Week 45: Negative Space | 2017 Project 52

Another week of a stellar idea only to be squashed by a busy weekend and daylight savings.

I hate you, daylight savings.

But then I had another idea. And asked a coworker to help me out. So we stepped out back, into the frigid alley with a cold breeze blowing for only three minutes. And my other idea came to life lickety-split.

negative space

Settings: f/4.0, 1/400 sec, 35mm, ISO 800
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

This is my friend Amy. We’re cubicle neighbors, teammates and frequent the snack table together at work. I was reluctant to ask her to be my model, but she agreed and we were walking toward the elevator in less than 30 seconds. On the way back in I told her I’ve been less inclined to ask for models these past couple of Project 52s as compared to the photo challenges I did six years ago… and I think it’s because I don’t want people to be disappointed in my work. Or if I decide not to use the image. But I need to get over it because those three minutes in the alley were fun. And editing, watching the out-of-camera shot turn into what I had envisioned, was even more fun.

Our office building backs up to a parking garage and the alley runs in between. “I have a dream” has been painted on this wall since I’ve been here, and it’s not the first time I’ve photographed it. (Probably not the last.) But I really like the placement of the graffiti with Amy and her gaze leading us along the quote. The grates above help set more of an urban setting, one that has some inspiration that’s seen daily, along with contrast and texture. I knew I wanted to convert to black and white… and with bit of vignette to keep your eye around that key area… this is what I saw in my head when I asked if she was game. Exactly.

Don’t be surprised if you see Amy again before the end of the year. ;)


Week 46: Purple
due 11.15.17

How about one more color challenge before 2017 ends?

The first thing I think of when I think of purple is Mesopotamia. I remember a story from grade school about how they were one of the first civilizations to dye their clothing purple. Of course people of high status and military rank paved the way for us to consider purple the color of royalty these days, but it carries other meanings as well: power, ambition, wisdom, creativity, peace, independence, magic…

Photograph the color purple however you please. Fill the frame, make it pop, find pastels, go bold — just make sure you have fun finding the color around you and in the unexpected. It can sometimes be a difficult color to photograph, so be take your time with your camera settings and finding the right light.

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!
If you have questions about the project, you can find more about it here or in the Flickr group description. Looking for a group to join in 2018? We got you covered for #2018P52.

Week 44: Edge | 2017 Project 52

True story: I had an amazing idea this week, something you’d see in a magazine. Life got in the way. It didn’t happen.

But a Halloween party full of littles did happen. And my one willing model, Miss Allie, stuck around for longer than two seconds to help me with my “back up plan.” God bless her and her little Minnie Mouse ears.

edge

Settings: f/4.0, 1/400 sec, 35mm, ISO 16k
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

This kid… I love her. I’ve take photos of her since she was born and it seems in the last year she really enjoys being in front of the camera more. It may not be the most inventive photograph, but I can hear her small munchkin voice answering my call. “I’ll help!” And then here glittering pink shoes popping over the edge of the landing. I’ll keep her.

Also, a quick happy birthday to my long time friend, Abby. I keep several scorpios in my life, but she’s been around the longest. xoxo


Week 45: Negative Space
due 11.08.17

Negative space is a great composition to learn more about. It can add to an image, or the story, in a way that other compositions can’t. So this week, let’s leave some space in our images and see what we can create.

If you need some inspiration, I found some helpful links for us:
Understanding and Using Negative Space
Minimalism: Using Negative Space in Your Photographs
Negative Space in Photography

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 43: Key to Happiness | 2017 Project 52

I had a few ideas on how to photograph key to happiness, but I kept coming back to one of them.

A lot of people confuse happiness with joy. They’re both strong, positive feelings but happiness is triggered externally while joy is cultivated internally. But the key to happiness?

key to happiness

Settings: f/4.0, 1/160 sec, 35mm, ISO 10k
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

A self-portrait. Because the key to my happiness is me.

Serious, you are the key to finding joy in your life. Do the the things that make you happy. Visit the places that make you feel safe. Eat the food that brings you comfort. Be around the people that make you feel whole. What it boils down to is you cannot expect someone else to make you happy. Humans are disappointing… only you can make yourself happy.

And by knowing this, understanding this, the decisions we make can lead to… well… being less miserable. And maybe, eventually, find joy.


Week 44: Edge
due 11.01.17

I can see the start of a steep cliff… the outline of a large frame… the border around a grassy field filled with cow… the brink of disaster… I also hear Bon Jovi, so there’s that.

What does “edge” make you think of? How will you photograph it? Another week to interpret at will – make some magic!

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 42: Texture | 2017 Project 52

I keep wanting to go for a photowalk downtown during lunch… but eating lunch is so much better.

It’s a struggle because there’s so peeling paint and rocks and stone and rust… and then there’s left over seafood paella with a plantain and bacon wrapped stuffed date.

Priorities, y’all.

But I had a backup plan for texture and it required was walking out my front door.

texture

Settings: f/5.0, 1/200 sec, 42mm, ISO 8000
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8

The woods just outside our door has nice little waterfalls and several large rocks covered in green, hairy moss. I knew it would photograph well, so I went on a little 15 minute hike for the best looking rocks and moss I could find while Mike Murphy was grilling some chicken. I had about 30 frames when I called it quits — I bracketed my exposure to see how much contrast I could create without Lightroom, so I had a few of the same shot. And the bracketing paid off. So did my little hike.

I chose this image for a few reasons. The texture of the moss is clearly evident: it looks soft, almost fur-like, curling off of the rock. And I like the rules of third here: zooming out and capturing a bit of the woods around us really helps set the scene. And then there’s that sun flare: because I haven’t shot a good sun flare in what feels like forever!

I do wish I had stopped down a bit more; at f/5.0 my focal length feels to narrow, but with my ISO already at 8000 I didn’t want to risk more grain for a longer DOF. It’s the risk of shooting after 6pm in the shaded woods… but that sun flare tho!


Week 43: Key to Happiness
due 10.25.17

“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” –Albert Schweitzer

What do you believe is the key to your happiness? Is it being in the moment? Being imperfect? Loving unconditionally? Or being loved unconditionally?

Think about the things in your life, in your world, that give you purpose, meaning, and lead to feeling endless joy. Now, how would you like to photograph this thing, place, person or feeling? Write down your ideas, look for inspiration from others, try a few things out this week that might scare you — push through any fears you may have and shoot with your heart. Anything goes.

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 41: Step Back | 2017 Project 52

So things didn’t go as planned this week, but I still took my own advice – I stepped back.

Settings: f/4.0, 1/1000 sec, 50mm, ISO 1000
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

I explored everything this week with new eyes and nothing really excited me. But coming home one afternoon, I pulled over by our little fishing pond in the neighborhood determined. I framed up the shot how I would like to. Then I stepped back. And then again. Until I was under the tree.

Is it a great picture? Not really. But the exercise forced me to use the things around to create more composition within the photo. I used the leaves of the tree to layer and frame the waterfall. I was able to crop the sign out of the image with a slight move. I made sure that no houses were featured. And I also was reminded how much I love our little neighborhood.


Week 42: Texture
due 10.18.17

We’re going a little abstract this week and focusing on texture. It can be tough to photograph because you can’t rely on light or composition very much. But on the flip side your eye is engaged with patterns and colors and intensity. I’ve included some links at the bottom for inspiration in case you need some…

Look for texture all around you. Can it be found in things you see every day? Have you discovered a completely new place to explore? Does the color draw you in? Can your exposure make a difference? Does your photo help us “feel” the texture simply by looking at it?

Get a little weird this week – photograph something you’d normally overlook and see if you like it more in post-editing. Get close to your subject, underexpose the image, get the texture to come to you through the camera. I bet once you start testing yourself you won’t be able to stop!

How to Photograph Textures
Texture as a Design Element
Texture in Photography
40 Terrific Photographic Textures

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!