Welcome to this month’s “Community Spotlight” where you get to know a little more about the talented photographers who are part of our 365 Picture Today Community. This month we introduce you to Sherri Stone.
Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you live and when you developed an interest in photography.
Hello everyone! I’m Sherri Stone and I live in the rural town of Windsor which is in the southeastern part of Virginia. I married Ray in 2008 and I am blessed to be the mom of twin sons that are 31, I have a daughter in law that also loves photography and two grandsons that are 10 and 6 and they call me GiGi! I’m an introvert and I don’t talk a lot until I feel comfortable and then I may never stop talking, lol. I use a lot of exclamation points and heart emojis as they reflect my zest for life when I write comments on social media.
My mom gave me my first camera when I was a teenager and we mailed the film off to get it developed. The camera was a Kodak 110 with a crazy gel flash pack. It was shortly after my first grandson was born that I made the leap to a Canon Rebel T1i dslr camera and started learning how to use it.
How long have you been taking a photo a day? What do you enjoy and what do you find challenging?
I decided to take a photo a day at the beginning of 2014 with a goal to grow my skills and be in a community of fellow enthusiasts. Although I didn’t complete that year when a family member had a major health crisis, I picked up the challenge again in 2015 and I was hooked. I’ve learned to make this project my own and there were a few years that I didn’t meet the daily goal when life was challenging but that’s okay. In 2019, my mom moved in with us and she starred in my photos many days and I treasure those memories. The friendships that I have made here are priceless. Those that could be there came to Mom’s memorial service, and yes, we documented that day in photos!
I enjoy being creative in my photography and I am very thankful for digital cameras that let me take multiple shots to get the look I am after. I enjoy changing things up with intentional blur and still life photography is a new found love.
The most challenging thing for me is technical prompts. I have learned in recent years that my mind processes differently especially in following step by step directions and I am still learning to adapt. I just got into still life photography last year during the Covid lockdown. I would take a few photos and break down my setup then upload my photos and get frustrated because something wasn’t quite right. I’ve learned to be more patient with the process, to stop being my worst critic and don’t break down my setup until I have the photo I want!
What tip do you wish you knew sooner?
Oh, I wish I knew about back button focus a long time ago!
What is the strangest thing you have ever photographed?
Since I have a quirky sense of humor I will say that the strangest thing I have photographed is a hummingbird at the feeder but the angle was of him upside down and bottom up so he looked like the Grinch! Lol
Do you have a favorite photography app or editing software? What is your “go to” camera & lens?
I currently edit my photos on my iPad with Canon’s DPP Express app that converts RAW to JPEG. Then depending on the look I’m after I will use one or a few of these: Snapseed, Photoshop Express, Mextures and Retouch.
My go to camera for capturing birds and going on photo walks is my Canon 80D with the Tamron zoom 18-400mm. For still life and all other photos I use my 6D Mark ii with the Tamron 24-70, Canon Macro 100mm and LensBaby Sweet 35 as they are my favorite lenses.