Month in Review – November

November’s Topic of the Month – The Night Sky

While I had the opportunity to edit and share images from my night sky workshop in October and some older images as well, I didn’t actually have the chance to get out and shoot the night sky in November, so I guess the topic of the month was a bit of a fail.  There is always another night to get out, and now that we are into the very short days of winter, I don’t have to stay up too late to do so.  Fingers crossed I can get out and get some local images…. maybe even some aurora shots if the stars line up 🙂

What’s new this month?

I’ve come to the realization this month that in 2018 I’ve done some really deep dives into editing in lots of different ways, but I’ve really not spent much time out shooting, which feels like a real missed opportunity, and something that I need to amend moving into 2019.  When I do get out with my camera I quickly get into the zone and find it such an enjoyable activity, that I really need to prioritize it more.

5 favourites – November

What’s coming up next?

I’ve decided not to have a specific topic of the month in December.  The month always slips by in such a whirlwind of activity and family time that I would rather just share when I can, and explore what interests me at a given moment, than trying to fit into a specific topic.  I’m also going to spend some time thinking about topics and projects for 2019, which is coming up so soon.

2018-10-31: October in review

Another month has come to a close.  I think I am a bit like a broken record now, always saying I don’t know where the time goes and how the days pass by so quickly.  There’s a chill in the air though and several windy days have rid the trees of all but the most persistent leaves.  Autumn is on it’s way out.

October’s topic of the month

Over the month of October, I worked on using all three of my editing programs – On1 Photo Raw, Topaz Studio and Luminar, to compare and contrast the different programs and try to get a good feel for the strengths and weaknesses and in which situations the different programs shine.  I didn’t really come to any strong conclusions, except for images shot at very high ISO, in which case Topaz is my clear choice (specifically being able to use Denoise 6).

What’s new this month

I had the chance to get away for a week and a half in the desert of Southern California, and opportunity to relax and recharge my batteries, and do a little bit of photography as well.  While I was there, I took a night sky photography workshop in Joshua Tree National Park, and look forward to sharing images.  I also had a chance to play around with my new infrared filter.  There are a lot of nuances to infrared photography that I need to learn, but it was fun just meandering in the desert taking photos of cactus and seeing what happened.

5 favourites of the month

What’s coming up next?

For November, I am going to focus on the night sky.  I have some images that I would like to share from California, and hopefully it will stay warm enough that I don’t have to bundle in too many layers to get out at home and capture a few images.  Fingers crossed!

 

 

2018-10-02: September in Review

My goodness did September ever slip by quickly!  Here we are at the start of October, the leaves are already bright yellow and littering the ground around my home, and soon the birch trees will be complete bare in preparation for winter.

September’s Topic of the month – Topaz Studio

September has definitely been another good month for editing for me!  I’ve really enjoyed diving into the Topaz Studio program and learning how to use it effectively.  I’m starting to determine where Topaz falls into my editing process, but I think that will become even clearer after exploring my topic of the month for October.

What’s new this month

It seems to be a usual comment for me the past couple of months, that I have not created as many opportunities to get out and shoot as I would like.  I have been getting my camera out a bit during my daily walks to try and capture some of the brilliant yellow autumn leaves before they are all blown away, but I’ve not had a chance to review and see if there is anything there worth editing and sharing.

5 favourites for September

What’s coming up next?

After two months of deep dives into different programs, I’ve decided that for October I am going to edit series of images, comparing the capabilities of On1 Photo Raw, Luminar and Topaz Studio.  I think as people contemplate adding new tools to their editing process, or making a change to the software they are using, it is helpful to see how different programs compare to each other, and some of the relative strengths and weaknesses.  I’m going to do my best to pick images with both some serious challenges (exposure issues, heavy noise, challenging environmental conditions) and ones that need relatively little editing at all.

2018-05-31: May in Review

May’s Topic of the Month – Painterly Effects

The photo project for the month was painterly effects, and I really enjoyed getting to play around with impressionist and watercolour effects to some of my images.  I think my favourite was my post from May 27th that showcased elephants.

What’s new this month

Photographically I had a few things going on in May.  I finally invested in the Fuji 100-400mm (and a 1.4x teleconverter) and I am really looking forward to getting out and getting the feel for a new lens.  I’ve really been lacking in the actual photo taking the last few months, concentrating more on editing what I have already shot, and that is a trend I definitely want to change.

I also said goodbye to my Adobe Creative Cloud membership this month.  I moved away from Lightroom some time ago, and wasn’t using Photoshop enough to justify the monthly expense.  I use On1 Photo Raw as my main editing suite, and also have Skylum Luminar and the Topaz Suite.  It is interesting to play around with new combinations of software; my editing may take longer in some cases, but I am thinking about things a lot more and how I want to create my image.

Five favourites from this month

What’s coming up next?

For June I have decided to concentrate on bird photography.  Our weather has warmed up and we have some summertime visitors, plus I have the new lens I want to work with.  I am really looking forward to getting out and capturing some bird images to share.  I’m not looking forward to battling the mosquitos, but that’s just part of life in Prince George in the spring and summer.

 

 

2018-04-30: April in Review

 

April’s topic of the month – Wide Angles Only

I would say that this topic was a failure, at least for getting out and shooting more.  I should have known better than to set myself a target that required getting out and shooting when winter still hadn’t released it’s grip, and being outside was of no real interest to me.  There were some silver linings though, in that I finally got around to reviewing and editing video from my trip to East Africa.  That was a lot of fun and I don’t know if I would have done that otherwise.  I was digging deep to find anything that remotely fit with my topic.

What’s new this month

I’ve been working on some new designs in my Vida shop.  Here is one of the new items I have added in the past month.

Screen Shot 2018-04-01 at 9.24.23 AM.png

 

I’ve also added a few new images to my gallery pages.  If you haven’t checked them out, please do and let me know what you think.  Like anything, it is a work in progress.

Five favourites from this month

Despite feeling like my Wide Angles project was not a success, two of the images I shot are in my favourites for the month.  I’m sure if I looked at these images yesterday, or tomorrow, the choices would be different, but these were the ones that caught m eye.

What’s coming up next?

I haven’t decided yet on my topic of the month for May, so check in Sunday and find out what I’m going to go with.  Looking through my list, painterly effects caught my eye, but I almost feel like I should be saving a more computer based topic for when the weather turns cold again in the fall.  We shall see 🙂

 

2018-04-01: March in Review

Another month has come to a close, and we are still no closer to spring here in Prince George.  I guess I should be grateful because it’s given me lots of time to work on my website, edit photos and work through some learning resources, but in all honesty, I’m ready for warmer weather, being able to see my lawn, and having the opportunity to get out and explore some new places with my camera (without needing to bundle in 3 layers of warm clothing.

March’s topic of the month – Multiple Exposures

I had hoped to create both in computer and in camera images for this project, but in the end the weather got the better of me, and I spent the time at the computer instead of with camera in hand.  So it ended up being a bit of a continuation of the revisiting old work project, and I had the chance to travel down memory lane a bit with my photos and create something artistic out of my old images.  I’m happy with the results; it was also good to take the time to work on some basic skills in photoshop, like masking and blending, but now it’s time to pick a project that involves getting out shooting each week.

What’s new this month

I’ve continued adding images to my gallery and have flagged a fair number more that need to be added in April.  Please feel free to head over, take a look, and let me know what you think.  The opportunity to purchase prints is now built into the gallery; images are printed by Bay Photo and shipped directly to you, in the size and medium of your choice.

Five favourites from this month

What’s coming up next?

Even though it is only the first day of the month, I have already started creating some new designs for my Vida shop, with lots more planned!  More images are destined to hit my gallery this month as well.

The topic for the month I have chosen to explore in April is Wide Angles Only.  Since I have a tendency to want to zoom in and get up close, I thought it might be nice to force myself to shoot limited to a range of 25mm and wider.

 

 

2018-02-28: February in review

There have been lots of exciting changes over the month, so I have decided to start a month in review post as a way to share what’s going on, highlight a few of my favourite images posted during the month, and let you know what the topic will be for next month.  So let’s get started.

February’s topic of the month: Revisiting old work

I really enjoyed having a reason to scroll through the early days of my photo catalogues, looking for images that I may have overlooked the first time around, or just didn’t know how to properly edit them.  It is a process I would recommend to anyone that is looking to see how far they have progressed as an artist.  I found the then and now edits to be the most valuable though, as I could look at an image with fresh eyes compared to a previous interpretation.  Some times the results were quite subtle, but I definitely learned a lot doing the work.

What’s new this month

A lot has been happening behind the scenes in February!  I was able to finally move ahead with combining my blog and gallery sites into one cohesive website.  You may have noticed the change to www.jennifersawickyphotography.com.  I’m happy to have everything centralized in one place; it will make it much easier to share content in the future.  I did all work myself, and I’m definitely not a web expert so it probably took me twice as long as it should, but it was a way to learn some new skills, challenge my brain a bit, and exercise my creativity in a slightly different way.  All wins!  My gallery is still under construction, but please take a look around and let me know what you think.  I will be continuing to add more items over the coming weeks.

Five Favourites from this month

 

What’s coming up next?

For March, I have decided that I want to work on showcasing multiple exposures.  I am definitely going to try my hand at doing some in camera multiple exposures, but I have had several ideas percolating for images for some time from items already in my catalogue, so this will give me the perfect opportunity to finally work on them.  The winter has been challenging with a lot of snow, and I don’t think that it is wise to set myself a topic for the month that requires getting out a lot with my camera.  The snow in my backyard for example is now waist high, so getting around and exploring is a bit tricky.  And to be honest, not super appealing.

This is one of the multiple expose images I created last year.  I am excited to delve into more work like this 🙂

Dreaming of the herd