Photography 101: Day 2, plus a bonus rant!

Today is day 2 in my 30 day self-study on photography.  Today’s prompt:

Ugh.  That is all I can say.  It seems that some of these early prompts are designed to teach me some sort of self esteem lesson. Is this basically another self-portrait, or is there someway I can get around this?

We’re going to move out of the photography discussion for a moment, and talk about one of the pitfalls of travel. We left Vancouver exactly 3 weeks ago. At the time we packed up our clothing – about 4 weeks ago – the weather was sunny, warm, a perfect West Coast Indian Summer. I figured I would back smart, so I packed some of my summer clothes and some of my fall clothes. I even thought I’d be extra smart and back half my clothes in a tub to be accessed when my rotation of road trip clothes got stagnant.

I now realize that my “fall clothes” consist largely of my summer clothes with a light-to-medium-weight sweater over top.  My winter clothes are currently crammed in the upper back corner of a Montreal storage facility, including my only stylish water resistant jacket.  Even then, my winter clothes consist of the occasional short-to-three-quarter length shirt (or dress), with either jeans and boots or a skirt and boots, or leggings and boots. On top of that, I seemed to have had packing brain, and my extra tub is filled mainly with socks, underwear, my 2nd swim suit, and exercise clothes.

In order to rectify the lack of jacket situation, and the lack of warm fall clothes, I’ve attempted a few shopping excursions in Ottawa.  I found a great little consignment store, Young Janes, on Dalhousie Street. I found an adorable skirt. Today I decided to venture to the Rideau Mall to see if I could find a cheap jacket to keep my slightly waterproof until we start raiding our storage unit.

Cheap – mall – HAH!

I am going to go on a small rant here.  I HATE MALL SHOPPING.  I have a nice day consignment shopping, hunting for treasures, having my imagination piqued by how to wear various tops, skirts, etc that I come upon.  Then I go to the mall with the idea that “I just need [this item], I’m sure I can find it no problem at the mall, I just need something cheap and easy”.  I must have this idea in my head that a mall is something which it proves over and over again that it is not. The mall is not easy – you have to comb through dozens of stores that somehow all have the same clothes.  Nor is it cheap – they want to charge $60 for a lightweight, poorly made blouse.  On top of that, they never have what I’m looking for.  All I wanted today was a long sleeved, kind-of-draped blouse (preferably in navy, red, or dark green), a waterproof and decently stylish jacket, and over-the-knee socks.  Apparently, this year, everything is turtlenecks in rusty 70s colours, or parkas.

I must come to accept that I hate the mall, and that I will always hate the mall. I keep coming back, thinking I’ll hit the jackpot.  But the fact is, even when I hit the jackpot with cheap clothes (read: H&M), they wear out within a season. So no more mall for me.

Back to photography. When I think about what I wore today, it was schluppy at best.  I just wanted to be comfy and warm.  I wore my gray jeans, a striped wife-beater tanktop, and my Olympic hoodie.  I didn’t brush my hair when I woke up, so it’s been a little off.  I also wore my glasses instead of my contacts, to give my eyes a bit of a break. So I basically wore glorified pajamas today. Not a day I would want to do “What I Wore Today”.

So I am going to lie.  This is not actually what I wore today.  But I wanted to learn how to showcase outfits, so, if I was not being a total slob today, this is what I would have worn, if I had not been in the premenstrual funk that I now realize I am clearly in (sorry, TMI, but nothing better can describe the mood I have been in for the last two days!).

Skirt from Young Janes, Top from H&M, belt repurposed from other dress

Now, my critique of my own work.  I have discovered the fix to bad lighting: retro filters.  Sigh, I will attempt to only use filters when they actually enhance the look of the photo from now on.  But it does take a photo from zero to hero quite easily.  And at least I didn’t have a melt down today about looking bad in the photo.  I am already annoyed with the lighting in here, and motivated to, shyness be damned, take photos in the out of doors tomorrow.  But I think the editing on this is better than yesterday.  I used (and slightly modified) a dodge & burn tutorial and a retro filter tutorial.


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