Week 2: Circle | 2018 Project 52

Entering Week 2 has got me all kinds of excited! I have LOVED going through our 2018P52 Flickr group to see everyone’s self-portraits – we have a good group starting out strong and I can’t wait to see how everyone interprets the weeks to come!

So… Week 2… I had so many ideas for circle. And that’s probably because it’s a very generic and general prompt, but writing my ideas down allowed me to think about the “how” a bit more and see if I could experiment. This is something I want to do more of.

I used to do it all the time way back in 2009 when I hosted my first Project 52, but not so much these days… but one of my New Year recommendations for myself is “to make art – intentionally or accidentally.” Bouncing these ideas around will push me creatively, I know it will. And I even started a new book this week that was recommended to me by a friend called Art and Fear. But… I’m getting lost in my head. This is my circle picture:



Settings: f/4.0, 160 sec, 70mm, ISO 500
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8

I watched part of a workshop led by photographer Brooke Shaden over the summer and one thing she encourages others to “teach yourself to evolve.” Revisit an old picture, critique yourself and recreate it. So that’s what I did this week. My old picture was from 2010. I knew that straws could be a cool way to find my circle, so I thought about the execution of what I was wanting. I knew bright colors were a must and thought that backlighting would make it even more interesting, so I pulled out my light board. I tried a few different things; some where the straws were close together and look like a circle themselves, then more relaxed, and I changed up my depth a field and my focal points to see what I capture differently.

And voila! This was my favorite out of my series. More of the color could be seen, I liked how the straws fell unevenly versus being bunched together, and even after getting the photo in Lightroom, I cropped the image to use the rule of thirds. I really like how it’s “bursting” into the camera and how clean the background turned out. It’s a bit abstract, it’s colorful and it makes me smile.

Week 3: Intentional Camera Movement (ICM)
due 01.17.18

In Week 3 we’re going to experiment with some intentional camera movement (ICM), or as I sometimes call it, shutter painting. This is an effect I learned in 2016 and I loved it so much that I find a way to experiment with every few weeks. It allows you to take a normal subject that’s recognizable and then blur it in a way that creates interest for the viewer. The photographer is intentionally moving their camera in a way that outcome looks as if it could have been painted. One photographer that does this very well is Erik Malm; he does intentional camera movement with his ocean scenes and they are just beautiful. Three of my favorite shutter painting images I’ve taken are this sunset, this sunflower and this abstract photo from just a few weeks ago.

To paint with your shutter, you have slow your shutter speed down. A lot. In my images that I linked above, I had shutter slowed to 0.3 seconds, 0.4 seconds and 3.2 seconds. So lower your ISO to 100, set your aperture and see how you can control the shutter speed; if you need it slower just stop down your aperture. Depending on your subject, you may move you camera differently. If your subject is still, you could drag your camera up or down to see how it paints. Or move it side to side. If your subject is moving, try panning your camera at the same speed so that the subject stays in focus while the background blurs.

This week’s prompt is here to make us think and try something new, so just start shooting – you may surprise yourself with you walk away with! I’ve included some links below that go into more detail about intentional camera movement and might give you some inspiration:
Mastering the Art of Intentional Camera Movement
Creative Landscape Shots Using Intentional Camera Movement
Outstanding Intentional Camera Movement Images

Last week’s photo: Self-portrait #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!