Week 25: From Below | 2017 Project 52

Confession time: Right when I wanted to get more serious about my Project 52 photos, I picked up a project at work. Like, a doozy of a project. And when I drain my brain at work during the day, I fall face first into my bed at night. Most weeknights you can find me changed into my pajamas by 7p — that way if I start to doze off, I can just climb into bed without having to do my nightly routine right before.

I’ve had my camera with me everyday, but not a lot of time to get away and explore. I’ve had a few photowalks that have been fun… but not like what I wanted at the beginning of May.

Now we’re facing the end of June… and too many outtakes for “from below” to count.

from below

Settings: f/16.0, 1/100 sec, 35mm, ISO 100
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

Narrowing down to an image this week was hard because I didn’t like any of them. But after playing around with a couple that included big, fluffy white clouds… a little editing and cropping… this was the one that spoke the most to me.

I’m not sure what building this is… but that doesn’t matter because the sky was bright blue, the clouds were happy and the most perfect breeze was blowing. It might be teetering in the high 80s, but we were handed a few great days of weather. So I stood on the hot pavement and aimed my camera toward the sky. You can’t win them all, but you can appreciate a beautiful day outside.


Week 26: Photographer’s Choice
due 06.28.17

Another quarter has passed us by and we’re going to have another “photographer’s choice” prompt! It’s nice to take a little break between all the different themes, so this week share your favorite photo with our Flickr group. I challenge to choose only ONE image to share — not two, not three, ONLY ONE IMAGE! Being selective with the photos we choose to share is part of this project, and it helps us figure out our style and define who we are as photographers. If you a little guidance, I’ve included some articles below that might help you choose the perfect photo.

7 Tips for Choosing Your Best Photos Fast
How to Choose Your Best Photo in a Series — Every Time
How to Narrow Your Vision and Find a Voice

If you post your images on Instagram or any other social media, use the hashtag #2017project52 so that we can find your work and give it some love!
Have questions about 2017 Project 52? You can find more about it here or in the Flickr group description. Please join us!

Week 24: Curves | 2017 Project 52

I searched high and low and never came upon a place, a situation or a curve that caught my eye. I had an idea to find the most perfect piece of grass and frame the most perfect subject with the curve pointing directly to it… but life didn’t happen that way this week. Actually, I barely took my camera out of my bag. So I started thinking about ways to photograph curves I could make myself.

Settings: f/2.8, 1/640 sec, 70mm, ISO 1600
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8

I looked for inspiration all over my house and finally found it when I was flipping through a book, folding the pages into the middle, creating little teardrop curves. It was a simple idea, but I liked it. I ditched the book when it didn’t photograph a way I liked and decided to make my own curves from card stock.

The sheets were all different colors, but the black and white held my eye a little longer. I stopped up to f/2.8 and the narrow depth of field really started to change my subject. The focus blurs out quickly when looking down through the curve. It’s sharp and soft. The light and shadows play inside and out of the shapes, tricking your eye. It’s a little trippy.

This wasn’t what I intended to capture at all. And I am hopeful that I’ll look at a fellow participant’s photo this week and just be blown away. But for me, this week, I am OK with getting a little creative with paper and light. Sometimes that’s how something really fun happens.


Week 25: From Below
due 06.21.17

In Week 11 we shot from above and this week we are shooting from below. Consider your subject — does shooting from below make you, as the viewer, feel smaller? Or that you’re not in control? Are you able to transform the story of your subject just by lowering yourself and angling your camera upwards?

Change your perspective, position yourself under your subject and fire away!

If you post your images on Instagram or any other social media, use the hashtag #2017project52 so that we can find your work and give it some love!
Have questions about 2017 Project 52? You can find more about it here or in the Flickr group description. Please join us!

UPDATE: Flickr appears to be experiencing outages, very slow load times and timing out. This makes uploading and leaving comments difficult. Hopefully this will be resolved over the next few days, and if you’d like to revisit the group to leave kind words, we’d love that. Thank you!

Week 23: Show Me the Door | 2017 Project 52

I thought show me the door would be a fun an excuse to get out and explore. Or to even be interpreted in another way. Regardless, an interesting and fun and easier prompt considering last week’s “state of mind” was more difficult than intended. With the weather getting warmer in the States, I knew that I’d probably end up on a photowalk… but I had my fingers crossed that driving through rural Indiana on Sunday would lend to something interesting. All we saw was a bunch of green, no towns, so photowalk it was.

A wonderfully muggy photowalk with my good friend, Erin, who has enough patience to pause every half block and even point things out along the way.

We set out from the alley behind our building on Fourth Street and walked all over — across to Second Street, all the way down to Broadway, across Broadway, and eventually came back down Fourth Street. I got a lot photos to choose from, and saw some glass work and deco I hadn’t seen before in Louisville, but narrowing down which photo to choose wasn’t that hard.

door

Settings: f/3.2, 1/400 sec, 35mm, ISO 400
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

I have walked past this door before. Several times, in fact, over the last three years. And I have never seen it.

We had just passed Safier, a Mediterranean deli that has chicken shawarma sandwich I like to put my face into, and saw the gold-colored lines on the curved walls on the sidewalk. And when we rounded the corner, we were both like “oooh!” Haha!

The color in this image was great… the marble is maroon and most of the metal is brassy, with a bit of dull silver where the rivets are, and the tiles in front are orange and yellow. But when I converted it to black and white I fell in love with the sharp contrast, the light reflecting off the metal perfectly… ahhh. The leading lines from the curved corners on the sidewalk take in you in, then you see all the lines on the door, the handles, the window above. The tiles on the ground create an arrow pointing to the door. This door is so inviting. And the light… did I mention the light?

I really like the image I was able to get this week. And being able to spend time with a friend who was also hunting and playing along made the photowalk better. Maybe I can convince her to join me again next week. ;)


Week 24: Curves
due 06.14.17

Composing with lines can add interest to an image, and a curve can take the viewer’s eye on a journey. Think about all the curves you see, man-made or in nature, in the foreground or background, and think of an interesting way to photograph them. Remember you are guiding the viewer’s eye, so consider where your curve begins and ends, and how you frame the entire story.

Bonus Challenge: If you’re up for another challenge this week, photograph an implied curve — where there is no physical curve, but that your subject is presented in a way that a curve is implied.

If you post your images on Instagram or any other social media, use the hashtag #2017project52 so that we can find your work and give it some love!
Have questions about 2017 Project 52? You can find more about it here or in the Flickr group description. Please join us!

Week 22: State of Mind | 2017 Project 52

You know when you really want to do something well and then you end up overthinking it… which may possibly a little bit lead to a type of paralysis of even starting? That was me. But really, that works for this week theme: state of mind. Because I got lost in the ideas and couldn’t pull the trigger… why not photograph that? Or… the opposite of that?

My work life has been a series of peaks and valleys lately. Picking up a new project has me doing tasks I normally don’t do, thinking about things I normally wouldn’t think about and while most of the time I’m feeling super and so on top of things… I’ve had some wimpy moments too. Second guessing myself, curious of others’ intentions and asking myself the all encompassing “can I pull this off?” question more than once a day. I get lost in the details and feel like I don’t have control. Even though I totally do.

The opposite of this feeling, at least to me, is serenity. And while it’s always fun to shout out “SERENITY NOW!”, finding peace and letting go of things is something I strive for. I’m not there yet… but I can at least practice it to capture it with my camera.

state of mind

Settings: f/3.2, 1/400 sec, 35mm, ISO 400
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

I like photographing people and when I don’t the opportunity to do it, I just make it up myself. So yeah, another self-portrait. Only this time I stepped into the backyard with my tripod, where I wanted to include the trees to have them take up most of the image.

I framed myself in the center and just told myself to enjoy everything around me. The beautiful warm weather we we’re having. The light breeze that came by every few seconds. The quiet of hearing no cars or voices, only birds chirping. The way the leaves swished against each other. I breathed it all in and exhaled. And like a little duck floating on top of the water looking cool and collected, my right hand was clicking away with the clicker out of the frame! But I was alone, it was quiet and with summer here now, it was easy to lean into it.

Luckily I was able to keep the focus sharp when stopping up to f/3.2, so the background is slightly knocked out — I tested a few different apertures and f/4.0 was just too deep for what I envisioned. But this works for me and I like the additional texture, the appearance of being smaller than my environment… it totally adds to the state of mind I was trying to capture. Serenity now.


Week 23: Show Me the Door
due 06.07.17

Whether you’re walking in or out, we encounter doors everyday, multiple times a day. This week, find a door that speaks to you. Anything goes.

Bonus Challenge: A great way to discover something new is to take a photowalk. I encourage you to get out and explore this week, with a friend or another photographer, and take a photowalk in an area of your town or city you haven’t visited before.

If you post your images on Instagram or any other social media, use the hashtag #2017project52 so that we can find your work and give it some love!
Have questions about 2017 Project 52? You can find more about it here or in the Flickr group description. Please join us!

Birthday Cake Crispy Treats | On The Menu

Boy, do I have the best Memorial Day treat for you and your cookout! Birthday Cake Crispy Treats!

I started making these years ago after finding the recipe from one of my favorite food bloggers, How Sweet It Is, and it’s been my go-to ever since. There made just like regular rice crispy treats, only with a twist. My favorite comment I’ve heard about these was “I didn’t think sprinkles would make that much of a difference, but I swear they taste different!” Sprinkle in some yellow cake mix and then you’ve got special treats.

I’m telling you, your family and friends will take a bite and wonder how much love these birthday cake crispy treats were made with. These are worth the sore arm from stirring the cereal into the marshmallows. Promise. You can even lick the spatula. ;) Find the recipe here.