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  • Betty Girardeau

Continuing to Learn During A Pandemic

I think all of us would agree that 2020 has been a strange year with unexpected changes in our lives and disappointments over planned things we had to postpone or cancel entirely. But one thing that has impressed me and given me hope is the resiliency that I have seen. No one was happy about the need for masks. But when there weren't enough of them to go around, the internet was flooded with patterns and ideas for making them and means to distribute them initially where they were needed most. When musical performances had to be shut down, virtual choirs and concerts sprang up. And when workshops and conventions had to be cancelled, webinars were developed. These are just a few examples of how we have adjusted. As a photographer I have had a plethora of free webinars, workshops, and interviews with famous photographers offered and have taken advantage of quite a few of them. A couple of months ago I watched an interview with a man named Charles Needle, about whom I had never heard. His engaging personality was immediately evident, but the examples of his work were amazing. His impressionistic photos really spoke to me. I discovered Intentional Camera Movement (ICM) a couple of years ago on Pinterest and have been trying to learn and perfect that skill ever since. During the on-line interview with Mr. Needle I learned that he had written a book covering in-camera methods for creating impressionistic photographs. I immediately ordered it, and yesterday sat down and read through it cover to cover. I am particularly anxious to try some of his camera suggestions using a 70/300 mm lens after reading how he uses it to create some stunning images. I had to order a lens collar for that lens in order to try out the method he describes, so I have to wait until it arrives to try that out. But one chapter in his book "Impressionistic Photography: A Field Guid to Using Your Camera as a Paintbrush," is entitled "Impressionistic Smart Phone Photography." Today's image is one of several that I created on my walk late yesterday afternoon. Someday I would like to do an in person workshop with Charles Needle. In the meantime, this afternoon I am participating in a webinar with him on "Creative Macro Photography." I am still lamenting not being able to travel this year and attend photo workshops. But I have to say that the alternatives have been better than I could have imagined when the pandemic started.

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