Project 52 | December #2016CMP52

If you missed Weeks 44-48 of Project 52, click back to see November’s #2016CMP52 Photos.

And just like that, my 2016 Project 52 is done!

I’ve had some struggles and some wins throughout the year with my photography, but undoubtedly I am better for it all. And it feels good to have pushed myself to pick up my camera each week, try new techniques and walk away with 52 images that describe my year.

If you’ve followed me this past year and would like to join me in 2017 with a brand new Project 52, DO IT! I’m hosting a 2017 Project 52 and have a Flickr group set up. We start this Wednesday with the announcement of Week 1, so get yourself set up and get excited!

But until then, here’s my December wrap-up of #2016CMP52.

Week 49: Sunday Morning

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This week was about capturing the mundane, the things we do every Sunday. I kept my camera within arm’s reach throughout the morning, took a few different photos… but this was my favorite.

I mean, well, doggin love. And the BDD has her head resting on Mike’s shoes like a pillow. But the light is what sold me. I really like the light/shadow play and the tones that it produced. It’s a keeper.

Settings: f/4.0, 1/160 sec, 35mm, ISO 6400
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

Week 50: Christmas Bokeh

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I think Christmas bokeh is beautiful, but I hate creating it myself. I tried a couple different things and ultimately decided to do a little still life. So I grabbed my silver tray, poured up some [expired] milk, stacked my last two [and most delicious] Reese’s Cup Cookies… and then thought Santa deserved something to celebrate. Tiny bottle of vodka? Check. But since we shouldn’t drink and sleigh, a love note was left. ;)

It’s silly, but it provided a great subject so that I could capture the bokeh of our Christmas tree. But it’s too soft. The cookies are out of focus and could pass for lumps of coal. (Far from it though – my Secret Santa made those for me and SHE DID THE BEST JOB EVER!) So while the photo isn’t perfect, I’m OK with it. I struggled a bit creating the bokeh and the focus, but I still laugh when I look at the photo. So silly.

Settings: f/2.8, 1/200 sec, 50mm, ISO 6400
Camera and Lens:Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF50mm f/1.2L USM

Week 51: Intentional Camera Movement // Shutter Painting

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True story: I was not happy about this prompt. I understand that we had some techniques that work great for low light, which is perfect for the end of the year when it’s dark when you leave the office. But I felt like it was asking me to photograph Christmas decorations again and I just did not want to do that.

So I didn’t.

I practiced on the Christmas tree and realized I had to get the shutter slower than 1/8 second if I wanted to get anything good. I just had to think of WHAT to photograph. The day I took the photo above (December 20, almost the shortest day of the year), we had sunshine. Lots of it. We hadn’t had it for a while so it was a treat to drive home while the sun was setting, wearing sunglasses. When I got home, I grabbed the camera and started walking around… what to photograph, what to photograph… and I stepped out on the front porch. I found my settings so that I could the slowest shutter speed possible but still be correctly exposed. I started snapping, but I wasn’t loving it. I went back inside.

Maybe 10 minutes later, I stepped back out on the front porch. Holy sunset, Batman! I got to work adjusting my camera settings, focused on the top of the treeline across the way, clicked the shutter button and then dragged my camera lens up. Did it 20 more times. I was done.

This was my favorite out of the set. The sun had dipped just below the horizon giving that wonderful orange and pink color. My intentional camera movement was just moving the camera upwards while the shutter was open, which produced this spooky effect but you can still make out the tree branches. I LOVE this picture. Like, enough to print it large and hang it on my wall. And I wouldn’t have even captured if this wasn’t a prompt. THIS is why I like photography projects – you try new things, go new places and may end up with something that speaks to your heart.

Settings: f/22, 0.3 sec, 35mm, ISO 100
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

Week 52: All Is Calm

It was a quiet weekend for us. We spread out our holiday family time over two weekends so we wouldn’t feel rushed and could enjoy company and conversation. On Christmas Day, we headed out early for our traditional Waffle House breakfast with Mike’s dad and step-mom. On the way home, Mike wanted to detour to check out the new Lewis and Clark Bridge. There were only a handful of cars on the highway, but driving down into the tunnel and then it opening short stretch of road before the gigantic cable bridge started… it was amazing to see. It’s just so cool that people are able to do this. It blows my mind.

I know that the theme is perfect for Christmas. To depict either the calm before the storm or the aftermath of opening gifts, but this drive with my honey and watching all of these big lines come into view made me feel like I was right where I was supposed to be.

Settings: auto –  f/2.2, 1/280 sec, 31mm, ISO 40
Camera and Lens: Samsung Galaxy s5 

If you’d like to follow me on social media, check out my #2016CMP52 photographs on Instagram and Flickr!
The new 2017 Project 52 starts in just a couple of days! If you’re looking for a personal photography project, this could be the one for you!
Find us on Flickr and start with Week 1’s prompt!