My Photo Lesson: The Art of Jumping

I’ve had two digital photography classes so far. I am no longer terrified of the technical. In fact, I am really looking forward to mastering the technical aspect of photography, then I can focus more on the creative side.

But it’s not easy.

You’d think with a Nikon D3000 DSLR (nice) camera, you could point, shoot, and voila – perfect pictures every press of the shutter. That is just not the case.

Sometimes it’s HARDER to get the pictures you want, especially regarding the intricate focus levels that have to be detected through a very small view finder. In the beginning, I was very eager to try all modes and learn. Then, I learned enough to dislike auto, but not knowledgable enough to go full manual. It put a bind on some of my practices. They would just frustrate me. Then, the 365 project came along. I had to get out my camera EVERY day and shoot something. It really helped get me over the hump. I can shoot auto if I need to. I can switch to manual when I feel confident enough.

Because….. maybe I don’t know everything, but putting the camera down until I do is not going to help in any way, shape or form. It’s day 23 of the 365 project.

One thing I have always wanted to try was jumping photographs. What held me back? It requires technical knowledge to capture.

With two digital photography classes under my belt and a homework assignment looming to photograph stopped motion……well, I just had to try. And guess what? You get to go on this learning journey with me.

I have two eager three willing subjects. Just so you know, a four and six-year old are much more inclined to jump for you (and happily), then say a sixteen-year old I pull off her Facebook page (rolls eyes).

So here they are……

Yes, they are cute as all get out. I can hardly stand it. Look at those smiles. But on a technical side. I forgot to meter the light. I had to edit to get it to be viewable. I also forgot my metering lesson in the Fort Worth store. This is what picking up your camera every day is all about. Using it (especially transitioning from auto to manual). It takes time and it takes mistakes.

I know what my settings need to be for jumping.

Somehow, I miss the mark. It’s not stopped motion. We do this over and over again with same results (see definition of insanity). I can’t get the shutter speed to stick and it results in blurred appendages (but cute happy jumping faces).

I’m real close to giving up and just chalking it up to not knowing enough about the technicalities. You can only get them to jump so many times in a row before they are….tired, cold, or checking their text messages.

So one goes inside (guess who?) and the other two play on the swing. I play with my settings. The light in the backyard is more shaded. The sun is going down. I could have my settings set for more light than I have. I change them.

I feel like I got a pretty stopped motion as Bridget is turning Molly on the swing. She is running.

I ask Bridget (who is MOST willing) to jump for me again.

Then Molly.

This is when I fall completely in love with jumping photos (technically correct or not). You just can’t get faces to light up like that in any other way. What it feels like to jump. To be free. To fly. How can you compare it? Have you jumped lately? Do you remember what it’s like?

I took a leap into photography possibilities.

I know I’m not perfect. I know there are some more settings I can try. I know the focus is off and I need to work more with those. I can definitely try again with better light outside. I think I may have some more jumping volunteers. All in all, it was great practice and great fun.

So let me ask you? What are you waiting for?

Just jump!