Artsy, Active Weekend of Photography and Local Adventures

CoupleThis ended up being a really productive weekend. We crossed a bunch of travel and wedding planning items off the list Saturday, including the fiance taking a camera class for our brand new Canon EOS 60D, an early wedding present from my parents (AMAZING!)

Between the class and the gobs of reading he’s done online, he’s really got the hang of it, which in turn means I get lessons from him on how to use our Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT, a gift from my mom a couple of years ago.

I don’t know about you, but just hearing about the mechanics of the camera makes my brain go numb. I should probably try harder, but it literally hurts when there are so many other things on my mind (wedding, work, Europe trip in two weeks, etc.) I just can’t grasp everything I’m learning until I put it to practice. Luckily we took some time on both Saturday and Sunday to do just that.

Thanks to my facebook and twitter feeds, I get loads of news about things going on in Northeast Ohio. This is often depressing because there’s so much to do and so little time to do it.

These were taken about two minutes apart-- one on auto and one on the new program mode. Amazing to me how it doesn't even look like the same time of day.
These were taken about two minutes apart– one on auto and one on the new program mode. Amazing to me how it doesn’t even look like the same time of day.

Such was the case this weekend, but we did get to take advantage of one activity Saturday night–the Kent Art and Wine Festival. It was late when we got back from all our errands so we grabbed a quick bite for dinner and then drove down to Kent as the evening was setting in (perfect lighting for pictures, as it turns out. I know, I know. I really am just a beginner!)

A couple of our friends had planned to attend so we met up and they became guinea pigs for some of my practice shots. Luckily they were good sports AND beautiful models. Can’t beat it!

We wandered around sipping wine, checking out all kinds of local art and music and making our way down to a beautiful area I didn’t even know existed. I went to Kent State for four years and have lived within an hour drive the past six years–how could I not know about the beautiful area under the bridge and the waterfall?!?! I was very disappointed in myself but very glad I was finally introduced to it–we will definitely be back.

Lefthand equals new program mode, righthand equals former auto mode
Lefthand equals new program mode, righthand equals former auto mode

The dusk was perfect for learning about the different ISO settings and when to shoot in a programmed mode versus auto (which is all I have ever shot in) so I really think I’m ready for moving objects and the dark interiors of churches in Europe in a couple of weeks. I am not ever going to learn all the photography details the fiance loves, but I am learning enough about shooting in low light that a whole new world of photographing possibility has now opened. That definitely makes the lessons well worth it.

On Sunday we took care of things around the house and then ran errands in the afternoon with a break to explore Virginia Kendall State Park. It’s part of the Cuyahoga Valley National Parks, and although I’d heard of it, we had never been. It was a nice change from the tow-path, which we love, but which is usually packed on nice days.

Walking the ledges at Virginia Kendall
Walking the ledges at Virginia Kendall

The ledges at Virginia Kendall were very interesting and made for some good photos. There were other people on the trail, but overall it was pretty quiet and we were alone most of the time to hike and explore at our leisure.

We were disappointed the bat cave was closed but excited to take our first look over the Overlook (ha!) I can see why people bring their picnics to watch the sunset over the treetops. I bet it’s beautiful in the fall when the colors change.

I grew up in the woods so the hiking and tree cover feel like home. It makes me miss being young and walking our dog over hills and through the woods in relaxing solitude.

I hope we live a little more remotely some day–it’s nice to have a break to just walk and think and snap the occasional picture while leaving everything else behind.

In addition to a little peace of mind, our weekend forays gave me some points of pride; the festival and new park experiences helped me completely cross off a couple of my 2013 resolutions and the camera lessons let me make some progress on another. I’m ready to tackle and finish off the remaining two I’ve started, which will put me in a great place to take on the last, and most daunting–applying for my master’s degree program. This has been and continues to be a year of growth and change in all aspects of my life, and I can’t wait to see what else is in store.

2013 New Year Resolutions

2 thoughts on “Artsy, Active Weekend of Photography and Local Adventures

  1. Pingback: Mid-Year Review: New Year’s Resolutions | Heather's Compass

  2. Pingback: Local Adventures: Cleveland’s West Side | Heather's Compass

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