Candidly, I Like Photography. I Just Suck At It.

Really, I try and try, but when I look at what I shot, disappointment. Determined to get more enjoyment out of this hobby, and inspired by photos a buddy shot in Cambodia, I looked around Austin for a workshop to help me work the kinks out of my shitty shuttering.

While I found quite a few  workshops available, most were either full or too danged expensive. I did see one, however that piqued my interest. It was to meet in downtown Austin on Saturday and the group would walk through the Formula 1 Fan Fest. Fan Fest was part of the promotion machine put on by F1 in Downtown Austin to help support their big US Grand Prix debut at Circuit of the Americas just outside of town.  There were demonstrations, racing simulators, sponsor booths with pretty girls, classic car shows, and – because it’s Austin – live music and beer gardens.  With the hoopla surrounding the race, and the glut of international tourists in town for the weekend, there was promise of multiple photo opportunities. So, I dusted off the old digital SLR and joined the workshop last Saturday.

My goal: To suck less at photography.

The workshop was lead by photographer, Michael Long. Great guy. Very enthusiastic and informative. You can learn all about him and his workshops HERE. Mike lead me and three other wannabes up and down the Warehouse District streets blocked off for Fan Fest pointing out interesting subjects, and talked about shapes and colors and layers and f-stops and light and shade and composition. He helped some of us figure out how to operate our very automatic cameras manually. He would stop people and get them to let the four of us start shooting away hoping for that perfect image.

Well, as the day wore on, I felt sure I was going to get home and be disappointed again by a memory card full of under-exposed, out of focus and poorly composed photos. And I was right, almost.

Mixed in with all of the junk were a few that actually show that some progress was made. The trick, it seems, is to just keep on clicking – and remember to look at what’s in the background and the foreground, and make sure the exposure is correct, and make  sure it’s in focus, and remember the Rule of Thirds, and, and, and.

Anyway, I came away from Michael’s workshop slightly more confident that I might actually get the shot I wanted, sometimes. And that is light years from where I was. Thanks, Michael.

Here are a few shots from that day.

A few years ago the slogan, “Keep Austin Weird” was showing up everywhere from t-shirts to bumper stickers. With unique folks like these in town, I don’t think we have to worry too much about that.

Here are some building shots.

Some other folks nice enough to let us shoot their photo.


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