Kathleen Bowman Photography: Blog http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog en-us (C) Kathleen Bowman kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) Tue, 12 Sep 2017 17:48:00 GMT Tue, 12 Sep 2017 17:48:00 GMT http://www.shekinahphotography.com/img/s5/v127/u52754166-o1026686749-50.jpg Kathleen Bowman Photography: Blog http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog 120 120 Morning Walk http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2017/9/morning-walk With all the smoke in the air in my little corner of southern Idaho lately, it's been too unhealthy for me (with my asthma) to exercise outside, so I thought I'd post some images that I took with my iPhone, on a walk I took previously, at this same time of year.  What a beautiful, clear, blue sky that we had that day, compared to this year.  Today is the first day I can really see much blue sky at all in a couple of weeks, at least.  There's a cold front on the way that should blow the smoke out of the valley, provide some rain and hopefully help put out the fires in the surrounding areas.  Prayers going out to all those living in all of the disaster areas right now, from the Texas flooding to the Hurricane Irma victims to all of the fires (in many states) and even earthquakes recently.  I hope you enjoy these images!

Beautiful sunflowers...

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Shadows and my little furry companion, Murray.

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Patriotism and some more beautiful flowers...

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Walk-Sept 10, 2014-7Walk-Sept 10, 2014-7   How about you?  How's the weather in your area?  Have you been out in your neighborhood or are you experiencing some weather related issues, as well?  Let me know in the comments below.  I hope you are all safe and sound.

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) blue sky flowers idaho iphone photos neighborhood walk outdoor life walk http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2017/9/morning-walk Tue, 12 Sep 2017 17:47:33 GMT
Overcoming Obstacles, for the love of photography #1 http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2017/7/overcoming-obstacles-for-the-love-of-photography-1 I'm getting painfully real here today…I love photography, but there are times that getting out to photograph are especially difficult or not even doable for me.  If you are someone who deals with one or more health conditions that limit your activity, I’m sure you can relate.  I won’t list all of mine, but a major one is Hypothyroidism, with it’s many, sometimes debilitating, symptoms.  I began doing a lot with my diet last fall to help with this condition, through 316 Health Solutions, and many of my symptoms have improved or gone away.  I highly recommend checking out their website if you have thyroid and/or adrenal issues of any kind.  Dr. Bryon Coker and his wife are an amazing and caring Christian couple who love helping people on their healing journey.

I have trouble with extreme temperatures and have a very limited window of comfort where temperatures are concerned.  At times my legs feel so heavy and weak they feel like I have cement blocks attached to my feet, making a hike or even a 1-mile walk difficult, if not impossible.   Other times, my fatigue is such that I can only dream of going out to take pictures.

There's a saying I've been using lately that helps me put things into perspective and prioritize..."I can only do what I can when I can do it."  This phrase has helped me not beat myself up when I can't go capture a sunrise or sunset due to my symptoms at any given time. My health and getting enough sleep are high on that priority list for me, even higher than my photography business.  I know God wouldn't want my to get down on myself, so I just ask, "What can I do right now?  What's realistic?  What's best for my health?  How can I do enough, but not so much that I set my health back?  So, what do I do to overcome when these symptoms flare up?  I improvise.

I photograph the outdoors from inside my home. Any window in your home may have potential for this type of shooting.  Some things to consider are: the size, direction and quality of the light outside, functionality, (can it open? can you remove the screen?) and the view looking outside.  Some windows have an amazing view outside all the time, but sometimes it's the light and weather that makes the outside view amazing.

I took this image during this past winter of 2016/17, one of historic snowfall in much of the USA, my own town included.  On this day, I was up before sunrise, which is difficult enough for me, but it was also bitter cold out, as you can tell by the icicles.   I was too tired to bundle up and go out to take images, but my heart yearned to go out as the warm, morning light lit up the outdoors as seen from our master bathroom.  Determined to capture this beautiful morning, I decided to capture the scene from indoors, where it was nice and comfy warm.

Another place in my home from where I often photograph the outdoors is my laundry room.  I call it my “blind” because it’s on the second story and only has one fairly small window through which I can photograph things in our backyard, including the birds without bothering them.

To see some of the images taken from my “blind”, read my blog post, Frosty Morning, HERE.

Do you have a health condition?  Let me know how you overcome your obstacles and still continue to do what you love.  I’d love to hear about it!

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) fatigue health health conditions hypothyroidism indoors obstacles outdoors overcoming obstacles photography strategies http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2017/7/overcoming-obstacles-for-the-love-of-photography-1 Wed, 05 Jul 2017 20:46:47 GMT
11 Things I Learned While Photographing a Newborn & Siblings, on Location. http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2017/5/11-things-i-learned-while-photographing-a-newborn-siblings-on-location If you know me and are familiar with my work, you will know that people portraits are not my cup of tea.  Oh, I do them for family and sometimes for close friends, mainly for the experience and because I love them, but I am primarily a nature & landscape photographer.

Well, I recently took my first newborn (actually a one month old baby) portraits for a friend of mine.  I also took some of the baby with her older siblings. Boy do I have a lot to learn!  It was a humbling experience for me.  I didn’t feel as prepared as I’d hoped.  In fact, I was a little overwhelmed.  It didn’t help that during the shoot, we got news of a friend who had suddenly passed away.  That made the rest of the shoot a lot harder.

The siblings ended up being more of a candid shoot due to the younger one not being in the mood for pictures and me not being used to working with younger kids for portrait pictures.  I managed to get a couple cute shots with genuine happiness, though, so I consider my first attempt a success of sorts.

 Well, on to the photos...(scroll down to go straight to the 11 Things I Learned)

These are the precious children I was honored to be able to photograph. This is one of the more posed shots using a fluffy off-white piece of material draped over their couch, for a clean background

 We moved to the floor for this next shot.  The cutie on the left was not really in the mood for having her picture taken, so this idea was a last ditch effort to get some smiles out of her. "Hey, want to lay on the floor and take pictures?"  She went for it.  After throwing another blanket on the floor, I was able to get several happy/candid shots this way. When we were finished, I thanked them and gave them each a "big sister" gift which kept them quiet and busy for a bit while we photographed their baby sis.

The mother had some letters spelling out BABY, so I incorporated them into this image.

The mother's friend made this cute mermaid tail for the baby, so we were sure to use that.  I brought the props like the crate, fishing net and some shells to add to the scene and used different colored materials to suggest the water and a sandy beach.  As expected, (due to being a bit older for a newborn shoot) the baby didn’t stay in positions very well.  She kept flopping her arms straight out, but in the end, it did make her look very relaxed.  This is my favorite of the mermaid shots.

And now...11 Things I Learned While Photographing a Newborn & Siblings, on Location.

1. Try to visit the location ahead of time.  WHY? This will give you time to check out the location for lighting options, space and what props, backgrounds, etc… you may need to bring the day of the shoot. 

2. Plug in a space heater in the area where you’ll be photographing the baby, as soon as you arrive on location.  WHY? Baby will be more comfortable, especially if he/she isn’t wearing much clothing.  Be sure you wear light clothing so you aren’t too hot; especially if you’re prone to hot flashes. (I mean, personal summers, tee hee)

3. Don’t forget to have the parents fill out and sign the model release or releases before the shoot.   WHY?  This prevents you from having to go back or mail them in a stamp-addressed return envelope and waiting for them to be signed and returned.  Yep, I forgot this.  The animals and landscapes I usually shoot aren’t normally required to sign. lol

4. Go ahead and take the time to set up lighting if you brought it. (try to use them, even if the space is small, especially if there’s not much available light and/or you are used to using natural light rather than flash)  WHY? To help maintain faster shutter speeds with unpredictable and moving subjects, like children usually are.  Yep, I got a few images with motion blur at this shoot.

5. Set up a background stand, if there's room to eliminate the background of the environment, unless you’re intentionally including it, and simplify your shots. WHY?  When you decide you need it, you won’t have your assistant or worse, the children’s’ mother, (or both) holding up the material.  Nope, I didn't set one up, do to the small space we were working in.  Too bad I didn’t take a BTS (behind the scenes) picture of the situation, you’d get a good laugh. If I had to do it over again, I would have tried to make it work.

6. Take time to connect or reconnect with the children you’ll be taking images of, if you haven’t seen them in a while,.  Make them smile and laugh if you can.  Ask about their school, friends, favorite subject, favorite toy/doll, etc... Also, don't be afraid to act silly to get our of them what you need.  WHY? It should help them be more cooperative. I did this, but not as much as I should have.

7. Wait until your set is ready before adding the subjects.   WHY? Young children aren’t as patient.  They will most likely tire quickly and be ready to go play or do something else in a very short amount of time.

8. Have two separate times to photograph the newborn by himself/herself and another time to photograph the baby with siblings.   WHY? This will give more time to devote to each type of shoot, especially before baby gets hungry or needs a change.  It’s also less overwhelming, at least for me it would have been.  If you’re used to newborn and sibling photography, you may be fine doing them both at once, but then you probably aren’t reading this blog post.

9. Try to photograph the newborn within maybe 5-14 days and don’t do any post you don’t feel comfortable with.  WHY?  Baby is sleeping deeper and longer and is easier to pose (and keep in the pose) in those fetal positions that are so cute in newborn photographs.  There was a pose the mother wanted, but I/we were having trouble posing her and we didn’t push it, just to be sure we kept baby safe.  The pose may have worked fine a week or two before.

10.  Bring an assistant, or two, if you can.   WHY? Setting up and taking down all the equipment takes time and you don’t want to impose on the young family too long.  They can hold up the background if you didn’t have time or space to set up the stands, too. I took my husband, he’s a great assistant-but he was newer to this type of shooting than I was.  I suppose with practice, things could run like a well-oiled machine like I saw in some Youtube videos before the day of the shoot.  Speaking of Youtube videos…

11. Do your research. Learn all you can about photographing newborns and siblings before the big day.   WHY?  This can help prepare you for what you will be doing.  Although most of the videos did show that well-oiled machine of pros for whom this type of work is their bread and butter, it can still inspire you and give you ideas.

I took this last shot by putting the material over the front and shoulder of the mother and had her hold the baby.  An easy, no fuss, set up.

Are you new to newborn/sibling photography?  What have you learned that may help myself or others next time?  I'd love to hear about it!

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) babies children girls lighting location photography mermaid newborn photography on location one month old baby people photographing siblings portraits siblings sisters http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2017/5/11-things-i-learned-while-photographing-a-newborn-siblings-on-location Sat, 27 May 2017 16:10:03 GMT
The Unexpected http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2017/4/theunexpected Sometimes, in photography, you capture the unexpected; and sometimes, you miss it!  That's what happened last weekend when we (my hubby and I) were down at Swan Falls Dam.  

I was photographing this beautiful white pelican (in not so beautiful light) and a huge fish jumped straight up out of the water and down in again, in the background of my image.  I thought I may have captured it and was excited to check and see, but sadly, it was not there.  I did get the splash it made though, as you can see in this image.  That's the one that got away that day, both from myself and this pelican that was unaware the event even took place.  

I think these unpredictable moments are one thing that keeps me going back out in nature; being at the right time and in the right place to capture or yes perhaps, even miss capturing something spectacular.  A rainbow, an elusive animal or one you've never seen or photographed before, a bolt of lightening, etc...The fact that you get to see incredible things, whether you capture them or not is such a thrill!  Nature provides so many fun experiences and it always keeps me wanting to go back out for more of the unexpected...even if it gets away.

Have you had an unexpected moment you captured or even one that you missed?  I'd love to hear your story!  Tell me about it in the comments.

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) Idaho Snake River Swan Falls Dam animals birding birds fish nature splash water wildlife http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2017/4/theunexpected Tue, 04 Apr 2017 12:00:00 GMT
Great Gray Owl http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2017/2/great-gray-owl It was my first time seeing and photographing this bird in the wild...This amazing bird, the Great Gray Owl, is a rare sighting in Boise, Idaho. In the past, we've spent hours driving and looking for them in their usual habitat without success. My husband got off work early to accompany me for a chance to see it in our own backyard. What a treat to park, walk a few minutes and see it there perched low on a fencepost. It was easy to spot because there were quite a few other photographers there with tripods, monopods and cameras & lenses of all sizes and brands...all capturing this largest of the North American Owls.

In my excitement, it was hard to keep my hands from shaking. It was cold when we arrived.  The heavy overcast made for higher ISO settings, introducing digital noise into the images.  Soon the others left; except for a retired man, Dave, whom we had just met.  Dave was nice enough to share some good, unobstructed vantage points with me, before he left.  Thanks, Dave!

Now, it was just me, my husband and the Great Gray Owl.  The bird was not bothered by us, but would take flight once in a while or just bristle when joggers and/or their dogs would run past. We changed our position accordingly, so as to get unobstructed views for images.  As the light changed, so did my settings as well as the white balance.  In the image below, the owl had flown from where it had been perched, as yet another dog came by, and it landed low and very close to the trail.

It was very difficult to capture this bird in flight with all of the trees in this area (and the overcast sky and resulting slower shutter speeds or higher ISO).  Here, it flew up the hill a ways where it was clearer, but it was flying low so I still didn't get it without any grasses in the foreground. The owl landed on a fencepost.  At first I was downhill a bit from him and I walked slowly up the trail so I could get the composition you see in the image below.  I wanted to get a little closer and to the right, so I could get his whole body in the picture without the post in the way but I didn't want to bother him.  I sat down for a few minutes just to watch and enjoy the moment; just myself, alone with the owl. (my hubby had stayed further down the trail)  As you can see, the bird is looking away at something. Another jogger soon ran past me and the bird again flew off to another perch.   It once again began to rain only now it was more like spitting snow and it was getting dark.  If you look carefully, you can see the rain/snow in the image below. We were both getting pretty cold so we decided to call it a day.  I feel privileged to have been able to witness this bird and grateful to have brought home a few decent photos.  Some are pretty noisy, but I did what I could in Lightroom to remove it without losing too much detail.  Have you ever seen or photographed a Great Gray Owl in the wild?  If so, I'd love to hear about it.  Post about it in the comments!

 

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) Boise Great Gray Owls Idaho birding birds birds of prey nature owls raptors rare bird sighting wildlife http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2017/2/great-gray-owl Thu, 23 Feb 2017 21:15:08 GMT
Frosty Morning http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/12/frosty-morning Well, the seasons have changed again in Idaho.  Winter is here!  I'm getting over an illness so when the snow fell recently I didn't get to go into the field.   What I did do though, was go upstairs and open our laundry room window (what I like to refer to as my blind) and take some pictures the window.  It was much warmer, even with the window open, than going outside with the temperature in the teens.

Frost was covering everything on this bitter cold morning.  I was able to isolate one single leaf against a backdrop of our backyard fence.  It helped the frosty edges stand out.

We had some wildlife out this morning.  A Northern Flicker was eating berries off our Virginia Creeper.  A squirrel was running up and down trees and across the fence.  He had snow on his whiskers...so cute!  We also had some finches, Juncos, sparrows and robins around.

The sun appeared as if to tease anyone hoping for warmth, but the cold is going nowhere today.

Well, I must scurry off for now.  Let me know in the comments what wildlife comes to your yard in the wintertime.

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) BIRDS Idaho cold foliage frost leaves nature scenic snow trees winter http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/12/frosty-morning Thu, 08 Dec 2016 13:15:00 GMT
3 Glimpses of Idaho in the Fall http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/10/glimpses-of-fall-in-idaho Fall is my favorite season!  The colors of the changing leaves are amazing and are one of the things I love most about living in Idaho.  Last evening, my husband and I went for a short walk before sunset so we could enjoy some fresh air and I could get some fall shots.  We were a little later arriving than I was hoping, so some of the foliage was already beginning to be in the shade.  

 I think the image below is kind of cool looking with some leaves sharp and others out of focus.  This was taken with an aperture of f/2.8; which is how I got this effect.  

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As we walked along, I noticed this red leaf stuck in a tree.  It was originally facing the opposite direction, but I had my tall husband turn it around for me.  (Thank you, honey!)  I wanted the sun to be on the front rather than the underside of the leaf.  I usually like to take "found" shots, in other words to shoot things the way I found them, but sometimes I will push a weed out of the way if it's blocking a flower or something like that.  

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The sun was nearly down when I took the image below.  I like the color changes in this shot and the sun coming through the trees.  I used my monopod for the short walk and I used it to help with the weight of the lens I wanted to use.  I also wanted to get used to how the leg of my tripod (Three Legged Thingworks as a monopod since I haven't really used it that way. One of the legs unscrews and becomes a monopod.  Pretty cool, hu?

I used my 70-200mm lens so I could get more intimate images of the foliage rather than big landscapes.   I came away with a few shots I liked, but I will be going out again for sure.

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) Idaho Kuna autumn fall foliage greenbelt images nature scenic seasons http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/10/glimpses-of-fall-in-idaho Fri, 21 Oct 2016 02:31:27 GMT
Moose Adventure http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/9/moose-adventure Our recent trip to Colorado found us camping in State Forest State Park in an area whose claim to fame is the Moose. North Park is considered the moose viewing capital of Colorado, with over 600 moose to be observed year-round. At the Moose Visitor Center, we heard that a bull moose with two cows was seen up at Cameron pass, so we headed up.  I was so excited!  I’ve been wanting to photograph moose, especially a bull moose. We saw two moose in Glacier National Park, but they were pretty far off. We pulled into the parking lot at the top of Cameron Pass and it wasn't long before we saw the big Bull Moose.  I jumped out of the truck. It was raining on and off as I photographed the moose.

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This was my first time being fairly close to a moose and although he looks small compared to the huge trees, believe me, this Bull Moose was a formidable sight; especially when he turned towards me. I held my breath a little.

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He began to walk in my direction but turned and wandered off the other way. He went and laid down, and was mostly out of sight from our current vantage point, with his antlers blending in with the dead tree branches. We walked around to where we had a better view of him again and we watched and photographed him until the light was too dark to get decent pictures.  I was partly fighting with my new tripod, so the experience was a little frustrating, but still amazing. You would never have had a clue he was here if you were just driving by.  It makes me wonder just how many we drove by and didn't see as we were driving around the area.

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The next morning we drove back up to the area where the moose were frequenting.  As my husband parked the truck, I started down the path from the day before, looking for the moose.  Beautiful wildflowers, trees and tall grasses are in this area.  The image of the area is not the greatest since I wasn't really set up for landscape, but rather to get more pictures of the wildlife, (note the very shallow depth of field in the image) but I took this quick shot because it was just so beautiful there. 
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As I looked for the Bull Moose, I first spotted one of the cows. She was there grazing among the tall grasses very near where we'd first spotted the bull the day before.  She looked up at me and then continued grazing, as if I wasn’t there.  It was a little strange being around wildlife that wasn’t afraid of me.  Still, I kept my distance and enjoyed watching this wonderful creature.
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I must admit, as I wandered through the large trees and into the large fields of knee-deep, wet grass looking for the bull, I was nervous.  I don’t have much experience with moose, but I know they can charge if they feel threatened.  I knew they could be around any tree and I didn't want to come face to face with one.
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Suddenly, I spotted him. He was once again lying down.  This time among a patch of wildflowers.  It was chilly and my pants were soaked as I walked closer to him.  I stayed safely away from him and used my Canon 70-200mm lens and then even added my 2x extender to that to get a tighter shot.  My heart was pounding with excitement and it was hard to hold my heavy lens steady.  What an awesome experience! He could care less that I was there or that I was taking his picture. 
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I saw a cow not far from him and she eventually walked past him and continued grazing. 
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Moose have extremely long eyelashes.  Did you know that? I sure didn't. As I post-processed my images afterward it was really apparent. I could have stayed there all day, but unfortunately, this was the morning we had to head home.
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What about you, have you ever photographed a moose?  Tell me about your experience in the comments section. I'd love to hear about your adventure!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) Colorado Moose Rocky Mountains State Forest State Park United States Wildlife animals bull cow nature rainy day wildflowers http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/9/moose-adventure Mon, 12 Sep 2016 23:10:42 GMT
Abandoned Beauty http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/8/abandoned-beauty Rocky Mountain CabinRocky Mountain CabinAn abandoned log cabin is nestled against the mountainside, amongst the trees.
State Forest State Park, Colorado

It was raining on and off as the storms rolled through, the day I took this image.  I had seen this cabin the day before and knew i wanted to photograph it before we left the park.  This cabin sits among the tall evergreens, nestled high in the Rocky Mountains.  To be more specific, it's in State Forest State Park, near Walden, Colorado.  

A clearing in the storm allowed for some sunlight to peek through and add the needed light to the scene that I'd been hoping for.  Sometimes when you're out in the field you have plenty of time and energy to plan, wait and execute a perfect image where all of the variables line up just as you planned for them to.  Then there are occasions, like this, where your time is limited and you arrive at a location with the equipment, desire, skill and a prayer that all will work out to capture a lovely image.  

I love scenes like this, where you can try to imagine yourself living in another time.  What a difficult life it must have been, with the harsh winters and little creature comforts; without all of the conveniences of the lifestyle most have today: internet, Fast Food, Electricity, even indoor bathrooms.  Yep, I was feeling pretty spoiled after this shoot...and grateful.

I love the peaceful beauty of this image.  It just may have to grace a wall in my own home.  This image is available for purchase, if you're thinking the same thing!  Just click on the image to be taken to the shopping area for this image.

 

 

 

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) Colorado North Park Rocky Mountains State Forest State Park Walden abandoned architecture cabin landscape log cabin mountains nature nostalgia old scenic trees http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/8/abandoned-beauty Thu, 18 Aug 2016 16:57:28 GMT
Robin Fledgling http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/6/robin-fledgling Immature RobinImmature Robin

It's always a joy to see the baby birds in our yard. This young robin was so cute and so cooperative as I took its picture.

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) American Idaho Robin Wildlife a animals backyard birds fledgling immature nature on perched rock spring http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/6/robin-fledgling Fri, 03 Jun 2016 03:18:47 GMT
Cascade Rainbow http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/5/cascade-rainbow A wonderful and unexpected natural event happened as we were on our way home from camping in the mountains of our beautiful state of Idaho this past weekend. It was overcast and rainy as it had been on and off all weekend when, to the East, the clouds parted and the sun cast a warm glow on the spring grass of the fields.  We were pulling our 5th wheel trailer so there was nowhere to quickly pull over on the highway when a beautiful double rainbow appeared to the West.  It got brighter and brighter and my heart was pounding.  I knew I had to get a picture of this beautiful and brightest rainbow I have ever seen.  I could see the whole double rainbow from end to end. I told my husband, who was driving, that he better find a place to pull over because I was about to jump out of the truck. (Ok, I may not have actually jumped out of the truck, but my heart already had and you just never know.  We photographers are a crazy bunch. lol)

He found a place just big enough for our rig to be safely off the road and I jumped out to get the shot. In order to eliminate the power lines from my shot, I ran across the roadway in my raincoat with my camera gear still covered in a rain sleeve from other shooting I’d already been doing out in the elements.  I knew I didn’t have my polarizing filter on my lens, which would help the rainbow colors stand out even more, but I didn’t know how long the rainbow would be visible so I got the initial shot (which is customary when doing what we call “drive-by-shooting”) before heading back to the car for a wider lens and CP filter.  In my haste, I used a cloth that unbeknownst to me had something on it that smeared my CP filter rather than eliminating the dust that was there and I couldn’t get it clean.  My husband said he would get it clean for me so I ran back across the road with the other lens to take some wider shots.

Blog-Cascade Rainbow0008Blog-Cascade Rainbow0008Bright double rainbow with barn in Cascade, Idaho.

By this time, it was beginning to hail, but the rainbow was still visible so I kept shooting;  using different compositions.  If I’d known how much time I had, I would have set up my tripod.  A call from the truck sent me sprinting back to the truck to get my freshly cleaned filter and put it on while leaning into the window as hail continued to fall on my back. (My husband is my wonderful assistant when I’m out shooting!)  I hurriedly tried to get the whole rainbow in my frame, but even with my widest angle I failed to do so. I was just too close to the rainbow.  I then tried a vertical pano but by this time, the clouds were much lower and covered much of the upper part of the arch.  I got some wider and some tighter shots and included the barn that happened to be available for a nice addition to the scene. 

There are so many things to think about when shooting and it’s sometimes hard for me to think of everything as I’m in the midst of an event of such limited and unknown time. The 5 or 10 minutes or so that the rainbow was visible as I was shooting were exhilarating and one reason I love my job so much.  I just never know what wildlife or scene will next present itself around the next corner, behind the next tree or in the next minute. Below is a picture showing a portion of the double rainbow, I will leave it up to your imagination to complete the arch and scene in full. The clouds in this image above  had dropped and obscured part of the arch and the second rainbow was beginning to fade, but I like the added drama added by the clouds. The scene in front of me was quite large. When capturing an entire scene isn't possible, isolating a portion of it is a good alternative and may yield better results; although certain elements of the scene may be sacrificed, others will be emphasized.  See the image below for an even tighter image of the scene, making the barn a more important part of the image while elimination the second rainbow.

Blog-Cascade Rainbow0011Blog-Cascade Rainbow0011Bright rainbow leads near a barn in Cascade, Idaho.

This was a wonderful end to a weekend of time away in nature to rest and renew that we desperately needed, after an emotional few weeks following my father-in-law's passing.  I thank God for the time and for all the wildlife and nature he sent our way this weekend, including closing it out with the beautiful double rainbow and I thank God that my father-in-law is now safely home in heaven forever, though we miss him so.

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple…the colors of the rainbow that are so familiar to us.  Rainbows are beautiful, colorful, mysterious and temporary.  But what is the significance of the rainbow?  What is its meaning? In Genesis 9:12-17, we find the answer…

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) Cascade Idaho Landscape Valley County barn double rainbow fine art nature pictorial rainbow scenic season spring storm weather http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/5/cascade-rainbow Tue, 24 May 2016 19:57:24 GMT
High Desert Wagon http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/5/high-desert-wagon On a recent trip through the Sierra Nevada Mountains we were driving out of Bridgeport where we had stayed the night.  The four inches of snow we woke up to that morning was quickly melting.  When I saw this wagon, I knew right away I wanted to photograph it.  I love old buildings, barns, wagons, etc...  I'm not sure what the allure is for me. Perhaps it goes back to my years of watching Little House on the Prairie, with our girls when they were young, on our homeschool lunch break. Whatever the reason, I try not to miss an opportunity to photograph something from the past.  

High Desert Wagon in SnowHigh Desert Wagon in SnowAn old wagon sits alone in the high desert among the freshly fallen spring snow.
Near Bridgeport, California

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) Bridgeport California Landscape Mono County North America Sierra Nevada Mountains United States clouds high desert mountains sagebrush scenic season sky snow spring wagon http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/5/high-desert-wagon Thu, 19 May 2016 13:00:00 GMT
Desert Landscape http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/5/desert-landscape Blog20160428Blog20160428

 

I captured this desert landscape in Mono County, California, along the E. Walker River while traveling to SoCal recently.  

I developed a single RAW file for this image, using an HDR-style of post-processing using Adobe Lightroom 5.

 

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) California Landscape Mono County North America United States clouds desert foliage nature rocks scenic spring travel http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/5/desert-landscape Mon, 16 May 2016 20:33:22 GMT
Bottles http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/4/bottles Bottles-Blog20160319Bottles-Blog20160319

 

Bottles. Still life of bottles with reflections and shadows on wooden surface.

 

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) art blue bottles life red still wall wood http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/4/bottles Thu, 07 Apr 2016 20:40:35 GMT
New birds to my yard? http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/2/new-birds-to-my-yard Last fall, we had our trees trimmed and we've either had birds that are new to our yard or we can finally see well enough, now that the overgrown trees are trimmed, that we are seeing birds we haven't seen before. This is the first Brown Creeper I've seen in our yard.

Brown Creeper-Blog20160205Brown Creeper-Blog20160205 I've only seen a Downy woodpecker in my yard a handful of times over the decade I've lived in my current home.  This is the first time I've captured an image of one though.  I'm excited to see what new birds spring brings this year!  What birds are in your yard? Let me know by leaving a comment. Downy-Blog20160228Downy-Blog20160228

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) Brown Creeper Downy Woodpecker Idaho Kuna backyard birds birding birds images nature wildlife http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/2/new-birds-to-my-yard Mon, 29 Feb 2016 20:24:06 GMT
White Pelican at Swan Falls Dam http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/2/white-pelican-at-swan-falls-dam I saw this American White Pelican recently when I was down at Swan Falls Dam.  I think it's a cool looking bird and I was surprised to find it there.  I love how the early morning light cast a nice glow on the scene and the reflections.  I love reflections!  I like this close-up shot very much, but I think the ones with the dam in the background add a bit more interest.

American White PelicanAmerican White PelicanAn American White Pelican silently floats along on the reflecting waters of the Snake River near the Swan Falls Dam in Idaho.

In this second image, I included the dam in the background to get a sense of place and the environment where I found the bird.  I really like the compression of the environmental shot and the clarity of my subject in both shots that I got from my new lens.

American White Pelican at Swan Falls DamAmerican White Pelican at Swan Falls DamAn American White Pelican silently floats along on the reflecting waters of the Snake River with the Swan Falls Dam in the background; near Murphy, Idaho.

I added a filter in Adobe Lightroom 5 to this version of the image to add an erosion effect that makes the image seem much older than it is.  I also added a canvas-type textured look to the image.

White Pelican at Swan Falls Dam with filterWhite Pelican at Swan Falls Dam with filterAn American White Pelican silently floats along on the reflecting waters of the Snake River with the Swan Falls Dam in the background; near Murphy, Idaho. A filter was added to this image using Adobe Lightroom 5 for an erosion effect.

This last version of the image was converted to black and white.  It's hard for me to choose a favorite. 

White Pelican at Swan Falls Dam in B&WWhite Pelican at Swan Falls Dam in B&WAn American White Pelican silently floats along on the reflecting waters of the Snake River with the Swan Falls Dam in the background; near Murphy, Idaho. This image was converted to black and white.

Which version of this image do YOU like best?  I'd appreciate hearing your thoughts. Please let me know in the comments.

 

 

  

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) Adobe Lightroom 5 Canyon County Idaho North America Pelican Snake River Swan falls Dam United States White Pelican birding birds black and white filter horizontal landscape monochrome nature reflections season water wildlife winter http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/2/white-pelican-at-swan-falls-dam Tue, 09 Feb 2016 19:12:22 GMT
Great Blue Heron http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/1/great-blue-heron I captured this image of a Great Blue Heron in a field near my home recently, with my new Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L II USM lens. I knelt down for this shot and was able to show the watering system in the background which gave more of a hint of the environment, which I really like.  I used a shallow DOF so as to throw that background out of focus and let the bird stand out, rather than blending into the field in which it was standing. (I also added a tad more blurring in Adobe Lightroom 5) Kneeling also got me down to the bird's level for a more intimate perspective. If you would like to order this image as a print or just see it larger in my online gallery, CLICK HERE! A single Great Blue Heron in a field during winter. Kuna, IdahoGreat Blue HeronA single Great Blue Heron in a field during winter. Kuna, Idaho The new lens is one of two new L series lenses I purchased recently.  I've been dreaming of owning this particular lens for quite some time.  I'm not a product reviewer, but I can tell you that there's a learning curve using this new lens, as it functions differently from the cheaper lenses and is much heavier for sure; I need to be lifting weights so I can use it with more ease. It has four settings on the side and when you zoom in, the lens doesn't change length; all of the zooming happens internally and I love that! I am enjoying it so far and I'm sure it will only become more and more my favorite lens as I continue to shoot with it.

Do any of you have this lens or have you had a chance to use one?  If so, what do or did you think of it? Please let me know in the comments.  

 

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) Great Blue Heron Idaho Kuna animals birding birds field heron images nature wildlife winter http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/1/great-blue-heron Thu, 28 Jan 2016 19:33:59 GMT
Photography Podcasts #1 http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/1/photography-podcasts-1 I love to listen to photography podcasts.  I thought I'd share one on my blog from time to time.  Here's the first one-Tips From The Top Floor with Chris Marquardt is one of the first photography podcasts to which I ever listened.  It's "The weekly show about all things photography."  I've learned a lot from the show and enjoy hearing about his travels.  Once day I hope to go on one of his photography workshops.  I hope you will go to the website and listen for yourself.  If you really like it too, subscribe to the podcast and listen regularly.  CLICK HERE to go there now. Enjoy!

Do you have a favorite podcast? Share it in the comments below! If you listen to TFTTF, how did you like it?

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) Chris Marquardt Tips from the Top Floor learning photography photography podcasts weekly podcast http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/1/photography-podcasts-1 Wed, 13 Jan 2016 23:27:43 GMT
7 Things I want to do to improve my photography in 2016 http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/1/7-things-i-want-to-do-to-improve-my-photography-in-2016  

  1. Choose a project for 2016 to challenge myself.

Last year, my goal in improving my photography was to finish my NYIP Complete Course in Professional Photography.  I completed that project.  What will I choose for my project in 2016?  I haven’t decided yet, but I’m leaning towards a weekly or monthly challenge.  There are many ideas from which to choose: PAD (photo-a-day) Challenge, 52 Week Challenge, 30 Day Challenge, there are even challenges for beginners.  A Google search will turned up many challenges.  (Search “2016 Photo challenges” if you want to choose a project for yourself) I want to choose what’s right for me; something that will challenge me, but not overwhelm me or cause me added stress.  Challenges should be fun and there’s enough stress in every day life!  If you feel you need it, join a social media group for a little bit more motivation.  It will also get your work out there being seen by others.

  1. Use the gear I currently have to its potential.

The allure of the latest and greatest is very real in our ever-changing industry of digital photography.  Sometimes, it’s good to just know the gear we currently own well enough to use it in the dark, if necessary.  I upgraded my Canon EOS 20D (to a Canon EOS 70D) in the last couple years, and there’s a lot to learn using today’s digital camera’s and all of their settings.  I’m still learning how to use it to it’s potential.  Though I will most likely upgrade to a faster lens this year, (a Canon 70-200mm 2.8 L series) I will stick with this camera for now and just learn to use it more efficiently to turn out the images I want to capture.

Warmth in the ColdWarmth in the ColdThe warm light of the sun shines on a snow-covered field in Southwestern, Idaho.

*I took this image on a VERY COLD day, recently.  I love how the sun warms even the color of the snow just before sundown.

  1. Get more of my work printed on a large scale.

I want to see more of my work…BIG and in print!  The tendency with digital, at least for me, is to let my work remain in a digital format.  After all, it’s cheaper that way, right? However, I love to see my work (and others’ work) in print.  It’s a good exercise to know the true quality of the work I’m turning out; it’s one thing to see an image on a computer screen and yet another on a piece of photo paper, canvas or metal surface.

  1. Continue to learn more about my craft.

Even though I’ve finished my schooling for photography, I want to keep learning.  As I mentioned in my last post, by studying the NYIP course, one of the things I have learned is that I have a lot to learn.  Continuing education is important, both in the essentials of photography as well as keeping up with knowing what’s going on in the constant changes and improvements in the photography industry.  There are many online photography workshops and courses, like NYIP, an excellent way to learn and improve on your photography.  (I had studied photography on my own for several years and I still learned so much from NYIP) There are many photography workshops you can take in person, as well, where you actually go into the field with a professional photographer for a guide and you can visit beautiful places in the U.S.A. or around the globe. Another thing I do is listen to a variety of podcasts on photography.  (Tips from the Top Floor, Martin Bailey, Tripod: the Nature Photography Show, Improve Photography to name just a few) I love to get the perspective of other photographers and learn from their knowledge and experiences, and yes, even or maybe especially their mistakes; I make enough of my own!  I also subscribe to several photography magazines and visit their sites online for more inspiration.  Photography blogs are another great way to learn more about photography.  I learn best by doing, so this year I am going to try more of the things I read about for myself so it will stick with me in the long run.  Perhaps this is from where my project prompts will come.

Fence and field during snow storm.During the Snow StormA field during a snow storm with fence in the foreground, Kuna, Idaho.

*I took this image during a recent snow storm.  It's tempting to stay inside when the weather is bad but you may miss some nice images as a result. Notice how this image has a very different, cool, color temperature compared to the previous shot.

 

  1. Practice an aspect of photography in which I feel I need to improve.

This point relates to the previous point.  Learning about photography doesn’t do much for you as a photographer without practice, just as your tools don’t do much for you if you haven’t learned how to use them.  Lights and a studio for portraiture are great, but if you have no knowledge of how to light or pose people for portraits, those things won’t do much to help you turn out pleasing, well-lit portraits.  You may have the most beautiful landscape in front of you, but if you don’t know how to compose or what camera settings to use, you will come away with a disappointing photo rather than a truly special scenic image. There’s always something to improve upon, and I hope to improve on several aspects of my photography this year.

  1. Continue to study and critique photographs that inspire me.

Another thing I will do to improve my photography is to study the works of those that have come before me, as well as those whose work I admire and respect which is an inspiration to me.  There’s even something to learn from critiquing the work of beginners.  In the past, I was the judge for a photography class at a private school, and that was a learning experience for me.  So don’t just ignore images from beginners or perhaps images that aren’t your style, that you don’t like or think aren’t technically perfect.  Study them and discover what it is you like or don’t like about the image.  What is right or wrong technically about the image?  What would you do differently to improve the image, if you had the chance to do so? What is the subject and how did the photographer draw attention to it? Where is the light coming from and what type of light is in the image?  Does it have enough DOF (depth of field) or is it shallow enough to deliver an emotional reaction?  Asking and answering these types of questions can teach you a lot. Studying photographs is another way to get ideas for images to take in the future.  Keep a list and use those in your project, if you want.

Off-SeasonOff-SeasonAn old boat rests between gate posts during an Idaho winter.

*I found this shot on one of my recent "free-style" drives.  You just never know what you will find.

  1. Shoot regularly!

A photographer’s eye can get rusty without regular use.  I’m going to shoot something every day, if possible.  It could be inside my home or outside. It’s a good idea to always carry a camera with you, whether it’s on your phone, a small point-and-shoot or a larger camera. Just knowing it’s with you can keep your eye sharp and ready to see images in a scene, whether you take the shot or not.  I do what I’ve dubbed drive-by-shooting or free styling.  To me, that means driving around and looking for shots to take that day or at another time, or taking found shots (images that your photographer’s eye sees and everything is already in place; you’ve not really thought about it before that moment).  It may be a bird perched in a tree, on a post or in flight. It may be a landscape, or something newsworthy that’s going on.  This is another way to get to know your camera settings and practice changing them for different scenarios.  In 2016, I want to shoot often and always be ready!

What things will YOU do this year to improve your photography?  Let me know in the comments. Happy New Year and keep on shooting!

 

 

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) 2016 Canon NYIP New York Institute of Photography PAD challenge digital photography goals landscape photography challenges practice http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/1/7-things-i-want-to-do-to-improve-my-photography-in-2016 Mon, 04 Jan 2016 18:30:00 GMT
5 Things I learned while studying my NYIP Professional Photography Course http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/1/5-things-i-learned-while-studying-my-nyip-professional-photography-course I did it!  I graduated from the New York Institute of Photography! I finished their Complete Course in Professional Photography in October of 2015 and received my certificate.  It’s been quite a journey, as I took longer than most students to accomplish this adventure.  I went nearly blind and had to discontinue my studies while I had two separate operations to transplant my diseased corneas and heal from each, along with several familial and personal losses in the past several years since receiving my NYIP materials.  But, I persevered and am proud to say I completed my course and am looking forward to where my business in photography takes me.  Below, I have shared some of the things I’ve learned about myself during the time of my NYIP course. I hope they will be helpful to you.  

NYIP CertificateNYIP CertificateNew York Institute of Photography Certificate

  1. I prefer natural light. Before NYIP, I had only used natural light and perhaps fill flash with a built-in or on camera flash.  I learned to use studio lighting and artificial lighting during the still life, advertising and portrait sections of the course, though I have yet to master it. It’s nice to know how to use artificial light, in the absence of quality natural light. It’s for this reason I’m happy I’ve learned how to use this type of light, but I still prefer natural light. I will most likely continue to use natural light 95% of the time. 

 

  1. I have a natural eye for composition.  On more than one occasion, I’ve been told this.  Though I learned more about the rules of composition through the course, I also learned that I was already doing much of what is taught about it, without having to stop and ask all the questions about the composition when I decide my framing. I am not saying I have a perfect eye or that all my compositions are by the book and I’m not sure how to explain it, but for some reason I can just feel the right composition when I see it in my viewfinder or on my LCD display.  I don’t always nail it and there are times when it is ok or even necessary to break those rules, but it’s been a good exercise to consciously ask myself questions like: What do I want to include in the frame? Why am I including one thing but excluding another? What is my subject? How do I draw attention to my subject? How much of what is in my frame do I want to be in critical focus and how much do I want to blur? etc… This exercise has taught me why I like or dislike images of my own or others’ when I see and contemplate them and that’s a good thing to learn, especially if I expect to improve my own images, teach others in the future and learn from studying other people’s images. So, for all of you who can relate to having a natural eye for composition, be sure to also learn how to decipher them so you know why a certain juxtaposition works or doesn’t work. Critique is a good skill to acquire and I’m still learning to do it better.
  1. I prefer wildlife and landscape photography. I would really just rather be out in nature photographing wildlife and scenery (with the occasional person included for perspective or scale now and then) than posing a person or group of them for portraits or rushing to the next news story. Part of my reason for taking this course was to fill in learning gaps and challenge myself to try all the different areas photography has to offer. I wanted to be able to do them all, even if I decided on just one type to focus on in the end.  Being previously self-taught, I knew I had purposely NOT learned or practiced certain aspects of photography that I didn’t think I liked. NYIP gives you a look at it all and, by trying each type of photography, you just may find something you like that may surprise you, or like myself, you will confirm what you already knew and will feel more confident in pursuing it.

 

  1. I need to practice more. Even with a natural eye, your photographer’s eye can get rusty if not used regularly. The NYIP course forced me to do more “practicing”, something I’m not very patient with because I just want to get to that perfect sunset spot and await the right light and get the awesome shot in the golden hour.  The NYIP course allowed me to slow down and think more, try shots I may not have tried before, use my camera settings in ways I haven’t before.  It kept me shooting and that’s a good thing. They say practice makes perfect and I think that can be true, but with regards to photography, I think practice makes you capable.  It takes more than being at the right place at the right time, with the right equipment…you also have to be skillful in how to set up a shot and how to use your camera in order to bring home the shot.

 

  1. I have a lot to learn! I think the biggest thing I’ve learned throughout this course is how much I still have left to learn.  The more I practice, the more I learn.  The more I shoot, the more I see the need to shoot.  Perhaps that’s a good place to be.  It will keep me doing what I love to do! So, I will continue to be a student of photography as well as a professional and I hope to capture more skillful images in 2016 than I did in 2015.  If I put into practice what I’ve learned through NYIP, I’m sure I can accomplish that goal. Thanks NYIP!

In the comments, please let me know what you learned about yourself in 2015, as it relates to photography.

NYIP

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kathleen@kb-photos.com (Kathleen Bowman Photography) NYIP New York Institute of Photography distance learning photography courses photography student http://www.shekinahphotography.com/blog/2016/1/5-things-i-learned-while-studying-my-nyip-professional-photography-course Thu, 31 Dec 2015 16:45:00 GMT