Friday, March 2, 2012

Goodnight, New York City

February has come and gone which means my Souvenir Foto School has sadly come to an end. I had a blast this month and loved seeing my classmates' submissions the last four weeks, their kind comments, and suggestions. I've impressed myself with how far I'd go to get a shot and how many photos I'll shoot until I get there (I was averaging 150+ per day)! I still need to practice my Photoshop skills, but hooray for going from HDR and mindless texture and expanding to actions, levels, and curves. I'm so grateful to Tristan and Michelle for giving me such a good reason to get back into photography and rediscover how much I enjoy it.
I remember being on the subway platform that first day and taking endless pics of the A train when I was approached by a guy who wanted to know if I was doing it professionally or as a hobby. "Oh, a hobby," I shyly replied and turned away so he wouldn't keep asking more questions. I felt so self-conscious!

Fast-forward four weeks later and I'm walking right up to a farmer's market stand, DSLR in hand, and asking the three people behind it if I could take some photos for a project. Maybe someday I'll feel brave enough to take portraits, but for now I'm happy that this has pushed me to be a tiny bit bolder and go for the things I want.
One of the best things about having chosen New York City as my theme for this project has been rediscovering how beautiful this city is - especially at night. I've gone off to spots I never cared to see before or just never knew were there. Like seeing firsthand how breathtaking the view of the Manhattan skyline from Gantry Plaza State Park truly is, finding myself alone on the Yankee Stadium's floodlit path, and watching the last bits of light catch on the Unisphere's rings as the sun started to set over Queens. This photo set was not only meant to give others glimpses of my city, but also spark up that pride within me. I get to call this home.
I love the momentum this class has given me and now that the session is over, I would hate to slip back into old habits and let the camera collect dust again. Plus, it was so much fun getting to critique each other's work, hear the stories behind our shots and the new ways we've pushed ourselves, that I just want to keep the creative juices flowing.
So starting next week, Tristan, Michelle, my classmate Andrea and I will be moderating a Souvenir Foto School alumni group! It'll be a weekly thing this time around because after all I do need to recover from this daily business. Hopefully this will keep my classmates and me accountable, entertained, and sharp for whenever the next session rolls around. And when it does, I'll be sure to let you all know so you could join this little community I've come to adore.

P.S. Guess what? My B is for Brooklyn Bridge won a class prize!

7 comments :

  1. I want to take awesome pictures too, please send me info about that school. Thanks.

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    1. It's called Souvenir Foto School and it's very informal. Just a group of us signed up to be a part of this Flickr group (this session cost $30) led by two photographers/bloggers. This session was a photo-a-day challenge following the alphabet and you could choose a theme or shoot whatever. We upload our daily photos and comment on each other's work, provide thoughts, and suggestions, and the teachers give us pointers on how to improve our photos. It was really laid-back and fun and it pretty much goes by how much time and effort you have to put into it.

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  2. Awesome! Have fun with your future photography, and congrats on winning the class prize! :)

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  3. Oh, that night shot of the city lights is classically fabulous!

    You took a bunch of fabulous photos - you could be a professional. I wouldn't know how to get started in that career - it must be a tough one and getting more and more so each digital day.

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