Last Saturday Mashable hosted their Valentine’s Day themed #MashMeet Photo Challenge at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, in which photographers, both professional and amateur, were given the opportunity to mingle and push their skills with the New York City skyline and Lady Liberty serving as the breathtaking backdrop.
Since I’ve started blogging, I’ve been trying to test my limits as a photographer and am proud of where I’ve come from where I first began. I’ve learned that a lot of it comes from simply taking lots and lots of photos, but I’ve also picked up on so much just by observing others and their work.
With this #MashMeet, we were given the opportunity to not only interact with others who take their crafts seriously, but also to challenge ourselves behind the lens and it was great fun being able to set up shots and view things from different perspectives and angles.
Something that this trip did help me do – besides reassure me that photographing things at the most inopportune moments is totally okay (if not really, really annoying) – is think outside the box in terms of how I take photos. Oftentimes the best photos came at the most unexpected and unplanned moments, like when someone from the group brought out colorful smoke bombs that added a wonderful contrast to the stark whiteness of the snow and brought a dreaminess to the harsh metal buildings in the background.
I was also given a glimpse into the world of those who have taken their Instagramming to new, often obsessive levels, in order to capture what they hope to be a little bit of magic through the lenses of their iPhones. So consumed these individuals have become with taking the next great photo, that it can be difficult for them to go even a few paces without pulling out their phones to snap a photo, with one even exclaiming that he “Instagrams 21 hours and sleeps only 3 [consecutive] hours” each night.
No judgment here (okay, well maybe just a wee bit), but I just hope that I’m able to maintain some sort of control over my social media usage before I get sucked into that often unforgiving black hole.
Anyhow, despite freezing my butt off, I really did have a great time. I think that photography is a hobby I’ve yet to really explore and being given the opportunity to go somewhere solely for the purpose of exploring this medium was a wonderful opportunity.