Project 52 | November #2016CMP52

If you missed Weeks 40-43 of Project 52, click back to see October’s #2016CMP52 Photos.

It’s hard to believe that November is over. Only four more weeks left in the year. LEFT IN THE YEAR! AH!!!

The last month was over in the blink of an eye. There was Halloween and all of a sudden it’s Thanksgiving. I am/was excited about the project winding down, looking forward to the last few themes… and then I was bored again. I know that not every week is going to sweep me off my feet, but I just wasn’t feeling it again. I tried though. That’s all that matters. And now there’s only four more weeks with #2016CMP52.

BUT, if you’ve liked following along with this weekly photo project and think you might like to try it yourself, I will be hosting a 2017 Project 52 group via Flickr on my own. I’ve really enjoyed the group of women I’ve chatted with each week, but I need to be challenged differently. I shared the details of #2017project52 last week on the blog and look forward to getting started December 28 – check it out even if you’re a little bit interested in photography, wanting to learn more or keep pushing yourself to try harder. It should be a fun time, people.

Week 44: Photographer’s Choice

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“Why are you posting so many sad pictures lately?” Because I feel like crap. That’s why.

On this specific day, I took the morning off work to do some tests at the hospital to figure out what exactly is going on with my stomach/gallbladder/gut and then spent the rest of the afternoon working from home. The tests wore me out more than I thought they would, so I wiggled into some sweat pants and propped myself up on the computer to put in some hours. And I, again, decided to document my feelings at the end of the day.

I know that people like seeing happy pictures, but getting in front of the camera has been a way for me to deal with it all. If you makes you uncomfortable, sorry – my camera, my feelings, my choice.

Settings: f/4.0, 1/200 sec, 35mm, ISO 2500
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

Week 45: Before & After

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I didn’t like this prompt because it wasn’t a prompt at all. “Before & After” was to showcase editing. And since I’m fairly new to Lightroom and I don’t know everything that I’m doing, I rely presets for the most part. So… I wasn’t into it. And it was pretty much another “photographer’s choice.” So… yeah.

At least there’s doggin love.

Settings: f/4.0, 1/200 sec, 35mm, ISO 10000
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

Week 46: Beauty

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The week after the elections, the host of our group decided we needed to focus on finding beauty. I liked the idea of the concept, but of course I struggled. I had a new experience that week though and after some reflection, I decided to use an image that I originally decided to take for an Instagram post.

I had lunch with some girlfriends from work at a place called The Table – a small, pay-what-you-can restaurant that lives in the Portland neighborhood of Louisville. They were recently featured on Guy’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (later that same week actually) and it was not only exciting to see my hometown on TV, but learn more about who they were and hear Guy’s opinions. The food was delicious, but the amazing part of this place is their approach to it all – while other businesses are focused on making more money and growing, The Table focuses on nourishing, belonging and love.

Settings: auto –  f/2.2, 1/170 sec, 31mm, ISO 40
Camera and Lens: Samsung Galaxy s5 

Week 47: Food Photography

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Food. A prompt I can get behind. And lucky for me I had plans to meet up with some lady friends who happened to read the same book as I did and wanted to discuss it over brunch. And brunch is the favorite meal of the day.

My meal didn’t look very appetizing. With stomach issues, I’ve been staying away from really rich and fatty foods. So I borrowed a girlfriend’s plate. Bacon and Eggs Benedict. And it is beautiful. I want to put my face in it.

Settings: f/4.0, 1/200 sec, 35mm, ISO 6400
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

Week 48: Photographer’s Choice

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Another photographer’s choice. The last one of the year. Supposedly.

With shorter days it’s been hard to stay motivated and experiment after I get home from work. I’d tried taking a few different photos this week and none were speaking to me. Sometimes that’s how it is.

Once a month, the offices in our building are invited to a happy hour at the bar that resides on the second floor. (One of benefits in working at Fourth Street Live.) I didn’t have plans to go, but decided last minute to follow some teammates down – I did have my camera after all. So while my co-workers picked their poisons, I looking for inspiration, taking pictures as I went. And this is the last one I snapped before I left. I was there for less than 10 minutes, they had only been playing bocce ball for about three minutes, but this was the one.

The bright background with starbursts. The silhouettes of the people. The leading lines of the bocce “court.” Tim celebrating. It makes me pause and look longer. And it makes me happy to know that I work with people who not only work hard but play hard too.

Settings: f/4.0, 1/80 sec, 35mm, ISO 10000
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

See more of Project 52 by clicking through to see December’s #2016CMP52 Photos.
If you’d like to follow me on social media, check out my #2016CMP52 photographs on Instagram and Flickr!

A New Project for 2017 | Project 52

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One of my goals this year was to join a weekly photography project so I could re-train my brain (and my heart) to shoot for myself again. And I jumped in feet first with a group on Clickin Moms. It was a nice way to get into the groove again and meet new people. But… it hasn’t been my favorite project.

While I’ve stayed on track and have kept up with the group, and have even pushed myself out of my comfort zone, it hasn’t been exactly what I was looking for. Several of the weekly themes were great… but then I’d be disappointed with a few in a row. And I really don’t like the Clickin Moms forum; I’m not a forum person, I struggle with posting in it, reading it… but Instagram has made it easier to share. But I did walk away with something from this experience: it was a great reminder that I really do love having a weekly photo project. Enough to host one myself.

This isn’t new to me. I actually hosted a weekly photo challenge in 2009-10 and again in 2011 – and in 2011 there was about 200 people following our group. I’m ready to take on the year, to take on the challenge and be part of a group of like-minded photographers who want to explore, push and encourage one another. Get ready for 2017 Project 52!

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Here’s how it’s going to go folks:

  • Project 52 is a weekly challenge where a new prompt is announced each week. These will be randomly selected each week to keep us on our toes!
  • We have a Flickr Group to post our images; I thought this would be the best way to house all of our images in one place and encourage each other through comments. You can find it here.
  • You can also share your images anywhere else you’d like to. On your personal blog, on your Instagram account, Facebook… I think the hashtag #2017project52 will be a great way to search and share our “likes.”
  • I like Hump Days. There’s less pressure with our “deadline” falling in the middle of the week. I’ll share my own submission on Wednesdays and announce next week’s prompt.
  • The first prompt will be announced on December 28 – Week One’s images is due Wednesday, January 4, 2017. And prompts will be announced on all channels (our Flickr Group, this blog and on Instagram).
  • There’s nothing fancy about this challenge, so remember ANY CAMERA WORKS – your phone, a point-and-shoot or a dSLR.
  • Have fun – push yourself to take a new photo every week. Try not use photos from your archive; it defeats the purpose of challenging yourself as a photographer.
  • This shouldn’t have to be said, but please make all images SFW – we have a “safe” rating in our Flickr Group and I will remove any images that don’t fit within that rating.
  • I encourage comments from all participants as we’re a community of photographers with a common goal. That said, please keep comments positive and encouraging; only offer critiques when explicitly asked for one.

So that’s the skinny. You can join Flickr for free and it’s a nice platform sharing images; you may meet some new people in the process. ;) The only other thing to do is invite friends or acquaintances you think would like to be a part of it. It’s a personal challenge so there’s no sweat if a week is missed and there’s no prize for finishing it through. I plan on reaching out to some friends and bloggy buddies who participated back in 2011 and I really look forward to connecting with new folks too.

Get your camera ready, sign up for Flickr and join the group, and check back later in the month to get started! Don’t forget: I’m posting our first prompt on Wednesday, December 28!

katie - So excited to see this! Can people jump in at will? You know, so someone say, doesn’t have to commit to all 52? Asking for a friend.

Brooke - Of course! It’s a personal project so you if want to do all 52 weeks or skip weeks, it’s up to you. And you can join at any time as well.

A New Look for A New Year

This year, 2016, has been a year of change for me. I decided to no longer offer professional services and refocused my energy on learning how to shoot for myself and blog again. It hasn’t been an easy transition and I still find myself masking thoughts and ideas, but the goal was to try my best.

I’ve had a couple of months when I haven’t blogged regularly. There’s been some other months where the content I posted felt more forced than natural. And I haven’t missed a week for my weekly photo project #2016CMP52. (Although I have complained about it.) Overall though, I would say that I’m meeting my goal – I’ve pushed myself to shoot weekly, took a documentary approach workshop, and began to find my voice again.

With almost a year behind me – and with new things in front of me – it’s been a good time to reflect and I started thinking about what Brooke Murphy Photo would look like in 2017. I had toyed with the idea of re-branding the blog again; with the business closed it makes sense to step away from the look and brand I’ve had since 2013. But for some reason it took me forever to decide to do it – I hate making decisions, I weigh the pros against the cons, make excuses for myself, blah blah blah. No more.

Next year is about self-discovery. I’m already telling myself that it’s going to be on my New Year recommendations list. Habits have been learned and now it’s time to push myself a little more. And part of that included getting more familiar with my blog. How do I want to present it and my work to the small world I’m a part of? So I’ve been doing some much needed cleaning, making some updates and moving on…

This is photog Brooke. This is “shoots for herself” Brooke. This is bloggy Brooke. This is 2017 Brooke.bmp_2017header_900

Wendipants - Photog Brooke. Shoots for herself Brooke. Bloggy Brooke. 2017 Brooke.

Call it what you want…they all look good on you.

When The Going Gets Tough…

It’s been pretty quiet around here and for good reason. While I haven’t had a lot on my dance card the last two weeks, the last two months have caught up with me… and the blog has been silent because of it.

I was asked to join a pilot cohort at work for a Six Sigma class. A great opportunity, so I accepted and began to panic after we received the syllabus and the first week approached in September. But then I was able to settle into a groove; class every Monday for three hours, supplemental reading assignments and group meetings to work toward a project presentation.

I’m happy to report I survived the all 10 weeks of this class. And my team was super, pulling together the last two weeks to fully define our scope and offer a recommendation for improving a process. Our class projects were real-life problems at work, not just case studies, and there were pros and cons to that… but I’m quite proud of presentation we created. I’m also quite elated that it’s over.

I literally felt the weight lift off my shoulders while we presented. That’s how much I carried this around with me.

In addition to that and other stress at work, I’ve been dealing with some health stuff. My stomach has been giving me issues since last fall, but in August it started acting different. Before you worry, I’ve been to the doctor, have some answers and am looking to solve the problem very soon. I don’t want to focus on it too much because it makes me a Nervous Nelly, but what it boils down to is:

My butt has been kicked.

No matter how much I sleep or what I put into my body, I am always tired. I leave the office most days, struggle on the drive home and just fall face first into the sofa. There have been days when I have energy and can focus on some photography or editing or blogging… but most of the time I just want pajamas and to not have to think. Even reading books have been hard. I’ve hated making decisions, making plans, being social… and that’s difficult to deal with because I love my tribe and spending time with them is the best. But it wears me out fast. And food doesn’t excite me as most of the things I love upsets my stomach – which is disheartening since most of my social time is focused around food.

I share this only to say: Bear with me. I will get over this hump of exhaustion. And I have big plans for this blog in 2017, so I will have to do it very soon. But don’t give up on me — this is temporary and I’ll be back to feeling like myself in no time. Pinky promise.

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PS – That wonky BDD ear above just makes me smile. Those damn useless ears at least bring joy. ♥

Rachel - Girl, I know you will come out the other side just fine. I’ve seen you twice in the past month and despite everything that weighs on you, you remain your awesome self. Love you and hope it all gets better soon!

Aim - Love you! You are a wonderful and strong person, you will get over this hump I promise :-)

Whatever the Weather | Impromptu Shoot

A couple of weeks back I had an a-ha moment when thinking about that weekly prompt of “whatever the weather” for Project 52. All I needed was someone to be model…

Enter David. He’s one of my teammates that is not only is great to work with, but happens to have the habit I was looking for. And he agreed without hesitation.

To say I was happy is an understatement — I was super pumped! It’s not too often I’m able to get faces in front of my camera these days, so the fact that he was up to the challenge of helping me photograph my weekly photo really made my day.

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The photo above is the photo I chose for the challenge. I really like how it’s an anonymous portrait, the focus is on the cigarette in his hand and there’s that swirl of smoke rising from it. It’s one of my favorites from this year’s Project 52 for sure. But we actually took some more photos – I was trying to figure out my approach, angle, focus, etcetera and this one came a little later. But the photos we got along the way?

They’re moodier than I expected, but I think that lends well to the idea of focusing on the habit of smoking. This is just a regular alley behind our office building, a place smokers usually gather to spend time together or alone. David is a very cheerful guy and fun to be around, but he definitely brought along some smooth operator – this is a more serious side to a man who usually wears a smile at the office.

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I really do appreciate David taking 15 minutes of his time (and two of cigarettes) to help me on a personal project. It goes to show you how nice of a guy he is — he’s clever, funny and apparently a very savvy dancer. We can add model to that list now because I had fun photographing someone new – don’t be surprised if see him again in the future. ;)