Thursday, March 18, 2010

Behind The Lens: Susie Westervelt

Colorful and fun are two words I'd use to describe Susie's photography. She brings everyday objects to life with her camera. I met Susie at DesignerDigitals and have learned more about her in the DD Photography Group. Every week she fills our gallery with beautiful flowers. Susie took Your Life: Captured Through The Lens last year. After reading her interview you'll see that she has always been a photographer and seems to have rediscovered it!

She is a wonderful person and photographer! She said about her portrait, "I like this picture of myself with Sarah.  It's who I am." Let me introduce you to Susie.

1.  What sparked your interest in photography?
My dad.  He took pictures and movies all the time.  My first camera was a little Brownie (that dates me), then the small point and shoots. I always carried a camera with me.  After my first daughter was born I bought an Olympus OM10.  I was lucky to have had two close girlfriends who were also into photography.  My friend Liz had a darkroom and we would spend hours in there.  Once I had my own darkroom I would develop all my own photos, both black and white, and color.  I loved pushing the ISO to its limits and seeing the effects.  And, I will never forget the first color photo I developed in my makeshift darkroom and how perfect it came out.  My friends called my kids "the most photographed children in America."

I used the rule of thirds here. I don't think this would have made for an interesting photo if I had been any closer or had centered the strawberry.
2.  What camera do you use?
I use an Olympus E-500.

3. What is your favorite lens?
My "walk around lens" is a Sigma 18-50 mm Macro lens.  I purchased this because I can set the f-stop at 2.8 and it stays there throughout the entire zoom range.  My kit lens won't do that.

This was my first attempt  at using continuous focus and natural lighting.  I really liked the composition and the lighting.

4. What makes you happiest about your photography?
I'm so happy when a picture comes out exactly as seen through my eyes, for instance, the colors of the sky at sunrise.  Due to my diminishing eye sight, I have a hard time seeing through the viewfinder and so it makes me smile when I see that I captured the light or the clarity the way I had envisioned.

5. What have you learned that helped your photography the most?
The back-focus button and continuous-auto focus have helped me the most, especially when shooting my active grandchildren.  They have allowed me to take more candid, unposed, photos of them.  I have been much more pleased with these photos than when I'm asking them to turn toward the camera and smile.

One of my favorite POTDs.  I am drawn to primary colors.  If you look at my photostream so many pictures have red, blue or yellow in them.

6. How has your photography changed since reading Get Me Off Auto?
I have owned by DSLR for years and had never used it until I took Katrina's first class and read her Get Me Off Auto.  It just looked so complicated and it was so much easier to use my Sony Cybershot point and shoot.  But, now my DSLR goes everywhere with me and I never shoot on Auto.  I now can just look at a situation and know how I want it to look, set my focus, ISO, white balance and aperture and I feel that I'm successful when I upload the photo.  I also think more about the composition and crop of a photo as I'm shooting.  I revisit her class notes and Get Me Off Auto a lot.  I'm still learning.  I'm very happy and excited about my photography again.

 The rule of thirds again.  Using two desk lamps to light this daisy, I was pleased how soft the petals look.  The look like fabric.

7. What are your photography goals for 2010?  Or Any Projects for 2010?
I'm shooting a photo a day and uploaded them to the Designer Digitals Flickr group everyday.  I've seen my photography improve in just the short time I've been doing this.  I learn by doing and this has helped me tremendously.  I'm so inspired by the pictures my DD friends have taken.

You can find more of Susie's beautiful photography in her flickr photostream and in her DesignerDigitals gallery.

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.


Myra said...

So fun to catch up with Susie here - such a wonderful eye she has! I love how she captures color!

mugsbigsis said...

Oh, so fun to see Susie here! I'm a huge fan of her photography and her pages at Designer Digitals. Her photos are so inspiring and I too am attracted to her bright colors.


Related Posts with Thumbnails