Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"What Story Are You Trying To Tell" - Stoecklein Photography Workshop Part 2

Storytelling is my first love. Ever since I can remember I’ve always loved to tell a good story. As my 12 year old brother, J2 would tell me… “good story” is a matter of opinion. None the less I believe that history is determined by those who tell the story and I want to TELL MY STORY.

I’ve always packed a camera it seems, even if it was just a disposable card board camera from a gas station. ( I was once a wedding photographer with one of those cameras in a drive through wedding but that’s another story) The rodeo trail takes me down interesting paths and I like to be able to capture that moment in time with a picture.

8 th grade photography and darkroom class was the only formal training I’d ever had. This last summer I had the opportunity to attend a Stoecklein Photography Workshop. It was amazing! It opened my world up to new technology and a technical aspect of photography that I’d never before investigated.

Keep in mind I was a newbie at this class. Even though I had been taking pictures for a long time, they were your average household snap shot. I came to the workshop with a 5 year old Canon Power Shot Elph 600 with a 3x zoom lens and 6.0 mega pixels. (Yes, most people’s camera phones are better than that : ) I had no idea what aperture or ISO meant. As you can see I had a lot to learn!

There was another detail about the workshop that I loved! There was a wide range of students with different skill levels and interests. Darrell Dodds, Western Horseman Editor, was even in the class. Even though there was a wide range of students, the workshop was conducted in such a way that we could all learn and make forward progress.

Here are a few tips of the wonderful lessons that I walked away with!

  • NEVER delete pictures off of your card. NEVER, seriously, never ever delete photos off of your card. This is a transgression that I not only I had been making but numerous people I knew. The way Dave described it is that your card is like a book bind, pages interlocked together. When you delete a file out of the middle of the card, you permanently weaken that bind. Now I NEVER delete an image off of a card.

    I do save those images in 2 different locations and FORMAT the card (which wipes the card clean) for it's next use
  • Car Shammy ~ The morning over in the Pahsimeroi Valley it was raining. Dave fearlessly made his way thru the weather and rain with his cameras. When we finished shooting and got back in the truck to drive to our next location Dave wiped down his camera with a soft Car Shammy! Super great trick! I'm putting one in my camera bag.
  • Lightroom3 ~ Usually a "straight out of the camera" kind of girl....Lightroom3 is awesome. Simple editing program and just puts the finishing touches on a great photo! Dave and Taylor were both so helpful with tips and tricks to the program. Lots of free tutorials online also. This is a program that I will use and will study more before my next workshop so that my homework is done and I'm ready to learn more!
  • "Decide What Story You Are Trying To Tell" ~ David R. Stoecklein
    These were the most important words that I walked with throughout the weekend! I shoot so much more deliberately now and try to open myself up to opportunities for a story to tell.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to Dave for sharing his years of experience and talents with us! Thank you to all the cowboy models who share their western world with the camera lens! Thank you so so much again to the Stoecklein Photography Workshop family for letting me spend the weekend with you! I look forward to going again in the future!

Are you interested in a attending a Stoecklien Photography Workshop?
Here is a link to more info: Stoecklein Workshops

Also check out WESTERN HORSEMAN for Darrell Dodds's article
"Looking for the Light" where Darrell shares his Stoecklein Workshop experience
February 2012 Issue, page 79

I'd like to share a few of my favorite images from the Stoecklein Photography Workshop:

THANK YOU for traveling the gypsy trail with me today! Here's a lil' extra treat!
A taste of some of the DELICIOUS Mary Stoecklein dishes we enjoyed during the workshop!
Here is a link to some of the delicious dishes we enjoyed throughout the weekend!

  1. Cheesy Card Game Chip Dip ~
  2. Just for You Sweet Pea ~ Sugar Snap Pea Appetizer:
  3. Treat Your Taste Buds - Tomato Salad:

Happy Trails! ~Mindy

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