Thursday, February 18, 2010

Behind The Lens: Michele Barbalet

I'd like to introduce you to my friend, Michele Barbalet. She has a creative, fun eye to her photography. I love that she isn't afraid to take risks with interesting and unusual subjects. Michele is a long time member of the  DesignerDigitals Flickr Photo of the Day group. I loved reading her journey with light!

What sparked your interest in photography?
I come from a long line of family (amateur) photographers. My grandmother has a book shelf full of yearly photo albums dating back to the 60’s and a trunk full of family slides dating back to the 50’s. It was always something I took for granted until she started getting older and stopped using a camera.  I knew someone needed to take over where she left off. After my husband bought me my first SLR I realized that I wanted it to be me.

I took this picture of my cat Bertie after one of the DD chats on “lighting”.  I went to the room with the most light and I just remember how incredibly easy it was to take this picture.  Prior to the lighting chat I had to use high ISO and fiddle with the settings. This picture was taken with ISO at 100. I still get excited every time I take a really good picture at a low ISO. I love the clarity and the crispness.

What camera do you use?
Mostly my Nikon D60 but my iphone camera is a lot of fun to use as well.

What is your favorite lens?
I probably don’t own my favorite lens because I only have two and an incredibly long wish list. If I had to choose between my 18-55 or 55-200 I would choose the 55-200. I use it for close ups to get that really good depth of field. That being said my 18-55 is my go-to, always-on-my-camera-lens. (Ok…so I guess I can’t choose)
Here’s another photo inspired by my new knowledge of the importance of light as well as shooting from a different perspective

What makes you happiest about your photography?
I am a creative person but I’m not an artist. I don’t always make the best digital scrapbooking layouts, I can’t always sketch as good as I would like but with photography I can see something beautiful in the world and capture it from my point of view and share it with my loved ones. That definitely makes me happy.

What have you learned that helped your photography most?
Of course it has to be lighting.  It’s a photographer’s best friend. I always check to see where the light is coming from before I do anything else. I actually just found out that the word photography is Greek and means “drawing with light”. I love that.

Ok, you might see a pattern here. This is a more recent picture and I feel it shows how far I’ve come with my understanding of light. As soon as I set down in my seat I started taking test pictures to see what kind of settings I would need for the current lightening situation. My comfort zone is a bright sunny day; very different to a dark theatre with stage lighting. The whole time I was clicking away it felt really good but I didn’t know for sure until I got home. I finally realized that all I had learned was really starting to pay off.

How has your photography changed since participating in my chats? 
I got off Auto which has had the largest positive impact on my photography. It gives me full creative control over what I’m photographing. Before I got off auto I approached photography with a thought process that ended with disappointed results. All my photos looked the same because they were being dictated by the cameras generic settings. Now when I think about what I’m going to shoot and how I want it to look I get the exact results that I wanted because I control the camera. The best part is that if I’m not happy with the results, it’s my fault and I learn from each experience.

Of course, it’s a “light” photo. But to me it’s also a photo that represents me letting go of my old ideas of what a photo is “suppose” to be. In the recent freebie “Give it your best shot” one of the keys is to a POTD is to not strive for perfection. In this photo my hand is only a silhouette, the next door neighbors house is visible…it’s not a perfect photo. But the subject, the slide, is the focal point which was my objective and I like the photo and that’s what should matter.

What are your photography goals for 2010? or Any Projects for 2010?
I need to get my photos off the computer and into my life. So of course there are tons of projects for 2010. I’m scanning the old family slides to pass on for the next generation which is a huge task in itself and starting the yearly albums like the ones my grandmother use to do. I’m also doing the 365 project and for the first time blogging them.

You can see more of Michele's photos in her DesignerDigitals Gallery


To help Michele have some fun with her photography, I'm providing her with a copy of Give It Your Best Shot No. 1: Capturing Lights

Have I helped you with a classebook, or tutorial? Would you like to be featured Behind The Lens? Send me an email at katrina at katrinakennedy dot com.


This Saturday is the all day chat at DesignerDigitals! I'll be hosting a photography chat with a giveaway! I hope to see you there.

1 comment:

mugsbigsis said...

Oh, it was so fun to read Michele's answers to your questions, Katrina. Your segment on light really was an eye-opener and Michele's photos are BEAUTIFUL examples! I remember seeing that jar of garlic photo and thinking, "wow, she made garlic look like art!" Michele, I'm a fan and I loved getting to know you a little through this interview. :O)


Related Posts with Thumbnails