Week 2: Transitions | 2017 Project 52

After coming off a hard prompt like “self-portrait,” I wanted to offer one that could be interpreted a thousand different ways. But even with so many directions to take the theme “transitions,” I had a hard time deciding which way to go. I had a list of ideas, some seemed better than others, but when it came time to actually getting up and taking a picture… I didn’t. You could say I was caught up in conversation while visiting with family over the weekend, or not in love enough with the ideas, but I just didn’t even try.

Way to go, Brooke. It’s week two and you’re already not trying. Jeez.

So I woke up Sunday morning determined to experiment. I even wrote it on my to do list even if only to have something to cross out later in the day. But I got to work. And had a lot of misses. The creative bug wasn’t there, I wasn’t connecting with these ideas or with the process I was taking. So while I was at my computer constantly sighing because no amount of Lightroom was going to make me feel different about these images, I started staring out the front window. It’s cold as shit right now – a balmy 24° just outside of Louisville – and I did not want to go out into it… but it was calling me. So I bundled up and walked out the door with my camera.

I love our neighborhood. We moved out of the metro almost two years ago now to a neighborhood that has a nature conservancy all around it. And while I don’t venture out into it often, I still love that it’s available to us. Nature paths through the woods and tall grasses, ponds to fish in and a beautiful series of waterfalls. So I walked down the hill toward the waterfalls. The plus side of winter is that you don’t have to watch for poison ivy, so getting around was very easy (minus the whole cold toes part), but every time a light or a shadow caught my eye, I took a picture. A quick little photo walk through a bit of woods, but inspiration all around. And this is the image I chose for transitions this week:

Settings: f/4.0, 1/800 sec, 24mm, ISO 1000
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Tamron 24-70mm f/2.8

So many transitions happening here. It’s winter, there’s ice everywhere but there’s also moving water. And there’s a passage down the creek, with a waterfall falling just a few feet in front of me. And the sun is beginning to set in the sky. The whole scene was transforming even as I stood there losing light.

I decided to soften the focus a bit on the image because there are so many strong lines and strong contrast – the intentionally blurred image holds my gaze longer than the one where everything is in focus. I think it lets the viewer step into the scene more, letting them bring it into focus themselves. I’ve never really done this before, but I really like the outcome.

Week 3: Frame Up
due 01.18.17

Creating a “frame” within an image allows you to draw a viewer’s eye to your subject or a single point. There are framing opportunities all around us in architecture and nature. When you look through your viewfinder ask yourself, “Will this add to, or take away, from my image?” And think about the whole picture, not just the frame; doing this allows you to give context to the viewer, where you are and what you are doing. Experiment with exposure and create depth with layers. Tell us a story with your image.

Bonus Challenge: Use micro composition to frame your subject. Micro composing involves composing the background (or foreground) of your image and then waiting for your subject to enter the scene in a desirable way. It requires patience and forces you as the photographer to observe the scene more, but it’s a way to capture moments (especially at home) or control the story you want tell.

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!