All posts by Karen Vigmostad

Sharing the beauty of everyday life through words, photographs, and travels along the Great Lakes shores and islands and beyond.

Isn’t it funny


Last weekend I was in an intensive two-day workshop learning Adobe Lightroom 3.  Today I started a 6-week course to learn Photoshop Cs5.  For decades I have so loved taking photographs–I mean, the actual moment of taking the photograph–that to sit at a computer as a beginner and without a camera in sight is disconcerting. Yet the joy is still there, shimmering beneath the surface, holding the promise that soon I will once again be able to share my images with others, with the world.

At the end of the six-week course we will a full day to print out 8×10 enlargements of our images on the amazing printers at Midwest Photography Workshops.  I suspect it will be then that I get it, it will click, and Lightroom, Photoshop, and my Nikon D7000 will catapult me from the darkroom to the digital universe.  Will I the last person in America to be converted?  Seems that way some days.

Diving into the world of digital photography

I must admit that after 40+ years of taking photographs, I’ve been resisting fully entering the digital age. I knew it was coming and did buy a Nikon D70 about 7 years ago. At the time I was finally serious about showing my photographs. I specialize in color photography and was using a sweet Canon 10s with the fabulous Fuji Velvia 100 slide film. One of my photos, Paris Rose, was even accepted to the very first juried show I entered and at the prestigious Art League in Alexandria, VA. What a thrill that was! Just walking the halls with other artists as we carried our framed images made me glow with pleasure. Then seeing my gorgeous image hanging on the wall with all the accepted art was almost as good as graduating with my doctorate. No kidding.

So I have taken thousands of photos on that D70, which have been accumulating on my iMac and its predecessor ever since. I know I have a gold mine waiting for me so I am finally at a place in my life with the time to learn how to make full use of my digital camera. I took a fundamentals class in January then this weekend I’m in a two-day Adobe Lightroom class. Wow, Lightroom is a great image file-management tool. This Thursday I start the all-important Photoshop course and I can hardly wait.

I am taking the classes at Midwest Photography Workshops in Farmington Hills. A terrific place for those serious about taking courses from professional photographers who are also good instructors. I worked with the instructor to select a series of classes to bring my technical digital skills up to what my film skills were and then some. It’s a pretty steep learning curve yet i find myself walking around smiling. So stay tuned as I begin to process, post, and offer my images for sale on the Photos page here. I even bought a lightly used Nikon D7000 a few weeks ago with an amazing 18-200 mm lens so I am also transitioning to that.

It’s a new world, and a wonderful one at that.

A strong reminder

Learning of the death last week of a dear colleague and fantastic Great Lakes scientist shook my soul.  A firm reminder to live the live I want to live today and everyday, and with love and grace and kindness.

Just as in my photo of the young man fishing on South Bass Island, Bruce loved to be close to nature.  He devoted his nearly 40-year career in public service to protecting and restoring our waters and land.  Will miss you, Bruce Kirschner, and we thank you.