54mm, 1/60, f/5.6, ISO 400
Even though Susan Furber shoots a wide range of photo styles, I was impressed by her close-ups. Given the theme of our October contest, I asked her to highlight, and discuss, her fascination with intimate shots of everyday objects.
By Susan Furber
I can't pinpoint what sparked my interest in photography, but I feel as though my father in particular has helped me progress from a 15-year-old with a point-and-shoot to a 20-year-old with my own digital SLR. My dad has a great eye for interesting angles and composition, and has always aided me in finding new and unique ideas for my work. I'm particularly interested in photographing nature and spotting objects you wouldn't notice at first glance, but produce some wonderful shots.
I find most of my inspiration from driving around southern Massachusetts where I live, particularly Borderland State Park in North Easton and small parks around the area. Right now, as a full-time college student, photography is a hobby that I use as an outlet for my more creative side. Soon I hope to take some classes to better hone my skills, especially in portrait photography where I feel I have not advanced much.
Also, I want to take advantage of taking raw images and editing my photos. Right now, the Internet is my greatest tool as I research techniques and tutorials to try. I’ve never had any training, only a two-week course in high school where I learned how to use a manual camera. Everything else I’ve learned on my own.
I own a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XTi and the kit EF-S18-55mm lens that was included with the camera. Being a college student, it’s hard to afford my dream lens, but I’m currently saving up and hope to own a macro lens soon. In the meantime, my lens is a great beginner lens for me and this camera has definitely helped me develop my love for close-ups.
I usually just take my camera out for a walk and shoot what I see and I find that the majority of my photography is close-ups. I love the ability to discover different elements and textures of objects in nature when photographing them up close.
A common theme in most of my close-ups is definitely the use of water and moisture in the photo. Several times I have found myself on a day that wasn't particularly rainy carrying a spray bottle full of water to photograph a flower up close, or taking a walk after a rainstorm to catch the moisture on the leaves. I’m not quite sure what draws me to this theme, but I find I love a good close-up.
I took the photo at the top of this page at my bathroom sink, where water droplets were pouring out of the spout against a checkered backdrop. I found a http://www.flickr.com/photos/rainymina/516726862/">tutorial on Flickr that helped me; although their shots definitely mastered the technique, I was just happy to get one good shot. To this day, I am still working on my skills with close-ups, and want to develop my skills more and more through the years.
Susan, 20, a South Easton native, is a junior at Bridgewater State College with a major in psychology and a minor in history. After she graduates, she hopes to enter the masters program in school counseling with the goal of working with students. For now, however, she’s working at Starbucks part-time, saving her money for that macro lens. You can see more of her photographs on her Flickr page.
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