What I learned at the Ren Faire…

If I could bear the torture of another degree, I would get one in Anthropology. Culture fascinates me, and its all around us.

The first day of the first Billings Ren Faire was wonderful. Quite warm, but then I think the sheer magic of the day left many feeling quite alright even in the sweltering heat. I am also sure than many, like yours truly, came home looking a bit pinker than when we left this morning. I also came home with a wider sense of the world and of us, human beings. We are so interconnected. Everything we do affects those around us, and we don’t even know it. Like pebbles in the water, we each create a magical web of ripples from one to another.

There were many highlights of the day, but perhaps my most favorite was watching these two warriors battle it out on the main field. Intrigued by the interesting armor, my attention was continually drawn to their sparring. I later learned they are father and son. That small bit of information transformed the voice of the images for me. I could be fine in not knowing anything else (though i am VERY curious about the character stories here), because the element of what makes us human speaks for itself. It makes the images feel that much more authentic. I feel honored that I was there to share in thier moment.

So many more awesome photos! I have to crawl to bed though, or I’ll never make it through the day, and there is so much more to observe and capture. My batteries are charging as I speak…

Blessings to all,

~Gypsy Moon~

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My own studio *le sigh*

I fully enjoyed working on these photos and I can’t wait to work on the rest. Even though I am half crippled at the moment, I took over 800 shots, in probably 9 differant lighting arrangements before getting what I really liked. I was incrediably grateful to my assisstants, even though some of them ran off early, as young ones often do. Thats alright.

I so enjoyed getting up close and personal with my horses. Naturally, I already “know” them all, and thier personalities. But this was so much differant. More intimate. In a controlled setting, but I allowed enough freedom for the horses to react on thier own. It was up to me to be able to see those moments when the perfect light, and the perfect reflection, and the perfect body position and the perfect expression converge into one moment in time. And when I would see those near perfect moments, I would often gasp. Oh! Thats Beautiful! I would exclaim. Not to anyone in the room, but to myself. I forget that there are others there, helping me out. Something happens though, when I step behind that lens. At this point, I can’t tell you what it is, but I do know I enter a differant world and all else falls away outside of my subject and myself.

There were alot of techincal/set type of frustrations though, such as the backdrop not being completely smooth (which didn’t matter in the end) or big enough to cover the small area I had to work with. My lights, reflectors and diffusers work well enough for now, but I would love to play with some gels at some point. And just having more room to move.

Yes, I would like to have a studio. Big enough for a large horse, but in a manner that I could use it for dancing also if I wished. I already see in my mind how I would like my lighting and backdrops to be setup, safely.

Yes, this is where I see myself going in the next 5 years.

This is my experiance.

My little buddy Prize.

 

Graduate school I am finding is very difficult. As it should be. But I really am taking a beating creatively when I feel unable to consistently produce the kind of images that I both want and my instructors expect. This feeling of inadequacy is compounded by my lack of technical skill with the camera, since I am SO very new to the medium. But like any tool, the more I use it, the easier it will become to instinctively do things. I stopped shooting on automatic last summer. Since then I purchased the D7000, which I Love, but is much more advanced that my previous D3000. I am only now able to make good technical decisions in a short period of time. I used to sit for an hour almost trying to remember where everything was. Where is the ISO button again? Oops, that was the white balance. Now how did I do that? The lesson I learned that I wish I had learned first? Shoot RAW. I really regret NOT shooting in RAW format.

But despite all those hang ups, I go back and look at my photos on a regular basis. Not in vain, but because I am analyzing, How could this have been better, with the knowledge I know have?

And that’s when I see images like this. That maybe aren’t compositional perfect, but it is definitely my view. This is how I experienced this moment with my horses. And I was able to capture that, instantly. And share it with the world. I can only pray that others will feel the love and wonder that I do when I look at this images. This is how I want all my work to be, something personal. Something I am sharing with the world. My personal view on the world around me. I don’t think its any better or worse than anyone else s. It is valid only because it is different, just as everyone is. Not two people on this earth see the same thing, the same way. No one has the exact same experience. And to me, that is beautiful.

 

Playful Diego

Perhaps I am simply on another evolving artistic journey. My last one lasted 20 years. And even though I will at times feel guilt for not using all of my skills the way I probably should, that guilt reminds me to be honest with myself. By doing so, I can recognize both the good and the not so good and either eliminate what isn’t useful and help to grow what is. Isn’t that what growth is all about anyways? Breaking down the old so you can make room for the new.

I watched a documentary on Sally Man tonight, as we have a discussion question revolving around some of her work and our response to it. While personally I wasn’t a fan of her photos, I realized many things. I have a huge amount of respect for this woman. And what she does, she does from the heart. It is an incredibly personal journey for her. I admired and understood the way she looked at the world. I admired that open fascination with everything around her. I understood that need to create.

I have never felt the creative freedom that I have with photography. I am opening doors and doing things that I NEVER would have done before. I consider what I do my “work”. It is not a hobby. It is NOT something that I want to do on the side to make some money. If I wanted that, I would have become a wedding photographer (and please know I mean NO disrespect what so ever, some peoples passion is that type of photography and I applaud it!), It is becoming a way of life. I am learning a new and wonderful language.

What I needed is a way to speak. Photography has given me a voice.

 

"The Offering"