Monday, May 21, 2012

52 week project Week 2 - Sound

This weeks topic was a pretty easy one (sarcasm) - sound.  When I showed the list of topics to Kim, she immediately looked at me and said "sound?"  As in, how the hell are you going to photograph sound.  Well, when I told her that it needed to be an image that invoked the thought of sound then she understood a bit more.

Anyway, I'd had some ideas and I tried a couple of them but they weren't really all that successful.  We've got a beautiful grand piano and an even more impressive organ at our church but after attempting to photograph our sanctuary and other items in our church, I have yet to find a really great way to capture the grandure of either.  I  really feel we have a great looking church and when you walk into it in the afternoon with the sunlight coming through the stained glass windows and shining onto the beautiful wooden pews, it really is beautiful.  But for the life of me, I can't figure out how to capture that beauty with a camera!  DANG IT!!

Back to the weekly project - so I realized I had a great opportunity for "sound" last Friday night when Indianola was having their monthly Bike Night.  Motorcycles from all over the state (and some surrounding states) converge on Indianola for about 4-5 hours and make ALOT OF NOISE!  You can only imagine how loud it gets with a couple thousand Harley Davidson, Honda, Victory (and even crotch rockets) all gathered around a simple town square.  It may not even be legitimate to compare this to Sturgis but it's pretty impressive nonetheless.

So Kim, Elena and I walked the 3 blocks to the square to see what we could find.  I told Kim that if she thought she saw a good picture, then she should let me know because I'm definitely open to suggestions.  I took a couple dozen pictures trying to get pictures that show the size of the group, showing bikes in a line, individual bikes that were super original and everything in between.  Nothing really felt quite right.  Finally after we decided to start heading out, Kim spotted one last interesting bike.  It wasn't really an original bike (paint job, construction, etc) but it did have lots of chrome with some interesting light.  I took a few pictures of it trying to get something original and usable and this is what I got.  I think this works pretty well for sound, what do you think?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

52 week project Week 1 - Water

Recently I've seen on some of my favorite blogs, discussions about doing 365 day, 52 week or 30 day projects.  The concept is pretty simple.  You pick a project duration and then pick a format.  Some people will do one topic (like self portraits) for an entire month.  That would help them experiment with new techniques and styles to attempt to expand their knowledge.  Or they could pick a different topic for each individual day.

I have decided to do a 52 week project.  I have already come up with all 52 topics and I decided to start it this week.  The gist of my project and each topic is to take a picture that is either literal or invokes the thought of the topic.  I must, however, include the topic in the picture somehow.  For instance, this week is water.  I might take a picture of a bridge but there must be some water in the picture somewhere.  Or I could take a picture of geese in flight as long as there is some water involved then it works for me.

I will be posting all of my (decent) qualifying pictures here because I don't want to stop thinking about the weekly topic just because I got one decent shot.  I would rather have three entirely different attempts with three flops than only one attempt with an acceptable picture.  The purpose of this project is multifaceted.  1) To learn as much of the actual process of photography in a real world setting.  2) To get out of my comfort zone and look at things differently and to look at different things.  3) To learn if my equipment is sufficient for my needs or if upgrading is a logical next step for me.

One of my biggest hurdles is to get real experience behind the camera.  I've spent so much time reading about photography but only a fraction of that time has been spent actually taking photos.  I mean, how successful would I be if I knew every nuance of a golf swing but had never actually swung a club.  I know the exposure triangle of ISO, aperture and shutter speed but when I get out into the real world it still takes me a few test shots to figure out how my camera should be set up.  I also have a few lessons to learn about camera preparedness.  I would like to get into the habit of always resetting my camera to 400 ISO, Program mode and Auto White Balance whenever I get done taking pictures.  It only takes a few seconds and those couple of steps could be the saving grace I need to capture those quick shots of Elena instead of missing them entirely.

With all of that in mind, my first attempt is a shot I took this morning on my way to work.  I stopped at Summerset State park to see if I could get some shots of the fog on the water.  I was not disappointed and I think I got a couple of good ones.