Week 30: Red | 2017 Project 52

Color challenges continue to be a favorite of mine because I love the hunt. But it is SO FRIGGING HOT OUT that taking a photo walk is more like torture than fun these days. So much sweat, you guys. So I decided this week instead of seeking out the color red, I’d let it come to me.

And that really didn’t work out for me.

For starters, not going outside meant not seeing anything, or anyone, new. I was at work. I was at home. I was in my car. I was in my bed. And finding inspiration when you’re in a routine really doesn’t work all that great. I did carry my camera everyday though, hoping to see a pop of color that got my wheels turning. But it was actually a last-minute, random decision that I made to get this week’s photo.

red stop sign

Settings: f/2.8, 1/1000 sec, 53mm, ISO 100
Camera and Lens: Canon EOS 5D Mark III with Canon EF35mm f/1.4L USM

After a baby shower [where I ate my weight in delicious food] and dropping off a friend [who I had the best conversations with], I was heading back towards Prospect to go grocery shopping. And… on a whim… I took a turn that I normally wouldn’t take to get to Kroger. And then the pep talk began. “Let’s just check it out. Maybe traffic is a lot lighter on Sunday. No one will judge you – OK, maybe they will but those people aren’t our friends anyway. Actually, they’re assholes. They don’t know you and how awesome this project is. How dare they throw shade at me from their air-conditioned Benzos!”

I’m happy to report traffic was slow — very slow. And no one rolled down their window to ask what the hell I was doing. The little repair shop was closed even, so no bother with parking their small gravel lot. I just pulled over, hopped out and walked down a narrow strip of grass, praying that there was no poison ivy, and got to work. (I’m about 90% sure I got poison ivy from last week’s photo and didn’t even realize it until I was editing. I thought I just had some terrible rash on my ankle… which could have been prompted while taking a few steps into the field. It was quite itchy.)

But this sign… I drive past this stop sign every morning on the way to work. And I remember the afternoon I was driving home and saw these little “smile more, love more” signs that had been screwed into the post, sprinkled down River Road, both directions. I liked it then and I still like it now. Because it’s a reminder to find joy in everything. I’m happy that I summoned up the strength to do something I normally wouldn’t do. And now I have a sweet reminder that there is good in the world because someone took the time to do exactly what I did to share some love.

Week 31: Close Up
due 08.02.17

That’s right, we’re getting close to our subjects this week. Zoom in, or if you prefer prime lenses like I do, move closer to the your subject and really consider what you see through your viewfinder.

Are you able to find better light if you move around your subject? Is there amazing texture or detail that give it more character than you originally thought? Does it make more sense to stop down to a smaller aperture so more of your subject is in focus? Should you consider photographing different angles to create more interest?

Just step in, get close, and see if you can find detail that you otherwise would have missed. You don’t have to shoot macro, but if you want to I say go for it. I don’t have a macro lens so I usually fake it – click back to Week 17 if you’d like to reference ways to fake macro 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!