Back in the Swing of Things

About a month ago Tom (my boyfriend) and I went back to Missouri to visit my family. On one of the days, we decided to visit the Missouri Botanical Gardens. What a perfect opportunity to jump-start the portfolio revival!

It was Tom’s first time there and it had been about six or seven years since I’d been there myself, so we grabbed a map and started exploring! Fun fact: the Missouri Botanical Gardens span 79 acres and were founded in 1859, which makes them the oldest gardens in continuous operation.

At first, we just started wandering and I  started taking pictures of things I thought were pretty and/or interesting looking. That lasted about five minutes before we grabbed the aforementioned map and made a loose plan of which gardens we were going to see (even though we ended up visiting all of them). At this point, I also started thinking about what pictures I’d like to see hanging in offices or hospitals (or anywhere art is really), what areas I was interested in photographing, and what I could do now that was different from what I’d done in the past. This was, after all, the start of a portfolio reinvention. 🙂

We were there for about two hours and I believe I took slightly more than 200 pictures while we were out. Since we went just after they opened that day, there were very few people there. As I was looking through the pictures I’d taken, it looked as though we’d gotten a private tour. (As we were leaving, there were busloads of kids and their chaperones coming in and running all around, so I can attest to how important timing is!!) While I love the photos I shot, I do want to go to festivals and events this summer and fall to shoot people and interactions.

I’m sure by know you’re at least a tad curious about these photos I’m talking about. So, without further ado, here are some of my favorite pictures from this excursion.

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While I was editing all of my favorites, I noticed that I like to shoot vertically. On the other hand, when it comes time to weed out the lesser pictures, I tend to pick the horizontal photographs. In addition to doing color edits of my top picks, I made black and white edits just to see if they would be stronger. In most cases, I didn’t like the way they looked.  I thought that was strange considering I like shooting with black and white film and I liked editing B&W photos when I was doing projects in college (for which we had to use black and white in the final draft). Maybe the answer to these conflicting opinions is the fact that when I was shooting at the gardens I was looking for colors and patterns and when the photographs were converted they lost that oomph.

Furthermore, I noticed that when I photograph I strongly rely on the rule of thirds on the left side (maybe because I’m right handed and like things aligned to the left?). As an added quirk, I love to get nice and close to objects to really fill the frame.  I’ve always wanted a macro lens so I could shoot more effectively in that regard. I do realize that it is important to have space in my photographs though, so that’s another thing I’ll have to pay attention to in order to have a nice variety in my portfolio as I continue my photog adventures.


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