Letting Go



Floating Candles

Floating Candles
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1 Comment | Report
JuanitoS
 
JuanitoS September 12, 2016
I like it!!

Behind The Lens

Location
This photo was taken in Anniston, Alabama on the grounds of the Center for Domestic Preparedness (formerly Fort McClellan) following the completion of FEMA Corps training.
Time
This photo was taken on the last night of an intensive ten days of training at the Center for Domestic Preparedness that wrapped up the two months of Team Leader training for the inaugural class of FEMA Corps. The Team Leaders had gathered that night to light lanterns and celebrate our last night together before we headed out with out teams the following morning. This photo was taken pretty late at night, past the official curfew for the training center.
Lighting
Using just the light that radiated from the lit lanterns as they lifted into the night sky, I initially thought it was too dark to capture this image. I was pleasantly surprised to discover this image once I got it back to the computer!
Equipment
I shot this with a hand-held Nikon D7000 with a fixed 50mm f/1.8 lens. No other equipment was used.
Inspiration
My goal for several years of my journey with photography was to capture moments throughout my time in various AmeriCorps programs, including FEMA Corps based out of Vicksburg, Mississippi. My camera was always close at hand in the attempt to share the story of who we were as members of National Service. For this specific image, I went out that evening in the attempt to capture some of the last moments that all of us Team Leaders would be together before we were scattered across the country on various service projects. One of the other Team Leaders asked me to take her picture as she released her lantern into the sky, and everything seemed to fall into place.
Editing
At the time, I was still learning the photography process and was still shooting in JPEG, not in RAW. Besides a little bit of cropping and color adjustments there is not a lot of post-processing that went into this image.
In my camera bag
I still shoot with my Nikon D7000, primarily equipped with the same fixed 50mm f/1.8 lens. In my bag, I have a couple other lenses (depending on the situation, the shoot, adventure, etc.), a GoPro, a waterproof point and shoot, a good pair of boots and water. I also have a mono-pod and a tripod that I occasionally carry around with me, but more often than not, they are left at home.
Feedback
Night photography is a challenge to begin with. Add in moving people and the instability of fire and you've just made it more challenging for yourself! First and foremost: keep your camera close at hand at all times. Be prepared at any moment to capture an image. The more you shoot, the better you will get; so shoot in as many different situations as possible. What you learn from one experience (shooting indoors in a studio situation, for example) can influence how you approach difficulties in another (low-light, outdoor challenges). Absorb knowledge like a sponge; learn from anyone and everyone who is willing to put up with you, even if how they shoot is not your "style" of photography. Read articles. Watch videos. Push yourself to try something new. And finally: if your not shooting in RAW (I'm pointing at my old self here), it will be a lot more difficult in the post-processing phase to get your photo exactly where you want it.

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