It’s been a while since the last time I posted. It is a good feeling to be finally at home sitting down to write. Sometimes life gets in the way in good ways, like my parents coming to visit me for three weeks. When that happens it is good to just lean back and enjoy it. In the end I am sure I will remember these weeks more than all the years on my computer.
After those amazing three weeks I needed another week to get back on track! And for that I went up to Santa Barbara and among other things… gave my first “Creative Compositing Photography Workshop” at Youth Interactive. Youth Interactive creates after school programs on Technology, Entrepreneurship and the Arts, so that youth can live their dreams & grow into financially sustainable, fulfilled, happy people. I was honored and excited when my dear friend Emily invited me to be one of the mentors. I was blessed to grow up in a sheltered environment and in an encouraging family, so if I can give some encouragement back I must.
The idea behind the workshop was to introduce the kids to what is possible with digital photography and get them fired up to imagine and create new worlds. No we didn’t have a fancy studio with unlimited backdrops and flashes to get started. We did it all with the materials and the spaces that were accessible to us at the Youth Interactive headquarters.
The first day we started with basic camera use and photography theory to give them an idea on how to use the camera in Manual to get more creative freedom. The second day I showed them how I approach each of my fantasy pictures step by step and then we created a piece together.
We started with the scribbles below; something that we dug from my messy diary. The drawing represents the discovery of a new brighter reality behind the curtain which would later turn into a wall.
Below is the main image where all the images came to blend together. We were really lucky that the same day we decided to create this image, the center had received a donation from Patagonia that consisted of meters and meters of fiber! So yes, we got a perfect backdrop for our improvised backyard studio. The idea here is having a surface that is plain enough for the other images to blend in. What we want to get is the movement and wrinkles of the fiber when it is moved.
For the image of the valley I used a picture I took with my tilt shift on my way to Sequoia National Park while traveling with my parents. The image of the bricks is from a house close to home.
I think I learned as much as my students did . It was refreshing to see their eagerness to learn and to help them find their way on a creative road. We never stop being students after all.
Emily and Nathalie, the power behind Youth Interactive, have big plans for the center. I was beyond inspired by their motivation and the positive impact they are bringing to their community. We are already planning a future workshop that will be a little longer and with more hands on experience so that the students can create their own projects and continue working on them once the workshop is over.
I am forever grateful for this opportunity to grow with such inspiring people!