Week 9: Movement | 2017 Project 52

Oh good lord did I drag my heels this week! I’ll be 100% honest and tell you that I HATE having a slow shutter speed prompt. But I feel like it’s something that needs to be considered because it’s a technique not everyone’s tried and can be done a hundred different ways with super cool results. So I put my feelings aside because I want everyone to enjoy and get something out of this photo project.

I did think about it over the weekend… but did everything but take pictures. I lounged, I read, I watched movies, I laundried, I napped, I lightroomed, I brunched, I shopped, I visited, I suppered… I did all the things but actually try to get a picture. The struggle was present and I just embraced it.

So come Monday, when I was making a list of things to try that night, I had an idea… and it was outside of my comfort zone, but I was going to give it a go.


Settings: f/16.0, 0.6 sec, 35mm, ISO 100
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

Yes. I took pictures at the grocery store. I found some settings that worked so that movement would be captured, and set my camera in my cart. When colors or the set up of an aisle caught my attention, I pressed the shutter button and drove that buggy as straight as possible for a second. It felt like an eternity. And I was that woman who walked down the same aisle more than once, not because I forgot something on my list, but because I wanted another go at the perfect picture.

The holiday aisle was my favorite. So many things are already on display for Easter, and so many different and bright colors to make it more interesting than yogurt. I chose this image because of the colors. But I also chose it because the subject straight ahead.

I remember as a kid loving to get into those balls! I don’t even think about it now when I pass, but OH MY GOODNESS I HAD TO TOUCH THE TOY BALLS! Of course, parents to this day still bark at their kids not to get out the ba… OK, put it back, we aren’t playing with that… no, now, I mean it, I’ll count to three… Haha! And when I saw this image, with the aisle blurred out on the sides, it made me think of a kid running excitedly to the balls, too focused to even care about the stuff on the shelves, just tunnel vision to the toys.

Week 10: On The Side
due 03.08.17

We’ve already had a couple of prompts that can be interpreted in several different ways, and we have another one with “on the side.” Does the literal sense of the phrase intrigue you? Will you interpret it as something extra or in addition to, such as a subsidiary job? Or are you feeling challenged and wanting to depict something that is more secret or covert that it sometimes conveys?

Look for inspiration around you or from other photographers on Flickr. Think through some idea, make a list and ask yourself which ones make you the most excited. Experiment, try something new. None of us will see your outtakes, but share your favorite image of the week that was inspired by this theme.

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!

Part 1: Cruising Into An Oasis | The Ship

Mike and I have found that cruise vacations are for us. We’ve been on a few with friends over the years, visited some beautiful islands, went on fun adventures and made some great memories. The last couple cruises we’ve done alone, but we still enjoy it even if we don’t get as adventurous. Just a couple of weeks ago, we left Port Canaveral on Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas ship — Mike had been eyeing it because it’s a mega-ship at almost 1200 feet long and weighing in at 225K tons. We had three stops — Haiti, Jamaica and Mexico — but we relaxed like no other on this vacation.

I took a lot of photos, with both my Canon and my phone. (Airplane mode was a smart move and all the credit goes to Mike for that one.) I want to share some of my favorites from our trip, starting with the ship. Oasis of the Seas had EVERYTHING. It had the regular things you’re used to seeing on a boat, and then there was more. From a “central park” to a boardwalk to a water stage to an arcade to an ice-skating rink — no detail was overlooked and my eye kept finding new things to stare at everyday.

A beautiful boat, a wonderful crew and a fantastic week away from all our responsibilities back at home.

To read more about our cruise on Oasis of the Seas:
Part 2: The Islands
Part 3: My Favorite Photos

Week 8: Fleeting Moments | 2017 Project 52

I believe as a photographer that it’s easy to identify fleeting moments. We’re used to looking through a camera to narrow our view, paying attention to light and how it falls, and always on the look for things that catch our eye. My personal goal this week was to look for “moments in the in between” — instead of photographing the obvious, allowing myself to pick up my camera when it felt just right.

I actually do this quite often; it was something that was encouraged when I took a documentary approach workshop last year. But it isn’t always easy to do. And Mike and I were actually away most of the week on vacation. But I took my camera with me in hopes that when my heart fluttered more than usual, it would be within reach.

Settings: f/6.3, 1/250 sec, 35mm, ISO 100
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

Like I said, we went on vacation. We love to cruise — this was actually our fifth cruise in seven years and I had set a goal for myself to “photograph the shit” out of trip. That didn’t happen. I left my camera in our room most of the time and opted to put my cell phone in airplane mode so I could that I would have a small camera with me at all times. (Which was actually a super smart idea because the sunsets in the middle of the ocean were superb.) But I still took daily photos with my Canon when we holed up in our room.

I love that we get a balcony stateroom because we’re able to enjoy being outside alone. We usually do a lot of reading. And napping. But when we’re pulling into port, you get to see the islands for the first time right outside your window. I typically stand out on the balcony and snap-snap-snap when we get to a new location. This particular port was Jamaica. And I’d already been outside snapping away and stepped back inside put away my camera. But I stopped.

Mike stayed outside, looking at the island that we had zero plans for, and I framed him up in the viewfinder… only to see that his reflection was also in the mirror. He’s content, relaxed… and I love that we made time for ourselves this year to get away. Who cares if we were lazy and didn’t have adventures — we were perfectly happy being who we are on a big ass boat. And I look forward to when we can away next time, because those times are few and far between, and fleeting.

Week 9: Movement
due 03.01.17

We have just a few short weeks before daylight savings time begins, so let’s take advantage of the shorter days before we have all the daylight we could ever want! Whether your subject is moving or you’re intentionally moving your camera, capture a sense of movement. Slow down your shutter speed to help you show motion, and test different settings until you get the image you desire. If you don’t shoot manually, I encourage you to use the shutter priority setting on your camera; you choose the shutter speed and the camera will do the rest for you.

Bonus Challenge: Showcasing movement in a photo can help tell the story of your subject, but there are ways use your camera other than just slowing down the shutter. Get creative and try your hand at panning, zooming or a long exposure. If you aren’t familiar with these terms, this article gives a great explanation and examples.

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!

Doggin Love No. 31 | Get Closer

I needed some doggin love. Big time.

A few weekends back Chase and I stayed in bed a little longer after we woke up. I had my camera next to the bed, hoping to capture something fantastic if something fantastic happened to happen.

Nothing fantastic happened, but Chase was all about being close and willing to let me put my camera in my face…

… and then she decided it was time to be super lovey and get in a bit closer for some serious doggin love.

All the doggin love she can muster. She gets me.

Week 7: From Where I Stand | 2017 Project 52

If you’ve followed my on Instagram for even the last year, you know that I like taking pictures while looking down at my feet — or as interwebs calls them, #fromwhereistand. In my 2016 Project 52, I made a little series of them as our prompts went through the seasons. And while I don’t consider myself much a “shoe person,” I just really like the idea of capturing something from my personal perspective. No one else on Earth is going to be able to have this view, it is mine and mine alone. And while it is a bit conceited, it brings me joy knowing that no one can take it away from me.

So I continue to do it. And worked the theme into this year’s Project 52.

But I do have goals when I take a #fromwhereistand photo. I like to include part of my body so that my legs can act as leading lines. And I look for interesting “backgrounds” that I’m walking on. I’ve been known to duck into a parking garage to incorporate yellow painted lines. Or step into flower beds. Or find patterns. But the ground has a purpose in helping to tell my story.

Settings: f/4.0, 1/200 sec, 35mm, ISO 4000
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

We got a dusting of snow last Thursday in Louisville. We don’t do well with snow. Inches, dustings or otherwise. Milk and bread fly off the shelves even if there’s chatter of an inch or two. The kicker is Kentucky gets snow almost every year. Nothing like the Northeast’s feet of snow they see every winter, but often enough that we shouldn’t be afraid of it. This dusting… it was light and sticking and fell across our backyard so that it looked like waves of snow. It wasn’t going to last long either – it would be gone before noon.

So when I got dressed for work — in my new favorite fleece-lined winter boots to keep my piggies toasty — I stepped out with the doggins to assess the scene. I went back for my camera and strolled down the hill where the “snow waves” were more noticeable, found my settings and snapped two frames. The exposure was perfect for the winter light. The focus was just the way I wanted it. And the tones… I love it when the tones are exactly what I’m looking for.

Some people may think #fromwhereistand pictures are weird. But I just added a new one to love to my collection.

Week 8: Fleeting Moments
due 02.22.17

“To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy.” —Henri Cartier-Bresson

Life is made up of moments, all woven and stitched together, falling into time as it moves on. Fleeting moments are the ones that don’t even register as a blip on the timeline, but usually cause us to pause because of the feelings that come with them. Photograph a moment in your “everyday” that only lasts for a short time, but that you never want to forget and keep forever.

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!

From Where I am Standing – Butterfly Season - […] had some decent shots of my feet and Liam, but I do agree with Mrs. Brooke that including the legs kind of leads you into the photo. This one wasn’t bad, but the […]