Behind the Lens | Andi SlighPosted by Kelly Buss on Sep 20, 2013 in Behind The Lens, Blog | 4 comments
Members of the CY365 Gallery catch my attention for many reasons. Some have lives very different from mine. They live in urban areas or foreign countries. Others have an artistic style that I envy. When Andi Sligh joined as the site launched, her photography drew me in because of the similarities to mine. She focuses on recording her family and their daily routines. Her photos evoke emotions in me that motivate me to keep photographing my children and our lives.
Meet Andi Sligh
What sparked your interest in photography?
I bought my first 35mm SLR way back in 1996, right after I got married, and took a beginner class to learn how to use it. I quickly fell in love with black & white photography and spent the next several years in my basement darkroom. I shot scenics for fun - I loved old cemeteries – and portraits of children for pay to fund my photography habit. Hand-tinted black and white was all the rage in those days, and I did a lot of it. In late 2002, just before my daughter was born, I bought a ridiculously expensive and heavy digital SLR but I had a difficult time learning post processing.
After my son was born in 2010, I realized how few photos I was taking of him and vowed to tackle a 365 project. My aims were twofold: to learn post-processing and to make sure I had as many photos of him as I did of my daughter. Capture Your 365 was launched right after I started, and I’m not sure I would have made it through that first year without Katrina and the gang here. I still don’t love Photoshop, but I discovered Lightroom and it’s made all the difference in my love of photography. I’ve learned that I’m a minimalist in terms of processing, and I’m good with that.
What camera do you use?
I have a basic Canon EOS Rebel T1i that I bought not long after I began my first 365 project. Before that, I was still shooting with that heavy Canon D60 – it only had 6 megapixels! – or a point and shoot. Sometimes I wish I had something better, but whenever I start to get camera envy I remember one of my photography instructors from back in the day. He shot a roll of 35mm film with a plastic polar bear camera made for kids that the local camera shop gave him, and they used one of the images in an advertisement. It proved to me that the photographer’s eye is the most important piece of equipment.
What is your favorite lens?
None of them! My camera bag is full of either old or cheap lenses, unfortunately. I have the basic kit lens that came with the Canon EOS Rebel T1i, a “nifty fifty” Canon 50mm f/1.4 fixed, and two lenses left over from my 35mm days – a 100-300mm zoom and a 28-105mm zoom. Believe it or not, the kit lens is the one that gets the most use, because it’s the most versatile when I’m trying to grab a quick shot of my son in the house before he darts way. I get frustrated a lot because none of my lens’ apertures open up as wide as I would like, but I make do.
What makes you happiest about your photography?
Two things. Memories grow dim, but photographic images endure, and my photography makes me happy because I’m recording real life as it happens. I crop and do some basic retouching, but I don’t do a lot of heavy editing because I want each photo to reflect real life with all of its messiness and imperfections. My family is also a little out of the ordinary- my daughter has cerebral palsy and my son has Down syndrome – so not only do my photos provide a priceless history of our lives, but they allow me to note progress in their development that is often hard to see in daily life.
What is your favorite aspect of CY365?
I love that we are all “real people” of all skill levels who want to capture life and improve our photography skills. We have a beauty and simplicity here that is lacking in many other photography sites and communities. A lot of photography sites are fun to view, but intimidating to try to break into because the goals of the members are vastly different from mine – and I’ve been shooting for over fifteen years! CY365 is open and welcoming to people of all skill levels, and I’m proud to say that I’ve been around since the beginning of this special community.