Number of ideas I had Wednesday through Saturday for our “framed up” prompt? Zero. Number of ideas I had Sunday and Monday. One. OK, maybe two.
But I told myself I was going to explore with my camera while I was downtown on Monday.
I made a few stops on the walk into the office. I carried my camera along to lunch. I had a lunch buddy that was willing to stop with me when things caught my eye and she even encouraged me to approach a setting that I liked when I had reservations. “If you need to get closer, get closer! Nothing’s going to happen – those guys are working, they won’t say anything.” She was right. And while I really like that image I’m talking about, it’s not the one I ended up choosing.
I was torn between two images so much that I ended up asking my teammate, and fellow 2017 Project 52 photographer, Christy to help me critique them. And everything she said made perfect sense.
Settings: f/2.8, 1/160 sec, 35mm, ISO 5000
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM
I walk through a parking garage every morning and on my walk in on Monday, I stopped just outside of it. I peaked through the open brick wall and balanced my foreground in my viewfinder, and then I heard a car coming. I didn’t adjust my settings, just kept my back button focus pressed and fired off as a minivan drove through the garage.
When Christy and I started critiquing my images, she commented that this one not only fit theme better, but it was a different perspective of an ordinary parking garage. And she began to point all of the elements that kept her interest. The foreground framing blocks 2/3 of the image, bringing your eye to the center. A painted line on the pavement helps lead your eye further along to the minivan. The lights in the garage work well in black and white, shining on the doors of the van and creating texture along the ceiling beams. Your eye bounces around to all these different things even though in reality it was just a dark, dirty concrete jungle.
The longer I look at this picture, the more I like it. I really appreciate Christy taking the time to dissect the composition and elements because she pointed out things that I was overlooking. And truth be told, I have been grateful to always work with creative people, especially other photographers. Because while I’m not a creative professional like them, they’ve always been supportive and kind and encouraging. Those connections are part of the reason why I love doing a Project 52 with a group of folks.
The other image? I still really like it. But you’ll see it later. ;)
Week 4: Broken Down
Life is full of ups and downs, and no one really seems to focus on the downs. But as hard as we try to ignore the unfortunate, ugly and/or unhappy things that we see and experience along the way, they still happen. And as a photographer, we are sometimes drawn to find beauty in things that others may overlook.
Whether it’s the literal meaning, feeling, symbolism, direction, or your own interpretation, share an image that captures the phrase “broken down.” Photograph a house that needs some love. A treasure that may have been abandoned. An area of town that appears to be neglected. An emotional peak of a little one. A blanket or toy that was loved too much by a child.
This a prompt that can be described in 100 different ways, so write down your ideas and try to photograph the ones that make you the most excited. When you’re photographing your subject, look for different perspectives; get close, step back, change your DOF… you may surprised yourself.
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!