Sunday, May 11, 2008

The end and beginning of an era.

Shiree Friday was the last day of work for my friend Shiree. We've known each other for about ten years. In fact, she was the person who helped get me into the position that started me out at my current employer. I'll definitely miss her quirky and eclectic shenanigans at the office.

When I found out that she was retiring, I immediately went over and congratulated her. This was one of the best things to happen to her. She'll now have the free time to explore her art and metal craft (she welds!), as well as give her the freedome to find new and explosive things to do with fire, methanol, and tankards of propane. Hey, I did say she was eclectic!

Over the last year or so, I've shared my photography with Shiree whenever I could. Being an artist, she really appreciated the different things I came up with. She's an inspiration, honestly. She has a unique way of viewing the world, finding new and original ways to piece together everyday objects.

I QUIT!When she asked me to photograph her going away party, I jumped at it. I have lots of fun doing this stuff, especially when I know it's for someone who will cherish the photographs. I wanted a few portraits of her before she left so we could slap 8x10's up all over the building. A bit of a Shiree memorial, if you will. She was happy to oblige me and take a few minutes out of her party so I could set up the brollies around her. I took half a dozen photos and each one turned out really good. A year ago, I wouldn't have been so confident about dragging my stands, flashes, brollies, and camera into a crowd of people who've never seen me work. Today was different, though. I didn't care. I got a few odd looks, but I just smiled and waved.

Working with the Strobist ideas over the last year have made me realize just how much I enjoy photography. Working with people and learning how to photograph them has always been a challenge for me, but I can see where it's definitely becoming easier and easier each time I set up the gear. Shiree's encouragement helps me realize that I should continue working on it to get better and better, because someday, I will be able to retire from my regular career and move into something I find extremely enjoyable.

Shiree and GregTomorrow the Austin Strobist group is meeting up at Dunvegan Keep for our monthly meetup. I'm really looking forward to it. If it wasn't for the group of people in this group, I don't think I'd be able to create photos like these. Certainly not after a year. The amount of unhindered learning and willingness to teach (for the sheer sake of teaching!) is simply astounding.

The first two photos are of Shiree. The second is of Shiree and Greg. This was a simple light setup. One 32" white shoot through umbrella up high at camera left, SB-800 at 1/64 for the first two photos, 1/32 for the third. One 24" white shoot through umbrella low at camera right, SB-800 at 1/128 for the first two photos, 1/64 for the third.

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