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Little Rock photographer weekend to do list


Photo by Michelle Posey

This is one of the best weekends of the year to be a photographer in Arkansas. Just a glance at a calendar of upcoming events should have your shutter finger itching. Here are some ideas to get you out of the house and taking photos:

Fall for foliage. Arkansas's fall foliage is off to a great start. The past few years have been somewhat dismal for foliage due to drought conditions. The opposite is true this year, and the trees are already starting to sport some amazing colors. Get out of town and head to a state park. Try a picture of a single leaf, frame a subject with multicolored leaves, try a reflection in a pond or lake, or spotlight fallen leaves in moving water (stay tuned for tomorrow's tutorial in taking great moving water photos.)

Photo by Michelle Posey

Get a fair shot. This weekend is the last chance to get photos at the 2009 Arkansas State Fair.

I've seen several photographers shoot this kind of picture with the swings, but I always like them. Look for something special, like someone reaching his hand out to a friend, as in the photo at right.

Do some people watching on the midway. Be brave and ask a few interesting people if you can take a portrait.

Wait until dusk or after, and set your camera for a slow shutter speed. Try a long exposure like the one below. You can add flash to stop some motion in the photo. For a really long exposure you don't even need on-camera flash; you can simply hand hold a flash and fire it manually.

If you're really brave or have a really strong stomach, try photographing while on a ride, dragging the shutter and firing your flash to stop motion. Be warned, this can trigger nausea.

While you're there, check out the winners of this year's "This is Arkansas" and "The Great Outdoors" photo contests.

Photo by Michelle Posey

Chase the race. The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure will be held Saturday morning in downtown Little Rock. The race starts at 8 a.m. at the intersection of Broadway and Second Street.

Again, dragging the shutter can have a cool effect here as you get a crowd shot of the many, many racers at the start.

Many people dress up for this event, so look for some cool costumes. And don't forget to look for a spot where you can shoot down on the sea of pink that will be downtown Little Rock.

Support your local artists. Maybe someone you know is represented in the Arkansas Community Arts Cooperative Fall Art Show and Sale. It's a good chance to look at some art work, get inspired, and maybe even make an investment for the future.

Learn something. The Arkansas Professional Photographers Association holds their Fall Seminar this weekend. Saturday morning's topic is, "Developing the Professional Mindset." Non-members can attend one event before joining. If you have thought about turning pro, now is the time to meet other photographers and find out what it's all about.