Craft snippets: Photography

Sally reports back from the last Craft Snippets event at Upper Riccarton Library. The next event on 25 November will feature Debbie Fox who will talk about her journey to living sustainably and making cold processed soaps.

Sandy Brinsdon, After Work Photographer

At our last Craft Snippets event we heard from the After Work Photographer, Sandy Brinsdon, all about her photography.

Sandy talked about how she started in photography, how it has become her passion and how keen she is to help people ‘get off the auto’ when they take photographs. Sandy thought she should be called the ‘before work photographer’ rather than the ‘after work photographer’ as more often than not you will find her out really early taking photos. Especially of the Brighton Pier at sunrise, one of the places she loves to photograph, “go where you enjoy”.

Sandy brought her first camera along and said she had always had an interest in photography but it wasn’t until she bought her first SLR camera five years ago when she ‘got off auto’ and could really play with her camera and it became an obsession and very time consuming. Sandy said she feels a bit of a fraud with her crafting as it doesn’t use her hands but really feels there are similarities with craft and photography.

Sandy talked about how she feels she is a technical photographer and loves playing with the settings. She doesn’t feel ‘arty’ but has a real knack with how to change the settings to make the photographs amazing. Some people have an eye for things, but Sandy is learning to have an eye.

Landscapes and wildlife photography is what Sandy is most happy taking pictures of. You would have to twist her arm to do people, and her worst fear would be a wedding. Sandy believes the skill needed to photograph people is all about your interaction with them.

Sandy has a great group of friends she has met through photography who she can talk to and learn from, be inspired by and inspire. They travel together and recently set off in a camper van together where there wasn’t a lot of sleep with all the early morning sunrises, sunsets and late night photos under the stars. Sandy has been lucky to be picked up by groups like ChristchurchNZ who take a group of photographers off to amazing places around Christchurch to take photos. ‘They are called Social Influencers’. Sandy feels like the Auntie, but no one cares and they all have the joint interest of photography.

It is lovely to get your work seen and Sandy uses Instagram and Facebook as well as a website and blog. The website and blog are more about a way to record her photos and keep a diary of where she has been and experienced. Sandy felt you could have a website and keep a blog for any hobby, it is a way of keeping a memory, a history and capturing things you have made and be able to share them with others. Last year, Sandy had an exhibition of her work at Upper Riccarton Library. The White Wall exhibition space in the Library was a great place to display her works and she invited friends for a small exhibition opening. Sandy thought this space would be great for anyone wanting to display their works for the first time and ‘have a go’ at an exhibition. Photobooks and calendars are another way to display your work and Sandy sells her calendars to get a little money to fund her passion.

People say to Sandy she must have a good camera, and yes she does, but there is a lot you can do on a phone camera. One of the photos on display of lake reflections you could get on a phone camera. People say the best camera you have is the one you have with you at the time. Sandy talked about the rule of thirds when taking a photograph and uses this to frame the shot. Sandy uses a photo editing tool called Lightroom (which is available in Computer lab 1 and the A/V Studio at Tūranga) -  one of the books Angela brought along was about how to use Lightroom. There are courses you can go along to, for example night courses at Papanui High School.

Craft Snippets September 2020

List created by CraftSnippets

Angela did a round-up of the latest photography and crafty books and magazines in the Library. You can put a hold on any of these

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More craft resources and events

Angela gave a demonstration on how to use, free with your library membership, and recommended Justin Reznick’s course on how to take photos on the New Zealand West Coast. There are photography magazines available from our website, and documentaries on Beamafilm and Kanopy. If you would like help setting any of these up please pop in and see us at the library or ring on 941 7923.

We did a run down of what is happening in the photography and crafty world around Christchurch, and people added more. There are a number of markets happening in the lead up to Christmas, and our next Craft Snippets event will be on Wednesday 25 November. We will hear from Debbie Fox who will talk about her journey to living sustainably and making cold processed soaps. Ever wanted to turn your passion in to a business? Then this talk is for you.