Meeting up with Meetup.com

Carillon Tower and Nature Preserve.

Carillon Tower and Nature Preserve.

I, hopefully, have made it abundantly (redundantly) clear that I’m a newbie at this. So, after multiple Facebook posts, my boyfriend’s lovely mother took pity on me, and suggested I check out Meetup.com. I was completely terrified by the idea of meeting up with strangers. But, boredom, I mean, curiosity, got the best of me and I decided to check it out. After a bit of browsing, I found this interesting photography group that had an outing I couldn’t resist.

So peaceful

So peaceful

The group was set to meet in the parking lot of the Hilton Hotel next to the tower. So, naturally, I showed up on time. Then, sat in my car like a weirdo until I was completely sure it was a gathering of photographers, and not well dress serial killers with cameras.

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Considering I am still alive, it would seem like they were not serial killers. More like a very nice group of people willing to help me with any questions. 🙂

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We set out walking around the boardwalk area. After the introductions, everyone seemed very intent on capturing some of the wildlife. Minimal talking with a focus on the beautiful things around us? Perfect.

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I got very lucky a few times with some awesome animals.

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The little creatures in the area were especially hard to shoot. The mixture of the shade and patches of sunlight slicing through the trees made finding the right exposure a challenge.

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Overall, I really enjoyed being in a group of photographers. It made it seem less odd to be wandering around brandishing an enormous camera.

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I learned a lot by just watching others, while seeing the different things that interested them enough to stop and take a picture.

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At first, the whole group was clumped together. But, after a while of each person going at their own pace, everyone eventually spread out and had their own experience.

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It was nice to have the tranquility that taking pictures brings added with the company of having others nearby that share the same interest.

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I eventually fell so far behind that group that I began to have to take little sprints to catch back up. But, every time I did there was a group of smiling faces ready to point out something wonderful that I missed.

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I’m actually not quite sure how long we were there. I really lost track of time, which is something I generally have trouble doing. It was nice having something to completely immerse myself in.

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Between carrying my camera bag and periodically switching lenses, my full attention was taken. I didn’t check my phone once. 🙂

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I’m glad I swallowed my antisocial tendencies and joined in this adventure.

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It really was a lovely day.

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25 thoughts on “Meeting up with Meetup.com

  1. He sounds like a keeper! Our vacations are all planned around my photography, my guy has been a saint, I drag him all over the country, especially at 5 am so I can catch the perfect light right after dawn. Keep it up, you have a lot of talent!

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  2. Thank-you very much! I have more from that series on my website http://www.fierytailimagery.smugmug.com I post most of my high resolution work there because it is rt click protected, and I don’t have to worry about the images being stolen. Try the 5am thing The light is amazing, google the golden hour and the blue hour. This is the time right after sunrise, and right before sunset. It is perfect light. There is a iphone app called goldenPic that you can use that lets you put in any place in the world, and it will tell you the perfect time for the gold and blue hour for any given day for that place. I love this app.

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    • I actually have the golden hour app, its wonderful. The blue hour is a new concept for me. So, thank you 🙂 Also, I have been wondering about protecting my images. When should that start being a concern and how do I go about protecting them when the time comes?

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  3. people will steal your images, it just happens. There is a site called tinyeye where you can upload your image and it searches the web to see where it shows up on the internet, and shows you if people are illegally using it. I copyright all of my images now. You should only upload images at 72 dpi on the web and keep the size small, this way people can’t print them, but it is still very usable on the web. My images on smugmug are 300 dpi and very large so that you can see detail, but they are security protected. About when to worry about protection, well, if you do a great image now, and someone sees it, they can pirate it. But, you do have to put yourself out there to gain attention, and a following. It is a balancing act. Use tinyeye and copyright your images. There are two sites that taught me a lot, one is called Kelbyone it is pricy but has a huge amount of tutorials, and is worth it for the knowledge gained in photography and photoshop etc. and I belong to Behance which is a site for artists to post their portfolios, and so they can network, and befriend other artists at all phases of the artist’s journey. I was an automatic member because I have photoshop CC. It is an Adobe site. I don’t know how much it costs to join just Behance.

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      • Love the photos and applaud you for having the courage to step outside your comfort zone and participate in a group photo hike. It’s something I would like to do but unlike you I’ve yet took the leap. I also wanted to mention that Lightroom and Photoshop are offered for $9.99 a month for the both (with the stipulation that you purchase a years worth but you are only billed by the month). I didn’t realize this until recently and signed up and have been using them both lately. It’s definitely worth it because it’s amazing what you can do with what you thought was a bad photo and squeeze some life out of it. Keep up the great work and stay true to yourself. 🙂

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      • I actually was looking into that monthly subscription thing. I’m glad to see it’s worth it. I have been wanting to use photoshop for sometime now but I hear differing opinions on editing images. However, it seems like, with how complicated photoshop can be it would be a form of art on it’s own. Thank you for the recommendation and for taking a look at my blogs 🙂

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      • My pleasure! Photoshop is probably more for the person that really wants to create new things within a photo that wasn’t there while Lightroom is more for bringing out what’s in a photo and having full manipulation of a photos information. I used Lightroom about 99 percent of the time and Photoshop rarely. The only time I really use Photoshop is for removing a spot or stray object that I don’t want in the photo. Have fun! It’s well worth the 9.99 price tag.

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