As I’m embarking on a new life change, the words of my Aunt Janet keep passing through my head, there is no time machine. You can’t go back and undo things. You can only learn from the past and keep moving forward.” Well, as I write this, I am less than year from retiring from the Army. I’m within six months of finishing my bachelor’s degree in digital photography with the Art Institute of Pittsburgh-Online Division. My son is a junior in high school. My daughter just started middle school. The only constant is my husband and my house. Within the next five years, I will retire from the Army, grow my photography business and my son will start college.
There’s no stopping time. It just keeps moving forward. This idea has inspired my latest series, “Moving Forward”. It is a study in photographic techniques capturing motion in varying lighting conditions. I’m experimenting with new to me techniques like nighttime photography with light trails, daytime photography using an ND filter for long exposures, and panning. It has been quite the ride.
I took this photograph of my friend, David, at dusk in Brown Canyon. I went with a group of riders specifically to capture nighttime light trails. After setting up my lighting equipment and testing my camera, I realized that I didn’t have my transmitter to sync my camera to the flash units on either side of him. In true photographic fashion, I improvised. My daughter and David’s daughter were each stationed at a flash unit. On the command “go”, the hit the test button on the flash. It took a few tries, but we made it work. The result is this motion blur after the flash hit David to stop the motion. It was much easier once my son came back with my transmitter.
When my son came back with my transmitter, there was more fun to be had. Then came the light trails. I had to time the speed of each rider individually to get their average speed so I could predict when to open the shutter in order to catch the light trail in the frame and get the flash units to pop at the precise moment when the rider hit the jump. A lot of trial and error went into this shoot, but it was incredibly interesting, and I learned so much about nighttime photography.