Member Monday Featuring Christina Shirley

Today, we introduce you to KelbyOne member Christina Shirley, and this beautifully vibrant floral image titled Snakes in Bloom. Settle in and let’s get to it!

About the Photographer:

  • Hometown:  I am originally from South Texas, currently residing in Somersworth, New Hampshire.
  • Years in Photography: I’ve spent the past 18 years in photography: I got an old Minolta XG-1 SLR in 2003(ish) and began photographing my kids. In 2008, my oldest son encouraged me to “go digital”, and I bought his Canon EOS Rebel from him when he upgraded his gear. I’m currently using an 8 year old Canon 60d, and I’ve never looked back (although I do have a film camera that I play with)!

About the Photo:

  • Title: Snakes in bloom
  • Location: Outside my condo
  • Any additional description of the photograph: This is a pink rhododendron bloom
  • Gear/Software Used: Canon 60d, 50mm lens with macro glass attached. Edited in LrC and PhotoshopCC for unsharp masking. 

Describe your creative style in 3 words.

Spontaneous, present, joyful

Tell us about a time you struggled or failed with your photography, and how you overcame it?

In August 2019, my partner and I took a trip to Acadia National Park in Maine specifically to shoot the galactic center of the milky way.

This was a photography bucket list item of mine for years, and I rented a couple of lenses for the trip: a super zoom in case we saw eagles or whales, and a wide angle for the night shots. We spent hours spotting locations to find just the right angles for the shot. I knew the foreground interest points were going to be sketchy at best, but my main focus was to see if I could focus the milky way and stars. 

I had previously read and listened to more photographers than I can count in preparation, and spent a substantial amount of time on KelbyOne trying to make sure I understood everything I would need to do. Forty-five minutes before time to set out, I was going through the gear and lenses when I realized the wide angle lens I’d ordered was for Nikon. I was crushed! #photographyfail

I had to think fast, so I went to my camera bag and grabbed the widest angle lens I owned at the time: my kit lens, 18-135mm. I got the shots I wanted, and I learned a hard lesson! Basically, it was a win/win situation after I caught my breath.

What sparked your love of photography?

My love of photography was sparked by having children! I didn’t want to miss a thing with them, and as a result, they both have BOXES of prints! After they were grown, I just allowed myself to expand.

What’s your favorite class on KelbyOne and why?

That’s not a fair question, to be sure! I enjoy the Milky Way/Astrophotography courses, mostly because I’m currently obsessed with getting the perfect shot! I enjoy Scott Kelby and Erik Kuna for their instruction style. 

Thank you for joining us for another Member Monday! If you haven’t yet, be sure to submit your photos for a chance to receive a Member Monday feature of your own.