Farewell to the class of 2014

I find inspiration in working with young people; exciting lives ahead of them using the gifts they have been blessed with. Best wishes to the class of 2014 and thanks for the memories…

 

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Muscles…

As a photographer, it is necessary to analyze what is really going on below the surface and utilize lighting that communicates this mood, feeling or message.

These well-toned muscles are the result of many hours spent sweating and grunting in the humid, odorous high school weight room.  Flat lighting would not do the subject justice since it would minimize the lines and curves of the muscle sets. Give credit where credit is due by adding a back light to accentuate the hard, strong look and portray a more dramatic image.

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Canon 5D Mark 2, Canon 24-70 L lens, Alien Bee lights with umbrella bounced left of camera and through a softbox from behind subject and to the right of frame. Converted to black and white with bronze god Kubota Action added.

Is the image perfect? No. I am never totally satisfied with an image and always analyze to see what I could have done to improve it. I’d maybe add two back lights from each side and one front flash a little to one side. Or, add a little fill with a large reflector to bring a little definition to the torso. Hmmm…

It’s all about the energy

The energy of the mind is the essence of life. ~ Aristotle

I love life.  Life is up… life is down…  Images can reflect that emotion with a little planning.

Moyer-7598popdmvhpshcr2Long beautiful hair lends itself to the movement of the image above as does the fun, playful personality of the subject.  I focus on the subject, subject turns to the back, swings hair forward and just feel the fun.  I played with the cropping until I decided that this was the most pleasing angle.  Focus is tricky and the shutter was as fast as my flash sync would allow – 1/200. If using a darker background I back light the hair to show separation and depth. 5.6 ~ 1/200 ~ Canon 5d mark 2 ~ 70-200 L lens

VanD-6796wwdmvhpshcrBack light from the sun gives extra “spark” to the image as does the athletic pose of a volleyball player.  2.8 ~ 1/1000  ~ Canon 5d mark2 ~ 70-200 L lens

On the edge of adulthood…

…excitement, anticipation, anxiety, questioning, wondering…

This Bible passage seems to speak to young people as they look forward to graduation.
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Thoughts race through young minds on the cusp of a new world. Which direction should I go? Which school or vocation should I pursue? …and the age old question – What if I fail?
So many opportunities before them in high school and beyond. If one tries, there is an activity or pursuit that will fit their talents, personalities and interests.

I am usually in envy of young people with their whole adult lives ahead of them, but should I be? I am in a transition phase, as well, but I have many years of experiences and efforts behind me.  I already know what I can and cannot do so that narrows the field. (Lots of things I use to be able to do that are not options now)  I also know what I want to do which is also a plus.

The big question, though, is what SHOULD I do?

O.K., so maybe I’m not so different from these young guys and gals after all!  Maybe the Bible passage is a good one for all of us in any of our stages in life.  Hmmm…

Photo Friday ~ Express yourself with a collage.

High school is all about involving yourself in activities that play on your strengths and interests.  One way to remember the Glory Days is with a collage to commemorate an important time in your life.

16x20sportscollage_1B ~ RJMeyerArt

Wollschlager_sports16x20_4D

~ RJMeyerArt

It’s Photo Friday ~ A girl remembers Grandma’s place.

Photography is more than just documenting a time in one’s life.  It also captures the emotion of the subject and its background.

This young lady is a senior in high school and chose her grandmother’s childhood home as a location for some of her senior portraits.  The old farmyard is now beyond repair but still holds memories.  I’m sure we can all think of a time and place in our lives that we would like to go back and revisit.

Grandma's Place8x10

Grandma’s Place

Two images blended together. All available light

Background ~ 2.8 aperture ~  1/200 shutter  ~ ISO 400

Girl blended ~ 2.8 aperture ~ 1/1000 shutter ~ ISO 100

Graduation – A day in the journey called “life.”

Graduation is only a concept. In real life every day you graduate.  Graduation is a process that goes on until the last day of your life. If you can  grasp that, you’ll make a difference.

—Arie Pencovici

I had the opportunity to share the commencement experience with this class of 2012 in the rural community of Revillo, South Dakota. Even more special was the fact that I was their kindergarten teacher.  They may not remember much from kindergarten but I sure remember them. What a gift to be able to see how well they have matured and grown as individuals due to the influence of family and teachers that have helped them explore and develop each of their own gifts in life.

We may hail from a small, little corner of the earth but we make the best of all that life offers. We actually know our neighbors and are involved with our communities whether planning celebrations, supporting school, community or church events or attending life events of family and friends.  These graduates have learned that to be a member of a school and community means you need to be involved and work toward a common goal. These graduates may not realize it yet but it is truly a wonderful place to live.

 Congratulations to the class of 2012 and best wishes as you continue this journey we call “life.”