Week 26: Photographer’s Choice | 2018 Project 52

I had great plans this weekend with friends and parties and children and food and jewelry and I took no pictures. Ugh.

I usually snap a few frames when we visit with our college friends, and especially when there are birthday candles to blow out… but I was not feeling it. (Being sprayed by water may have been a turnoff too. So I tucked my camera somewhere safe instead of in my hands.) But all this laziness amounts to is another Tuesday night of scratching my head and thinking “oh what shall I ever take a picture of?!”

What is photographer’s choice the hardest prompt for me?

macro photography

Settings: f/–, 1/125 sec, 50mm, ISO 400
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF50mm f/1.2L USM

I love Queen Anne’s lace. I know it’s wild and always has bugs, but they have always caught my eye. And I saw a few that hadn’t been mowed yet in the empty lot across the street, so I picked a few and then went inside. Bug-free, I might add.

I had a large, open flower. Some small buds that were tight little balls. And quite a few in between the two. But this one, which is half-opened, is my favorite.

I went macro with this shot, using my 50mm lens turned around, kind of free-lensing and moving my body to find a focus that worked well. (Also known as “holding my breath and barely moving my arms.”) And this photo right here, where the depth of field is at such a perfect spot that part of the flower disappears, leaving little clusters of tiny flowers floating in the air. Magic.


Week 27: Sunburst
due 07.04.18

I’m all about light and keep trying to learn as much as I can about it. How to find it, manipulate it, explore it… and this week we’re all about having the light work for us. Let’s find or create a sunburst, some dazzling and blazing streaks of light and rainbows!

I challenge you to shoot outdoors in full sun and explore your environment by changing your perspective constantly. Sometimes when we shoot into the sun we end up some unwanted lens flare, but try positioning your camera in different ways or even using a prop to help you get the sunburst exactly how you want it. If daytime isn’t an option for you, it can be done at night, but you’ll have to change the settings of your camera and experiment a bit more.

This is not a technique familiar to me – it mostly happens on accident if I’m being completely honest here – so I did link up some resources below for us to read through before we stretch our photography brains this week.

How to Get “Sunburst” in Landscape Photography
Using Sun Flares and Starbursts to Create Stunning Images
Create Compelling Star Effects… or Diffraction Spikes in Your Photographs
How to Get Sunbursts in Photos
5 Steps to Creating a Starburst Effect Day or Night
Understanding Camera Lens Flare
What is Lens Flare and How to Fix It

Last Week’s photo: Curves #2018P52

If you post your images on Instagram or any other social media, use the hashtag #2018P52 so that we can find your work and share some hearts!
Have questions about 2018 Project 52? You can find more about it here or in the 2018P52 Flickr group description. Join us any time with any camera!

Week 25: Curves | 2018 Project 52

I was the worst at trying to find curves this week. I looked everywhere, but NEVER FOUND THEM. I was that weirdo that was bending down to look under sloping branches, peeping through holes in furniture to see if anything was nicely framed… nothing came from it.

I was on my last leg, walking around the house Tuesday evening, praying to find something that would fit into this theme when… the Cornflake the Cat didn’t follow me. Finally.

curves

Settings: f/3.5, 1/400 sec, 54mm, ISO 320
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8

Truth be told, I have another image I like a lot more than this one, but it plays into our curves theme perfectly and I decided to choose it instead. (Or purr-fectly. Whatever floats your boat.)

Cornflake is my shadow when I’m outside and I usually can’t even get a good picture of him with my phone because of all the rubbing and purring that’s going on. But he sat still. Long enough for me to snap a couple of frames.

Things I like about this image: the curved line leads your from the bottom of the image to the cat, the contrast between light and dark, and the negative space. And, of course, Cornflake.

Things I don’t like about this image: It feels a bland. I know the curved line is here but… it doesn’t tell a story. Blah.

There’s always next week, and the week after that, to practice storytelling though. That’s the great thing about a weekly project: you win some, you lose some, but you’re always learning – if not about photography, then about yourself.


Week 26: Photographer’s Choice
due 06.27.18

It’s that time again… where another quarter has come and gone… it’s time for a wild card week. Thank goodness.

So anything goes this week – you find your inspiration, be it light, a certain person or place, a special story… share it with us. I challenge you to shoot with your heart this week – step out of yourself, our of your head, and let your eyes and emotions lead you. Trust that you’ll end up with an amazing photograph. I think you will. I know you will. Be true to who you are, what you like and express yourself.

The only rule is to pick your favorite and ONLY SHARE ONE IMAGE in the #2018P52 Flickr group. It can be hard to do, but that’s part of become a better photographer – being able to make that choice. But if you have a hard time narrowing down your shots, I’ve found some new culling articles linked up below; to see other articles I’ve shared, visit Week 12’s post.

How to Choose Your Best Images
Culling Photos: Five Tips to Choose Your Best Images
Culling Photos – Choosing Your Best Photos

Last week’s photo: Intersecting Lines #2018P52

If you post your images on Instagram or any other social media, use the hashtag #2018P52 so that we can find your work and share some hearts!
Have questions about 2018 Project 52? You can find more about it here or in the 2018P52 Flickr group description. Join us any time with any camera!

Week 24: Intersecting Lines | 2018 Project 52

I knew I was going to have to take a photo walk for this week’s theme… because I had no ideas. Luckily the urban setting around the office is super helpful when it comes to lines and composition challenges! So I set out after work, after the rain had stopped (which has become one of my favorite times to take pictures) and took myself on a little detour to my car.

intersecting lines

Settings: f/2.8, 1/500 sec, 24mm, ISO 2500
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8

I ended up with a few photos I liked for intersecting lines, but this one was my favorite.

I like that it’s chains, which is a little different, and the texture they add. The out-of-focus cars that are framed in the background. The vertical parking lines, the horizontal “reserved” lines, the columns… there’s a lot going on here but all of the lines still draw your eye to the center of the image.

I don’t usually stop up to f/2.8 these days, but I think that the extra depth of field helps here. Because the lines are the focus, they convey a stronger feeling than if I had done it in the other way or had everything in focus… it says “keep out” even though you can see in.


Week 25: Curves
due 06.20.18

Alright, friends, we have one more line challenge this month: curves.

Just like our other line challenges, a curved line will lead your viewer through your image, taking them on a journey to one subject or many. Curves can be found in nature or created by humans… think about how you’d like to push yourself this week. Take your camera for a walk, look around your house, create a still life with food, whatever your fancy is ask yourself if there’s a different way to photograph the curve after you snap a few frames.

Consider the viewer, where the curve begins and where it ends, and how it’s framed – paying attention to this composition can really create a strong image. And if you’re really up to the challenge, photograph an implied curve – your subjects are presented in a way in which a curve is implied.

Last week’s photo: Leading Lines #2018P52

If you post your images on Instagram or any other social media, use the hashtag #2018P52 so that we can find your work and share some hearts!
Have questions about 2018 Project 52? You can find more about it here or in the 2018P52 Flickr group description. Join us any time with any camera!

Week 23: Leading Lines | 2018 Project 52

I phoned it in, guys. I waited to the very last-minute, like 8p last night to even TRY to take my picture.

The good news is I have a leading line. The bad news is it’s lazy. But more good news is it includes a cuddly furry sweetie pie.

leading lines

Settings: f/4.0, 1/250 sec, 35mm, ISO 320
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

If you follow me on Instagram, you maybe have seen a cat floating around in my feed. Our neighbors moved a few weeks ago and asked if we’d be interested in taking their male cat, who is outdoors full-time, and we accepted – we like the idea of having an outside cat since our house backs up to some woods. Ever since we’ve been here we haven’t had a mouse or mole and I think we’ve had the neighbor’s cats (and possibly the pair of grey horned owls who are nearby) to thank for it. I’ve taken a lot of pictures of Cornflake with my phone (his name… I KNOW!), but none with my Canon…

I set up my camera in the driveway with my remote and photographed our “love session” from a distance. He is an absolute SWEETHEART. I haven’t had much experience with cats, but he purrs constantly, wants to rub on you and be rubbed, and loves a little belly action too.

This was my favorite for our prompt; the line of the drive cuts right up to us, and my foot and leg carry it on. And then it’s just me and Cornflake. Him doing his thing. And me wondering why in the world he likes me so much.

But I had some extras too…

This first one is me trying to figure out why my remote wasn’t working properly – and we both have an amazing RBF. But the rest… this is how our lovies usually go down… and he’s such a sweet little animal. (And if Mike wasn’t allergic, this cat would totally be in inside the house.)

cornflake


Week 24: Intersecting Lines
due 06.13.18

Sticking with our “lines” and composition theme this month, this week we’re on the hunt for converging, or intersecting lines.

We know how to take a viewer through our photographs with leading lines, but let’s show them where to stop with intersecting lines. With this composition, use your lines to frame your subject without it being fully surrounded. Where the vertical meets the horizontal (or vise versa), corners that are man-made or nature’s way to making you stop. Or maybe it’s an abstract approach, using lines that are random but create interest or feeling.

Whatever you’re into, keep your eyes peeled for where lines cross, paths meet, from above or across, out in the neighborhood or created in your bedroom. Experiment and see if anything new catches your breath. I dare you.

4 Tips Regarding Converging Lines
11 Great Examples of Converging or Leading Lines
Beautifully Intersecting Paths
Improve Composition with Converging Lines
Abstracting Intersecting Lines (Google Search)

Last week’s photo: Smoke Art Photography #2018P52

If you post your images on Instagram or any other social media, use the hashtag #2018P52 so that we can find your work and share some hearts!
Have questions about 2018 Project 52? You can find more about it here or in the 2018P52 Flickr group description. Join us any time with any camera!

Wendi Pants - So much love for the Cornflake. Cant wait to see more of him in your shots.

Week 22: Smoke Art Photography | 2018 Project 52

We had a long weekend in The States and I blew through it without even trying for a smoking photo. So leave it to me, Last-Minute-Maude, to do all my research, setup and ALL THE WORK until last night after dinner. And… it didn’t go well.

The struggle bus was stopped at our house for an hour and I could do nothing by curse my camera and myself. The settings were “right” and I thought I had figured out a work around without having remote triggers for my flash. I was wrong. SO WRONG. I tried a bunch of different shit and just got pissed because none of it worked. Black screens for days. But then I remembered that if you leave the shutter open longer and a flash goes off, it still freezes the subject.

All that steam for nothing, guys. Put a fork in me. I’m done.

smoke art photography

Settings: f/5.6, 1 sec, 50mm, ISO 100
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF50mm f/1.2L USM

Now that I know what to do, this is pretty cool! I would change my set up a bit… probably use my zoom lens or move a prime closer to my backdrop (which was a piece of black poster board. And I’d experiment with the flash more. I saw that some people used a snoot on the lens and did 1/2 power – I did none of those things.

I finally got some decent shots by slowing my shutter speed down to one full second. And the firing the flash while the shutter was open. Because I didn’t have a trigger, I couldn’t get my camera (which I had on remote) and the flash to fire at the exact same time. Even though it looked like it did, it did not. Boo.

This one was my favorite. All the curls of smoke, some strong white lines, some wispy ones too, and the smoke actually photographed blue. I enhanced the image a bit – increased the contrast and whites, also played with the clarity and vibrance – but not a ton of change. I played with some of the others that I didn’t like as much, changing the color temps, but the original look of this one made me stop.


Week 23: Leading Lines
due 06.06.18

Entering a new month, let’s come back to some basics and work on our composition with one of the most simple things that can really change a photograph: LINES. Over the next couple weeks we’ll try different kinds of lines, but this week we’re starting with leading lines. If you played along last year, you’re familiar with this trick, but remember: practice makes us better photographers.

Leading lines are not only one of my favorite compositions, but really effective and easy to incorporate into your photography. They allow you to guide the viewer’s eyes through your image to the subject, but can be as simple or complicated as you want. Lines can be found, created, natural or man-made, and sometimes just moving around your subject and trying different lines can make your image stronger. Remember you are guiding the viewer’s eye, so consider where your line begins and ends, and how you frame the entire story.

I’ve linked up some resources that I’ve shared before, but can be helpful when we’re stumped.

How to Use Leading Lines for Better Compositions
Jim Zuckerman on Composition of Leading Lines
How to Use Leading Lines to Create More Powerful iPhone Photos

Last week’s photo: Spring #2018P52

If you post your images on Instagram or any other social media, use the hashtag #2018P52 so that we can find your work and share some hearts!
Have questions about 2018 Project 52? You can find more about it here or in the 2018P52 Flickr group description. Join us any time with any camera!