough to accomplish. Not only do you have to have the correct ISO, but the correct shutter speed, aperture size and excellent hand/eye coordination.  I am not exactly happy with the photos I took for t his assignment, but I did learn a lot of what do and what not to do.

It was exciting and a little frustrating finding just the right spot to take pictures of motor vehicles driving by that didn’t have a stop light every block and a half. Honestly, I did feel a bit odd taking pictures of moving vehicles and at first felt kinda like a stalker. But then I realized that I would only take photos in one spot for a few minutes and then move on, so that would ally the suspicions of any who were wondering why I was taking their picture.

Anyway, I will be practicing on my own and learn how to take good (if not excellent) action shots. The next two assignments are even more challenging.  Bring it on!

(Photo by S. Rees-Bowen)

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A Woman, a Camera, and an Environmental Photograph Assignment

(Photo by Sandra Rees-Bowen)

I really enjoyed this assignment as it is much easier to go into a shop and ask to take photos than choosing someone on the street to ask. On the other hand, I am slowly getting used to asking strangers if I can take their picture. Anyway, with the assigned “Environmental Photo Assignment”  was a bit challenging, but fun.  On day one, I play with light and color in different environments and various people.

(Photo by Sandra Rees-Bowen)

Day Two, I realized that I needed just one more photo. For whatever reason, I decided to bring my camera with me to while I went grocery shopping.  Upon entering the store I realized that the possibilities of taking an interesting environment photograph within the store were endless. Should I take a picture of a pharmacist, of an employee stocking the shelves? Or, a friendly customer who wouldn’t mind having his or her picture taken beside a row of canned goods or perhaps in front of  magazine rack?

Fortunately, common sense and a yearning for cheesecake caused me to wander toward the Haggen bakery where I took my last environmental photo.

Did I learn anything new with this assignment. Oh yes!

I learned:

1.) When prepping a photo I need to keep my small talk to a minimum as I tend to chatter when I am nervous which puts off my subject.

2.) Remember to flip the camera switch to the “ON” position before I take a photo.

3.) Allow my camera’s auto-focus to “focus” prior to taking a photo or series of photos.

4.) Experiment more with differing apertures and shutter speeds aka “becoming one with the camera.”

5.) Thoroughly read the class assignment instructions PRIOR to going out and taking photos.

6.) Learn the correct camera setting when taking a photo of a subject who seems to be surrounding in bright artificial light.

That is all for today. May the photographic force be with you all.

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The Shy Photographer

Greg Ferry, 46, walking the Fairhaven Trail, Fairhaven, Wash. When asked if he wouldn’t mind me taking his picture, Ferry, said, “I love having my picture taken.” When asked what one thing he could not live without, Ferry lifted up the clear plastic water jug he was holding and said, “Water.” (Photo by Sandra Rees-Bowen)

I love taking photographs of people; however, I realized during this project that there was and still is a lot I do not know about the various functions of my Canon Rebel. I will be working more with my camera and learn how to set the shutter speed and aperture individually with no assistance from the automatic exposure adjustment.

David, 61, and Paula, 58, walking along the bridge connecting Boulevard Park, Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday, April 9, 2017. when asked what each could not live without, Paula said, “David.”
David said, “Paula, good people and good things.” (Photo by Sandra Rees-Bowen)

It was humbling to realize how shy I really am when it comes to meeting new people. I had to go beyond my reticence in asking a stranger if I could take their picture. After reviewing my photos I realized, belatedly, that I should have varied the angle of my photos more and change the camera settings as well.

Nicolas Roberg, 25, works at Clark Seed and Feed in Bellingham, Wash and was helping me with my purchase on Tuesday, April 11, 2017. When asked what one things he could not do without, Roberg said, “Animals, my furry children.” Photo by Sandra Rees-Bowen,


Practicing how to do so quickly, and with the results I am happy with will take time, but it will happen.

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Today’s Photographer, Steve McCurry

 In 1985 National Geographic published a cover photo of young Afghan girl garbed in red with mesmerizing green eyes. The man who caught the world’s attention with this now iconic photo, is photojournalist Steve McCurry. In a post entitled, “The Story Behind Steve McCurry’s Iconic ‘Afghan Girl’ Photo” written by Michael Zhang of NPR’s, “McCurry was in an Afghan refugee camp in Pakistan in December 1984 when he came across the girl in a makeshift classroom. “I noticed this one little girl with these incredible eyes and I instantly knew that this was really the only picture I wanted to take”… According to Zhang, this particular photo became one of the most popular images to grace the cover of National Geographic.

McCurry went on to publish his unique and topical photographs from India, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Tibet, Yemen, and many other seldom seen places by the typical international traveler. According to his website, his work has been published in “scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world.” So, what is it that makes McCurry’s photographs so special, so unique? Perhaps it has something to do with his driving need to use his photographs to tell the untold story, the story very few of us will ever see or experience. Or, perhaps McCurry has the adventurer’s soul with the need to travel and record on film his adventures and the people he meets.

McCurry didn’t start out in photojournalism straight from high school, He attended Pennsylvania State University where he studied film, after which he worked for a local newspaper for several years. And yet, it seems that being a local photojournalist was not enough for him. He yearned to do more. After a time, he left his job at the newspaper and according to the bio on his website,, “made his first of what would become many trips to India. Traveling with little more than a bag of clothes [and] another of film, he made his way across the subcontinent, exploring the country with his camera.” In essence, McCurry channeled his need for adventure and went off to India to take photos of people and events that would introduce to viewers all over the world to little seen events and places in the Middle East. A world of color and drama, a world viewed through McCurry’s camera that was so much different than their own.

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First blog post

This is your very first post. Click the Edit link to modify or delete it, or start a new post. If you like, use this post to tell readers why you started this blog and what you plan to do with it.

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