A not so short update:
Since my last Blog Post, a lot has happened in terms of my In-Depth project. A lot also hasn’t happened due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It halted my trip to Costa Rica where I planned on photographing the beautiful landscapes and nature. It also stopped any in-person meeting with my mentor to avoid any spreading of the Virus. The next couple of paragraphs will be highlights of what I did over the last month for this project.
Starting off, a few short days after my last blog post, I meet with Neil at the Woodhaven Swamp in Belcarra park. We went searching for Rough-Skinned newts that call the swamp home as they are interesting photographic subjects. Sadly, the cold weather scared them off, as we found no newts to photograph. I did get a couple of interesting photographs, and I learned quite a bit from my mentor.
After our meeting, we planned to visit Mossom Creek Hatchery to learn about storytelling through photography, where we would take multiple different photos of a location or subject to tell a story. This would be similar to a National Geographic article. Our plans were halted though as Neil’s child was born.
Soon after, my Costa Rica trip was called off because of the BC travel advisory, which was disappointing, but the correct call. During this time, I took a lot of photographs either with Photography class, my photography club, and I even took some photos for the yearbook. Many of them weren’t exactly my genre of photography, but it was cool to branch out into sports and portrait photography.
On March 15th, Neil and I had a video call where we went over the photographic editing process. He showed me the techniques he used when editing photos, and we discussed dodging and burning to bring emphasis to a subject. We also talked about the big question, “What makes a good photograph?”, and he talked to me about narrowing down photographs into your best few. Overall, it was very informative, and I learned quite a bit.
Over the past few days, I haven’t been up to a whole lot for In-Depth. It has been hard to go out and find subjects with the Covid-19 pandemic. I planned to go camping at Golden Ears, Alice Lake, and Porteau Cove with my family for a few days and take photographs, but the provincial campgrounds were closed. Currently, I am planning to meet with Neil a few more times over video calls, though what we can do is limited.
One final thing I would like to say is I am pretty underwhelmed with my photographs from this month. I was hoping to get beautiful photos from Costa Rica that I could use for my final project, but that didn’t happen. I was then planning on finding interesting compositions in Golden Ears with my Dad, but that also didn’t happen. The best I can do for now is to keep focused on improving my photographic skill, even with the limitations I face.
- What has been my most difficult mentoring challenge so far? Why?
Other than the uncontrollable challenges with Covid-19, the biggest challenges so far with my mentorship are the time constraints meetings between Neil and I. Neil is a very busy guy, and even more so now, with the coronavirus and his newborn. This has resulted in some missed meetings, as we have only met three times in person, and one time over a video call since January. Though this has been a bit of a challenge, Neil has worked hard to make this mentorship an amazing experience, and I have surely learned a lot.
- What is working well? Why?
In this In-Depth so far, something that is working well is that I have learned a lot from Neil. Though the number of meetings I have had maybe limited, I learned a lot in each one. From post-processing to scouting wildlife, and photo lighting, I am pleasantly surprised how much I have learned over the last 3 months. I am learning quite a bit for a number of reasons. For starters, Neil has a lot of knowledge and experience in photography. He has been taking photos for many years and has photographed many subjects, so he knows how to approach photographing many different things. Another reason I have learned a lot is that Neil is a good teacher. He can explain things to me in an easily digestible way, while still going in-depth into a subject. Finally, I like to think I am pretty receptive, and I can understand things taught to me pretty easily, especially when it interests me, so I have been able to acquire a lot of information without too much challenge.
- What could be working better? How can you make sure this happens?
In my in-depth project, something that could be working better is that I could be more creative in finding things to photograph, especially now with Covid-19. Though I have had a lot of free time in the past couple of weeks, I haven’t had the drive to find something interesting to photograph. I have a mindset that to get good photographs, you have to go to interesting locations, but that isn’t true. Finding interesting compositions around the house, and in my backyard would help me improve my photographic eye, while still staying socially distanced. To make sure this happens, I can incorporate “Photography Time” into my daily plan for after Spring Break, so it’s something I do regardless of whether I want to or not, similarly to any other school work.