This week we’re getting to know community member, Kirsten Barry.

Kirsten is from Northern Illinois and loves to follow the light while out riding her bicycle and looking for photographs.

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How did you get started in photography?

I got started taking pictures trying to capture the world around me. I am endlessly intrigued by life and although I enjoy trying my hand at landscape, macro, sports, etc. I always seem to find my way back to still life images. I love getting lost in the details and inherent beauty therein.

What was your first camera?

My first camera was a Kodak Instamatic (complete with those little flash cubes!) that I got for Christmas one year. I loved it immediately and had fun trying different things. I used that camera on and off for years until I bought my Minolta 35mm.

Then life was really fun and I was taking a ton of pictures, but waiting to pick up the developed prints was excruciating. My kids were babies at that time and there was nothing worse than finally picking up the prints, and ripping open the envelope only to find that I had missed the shot! I finally got my first digital camera and discovered a whole new world. I love the instant feedback.

Who is one photographer that inspires you and why?

I can’t really name one photographer that has inspired me over any others. There are so many talented individuals out there and I love browsing different genres and techniques.

I find I can always learn something by studying what I like or don’t like. Many times I am inspired to try an idea that I have seen; browsing is never wasted time!

What’s the first thing you look for in composing your image?

The first thing I look for is light. Always. I have been known to grab whatever is handy to practice with when the light is beautiful. This is probably why I can get so lost in still life images; my props don’t move and I can really play with the composition until I get to what I like best.

Learning to bounce, soften and block light as needed fascinates me. I love the different feel that can be created just by adjusting the various components of subject, base and background. Add in-camera settings and I completely lose track of time!

Join Kirsten and others in the Photofocus Community!

If you’d like the opportunity to be featured like Kirsten, join the community here. More than that though, it’s a great place to meet other photographers, share images and talk about all things photography.