I grew up playing tennis. What I loved about it, that I miss in normal life is that when you had a problem with any stroke you could go out and do it over and over and over again until you got it right. You can’t do that in real life. If you screwed up a conversation or an apology or an interview you can’t go and do one of those over and over and over until you nail it just right.
Today though…today I had a pretty amazing experience. I’m a photographer. I try to work on my skill set daily. Something I’ve wanted to learn to do better is to respond to different lighting situations quickly and consistently get magical shots. In other words, if I’m shooting the same person but the light keeps changing I want to get my talent to be so instinctual that I know exactly how to alter ISO, aperature, shutter speed and flash so fast I can capture the shot and capture it beautifully. But how do I practice that?
Well, as I was practicing my photography today the most amazing thing happened. My daughters were my subjects while they practiced their violins. Our Mid Century house has big triangular windows at the top of the walls. The light is magical at certain times of the day and year. Winter is amazing in my bedroom in the early afternoon and that’s where we were shooting. I shot for about 15 minutes in bright beautiful cross light that I use as my fill light. All of a sudden the room got much darker. And then it got much lighter. A herd of scattered clouds blew in front of the sun. For 45 minutes the light constantly kept changing from light to dark and everything in between, sometimes as fast as in 15 seconds. Initially, I was frustrated and it didn’t dawn on me to use this as a great practice tool. I was waiting for it to get bright again and then I saw the gift I was given. For 45 minutes I had to react and change the light settings to get each situation to look beautiful. I had to change ISO, aperature, shutter speed, flash intensity, flash placement and the placement of my bounce. It was the very situation I had wished for: the opportunity to practice over and over and over again to react and nail different light.
I’m geeking out right now. I’m sure this isn’t the thing that makes the hair on the back of most people’s necks stand up but to me this is the Universe’s way or God’s way of saying “ I love what you are trying to accomplish. I support you!”.