Sunday, January 24, 2010

Photo Math - The Triangle - and my day

I'm so excited!!!! A few months ago our photo group was teasing a guy for staying at F5.6. I knew it was his f stop, but now I get why he was doing it and why they were teasing him. LOVIN' my F5.6!!!!! Off to read more about the other F's in my life :) I'm in M mode and there's no holding me back!!!!

So this afternoon the panic of the fact that in 6 days I will be off to shoot Alice. A dream photo shoot is only 6 days away and I don't feel "expert" enough yet to do it. On Saturday Nathan and I travel to an afternoon shoot where we will be shooting models made as the characters from Alice in Wonderland. Not many know that this is one of my all time favorite classic work's. I will take it in about any form and am thrilled Tim Burton doesn't seem to have completely screwed it up for me. Off topic. I've had a few pages marked here and there of things I want to read and test out with my camera before the shoot, but nothing I've actually bitten into yet.

This morning we took an unexpected trip to Barnes and Noble where Nathan picked up this book with me in mind. He tells me it's a photographers bible. (I'm laughing because it definitely does not fit in my purse like a bible should.) The book is Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson. I am 4 pages into it and the light bulb goes off! Ah-Ha! I CAN shoot in M! It does not stand for "messing with my photos and pissing me off". I set up my little test subject (another favorite thing - can of sharpies) and start playing.

Then I go look at the first day of this on-line lesson that I've been thinking - "Intro lesson?!?!?! You have to be joking!!!" Really anything that needs a terminology key on the first lesson needs a revamp. As I re-read it I fully understand what they are talking about. I get what the histograms mean - BTW I avoid histograms because it reminds me of school and I'm there enough of my week.

I keep telling DH that all I need is someone to create a color coded graphic organizer for me so that I can understand this better. He didn't do the graphic organizer, but he did get me the book. Guess what I'm doing as I read :) Love the new Sharpies that don't bleed through notebook paper. So each "angle" of my photographic triangle has been assigned a color and I'm off to continue with my photo math.

I look like a school girl as I lay across my craft room floor. Photo books spread before me, notebooks off to the right, my "subject" the sharpie can, and my camera. The day light is slowly fading through the window and I'll have to look for a not so natural source of lighting. My Ott light stands at the ready for this challenge. I know that I need to be doing a few other things, but why disturb the creative genius. I've programed a new Pandora station and am motivated by the melodies dribbling out of the little lap top speakers. The only disruption is the freshly awaken "queen", as she's calling herself today, asking for food and drink to be brough to her. Each time I go get her this or make her that she waits a few minutes and asks for something else that I have to disrupt my studies to get. I know - she's only 4 once. FOR A WHOLE YEAR! I should enjoy these moments of dependency, and I do - sometimes. Just not this time.

I also realize that I have to break because Z needs me to monitor every moment of his hoemwork and that's why it's sat untouched all weekend. I need him to write a myth, and create a visual aid on the topography of Belarus. I need him to read another page of his book before he loses the excitement of reading. In the mean time I need to work with A on recognizing her letter sounds because she really wants to read for herself and doesn't like it when you do it for her. Don't forget putting dinner on and doing the laundry.

Did I mention that Z found a book or two that he's excited about? Today we picked up The Lightning Thief and The Name of this Book is Secret. The plan was that Z would read part of The Lightning Thief to us with a goal of maybe finishing by his birthday. Z hates reading. I would probably hate reading too if I was going through his day. Z's mind wants material that is high level and interesting. His fluency on the other hand is below level. This is not due to a lack of books or parents that didn't read with him. It's due to what I suspect to be an actual learning disability. Z reports that the letters move around on the page. With reading guides he is better able to minimize the movement but not fully. I've had his vision fully checked. So Z gets this lovely books from school that he sees no purpose in reading because Spot can only do so many things. He relishes in the complexity of chapter books, but can't access them. Usually we cheat and just give him books on CD from the library. This was actually our saving grace with Z. Once he heard a book on CD he decided that books are worth the struggle. He does get frustrated though. The Lightning Thief is completely out of his reading level but he really wants to read it. He read a couple of paragraphs to us in the store and can get through - slowly. To counter this frustration I bought The Name of This Book is Secret. I showed him the book and read him the intro which is full of warnings that you shouldn't read the book. In my best "warning" voice I read the intro and then told him that I had to get the book and read it, but that he's not allowed to read it. Of course now he wants to read it and it's just barely outside his age range according to the ability guide. After we purchased the book I read Chapter 1 and 1.5 (yes it had a 1.5) continuing with my warning voice. We got to Chapter 2 and I told him it was just too dangerous to continue at this time - he had to read to me now from his book. He gladly read a page from The Lightning Thief. He doesn't know it yet, but he is going to love mythology. Just something I know about him. I think he'll love literature once he learns about the hidden meanings through vague refrences.

Now A bought a book to read as well. Of course she bought a book outside her ability level where the words just do not match up with the pictures at all - UGH! She tries hard to get the meaning, but then gets mad when I have her try to sound out letters. Why do letter sounds when I can just memorize what the words look like and repeat them when I see them just as much when I see a picture of a dog I know it's a dog. Entering dangerous territory with her here. Don't want to squelch her flame for learning, but also don't want her missing a step. I also worry about boredom in Kinder next year. Part of me wants t hold her development back and the other part of me says let it fly and see where she soars. The school will have to figure it out.

Off to do parenting duties - instill them with a love of learning, a desire to read, and healthy habits. I can always go back to my enrichment after they go to sleep. ;) BTW - totally looking forward to the night I catch them with flash lights under the covers reading into the wee hours of the night.

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