Week 6 – Supernatural

So here we are at week 5 of 52. Instead of getting easier it’s getting more difficult to challenge the obvious and try to get something that’s both imaginative and challenging. Had so many big ideas for the theme of supernatural this week, none of which I’ll be able to fulfil for the simple lack of a large budget (or any budget at all for that matter), a team of make up artists to turn the entire family into a coven of Zombie Witches or any willing models. Aside from that it’s all good…..

Re-processed

Had a monster busy weekend so for the first time I’m without even a safe and simple shot, so scaling back on the ideas seems to lead me down a path I’d rather not tread for want of everyone else getting bored with it. I’ll have to see how it goes.

Week 5 – “Who needs Focus”

Very broad theme this week _ Do I interpret this as a portrait of someone who needs to focus (Athlete, Brain Surgeon, Photo Retoucher) or as any image that works without any focussed elements in it (shadowy figure, smoky/misty room perhaps) – Got some ideas already but not having a smoke machine has ruled most of them out !!

Wish I’d done a 52 ages ago having fallen into a bit of a habit of either grabbing shots with little thought for much other than exposure, or not taking photos at all. It’s been a real education in the month since we started going back to basics and actually taking the time to sit and think about why you’re taking the photo in the first place. Not only have I re-discovered my enthusiasm I’ve found myself pushing myself out of that comfy place and actually re-applying everything I’ve learned and forgotten about.
Just over the past 4 weeks I’ve seen an improvement in my images as a whole, not just the ones I’m submitting here. It really helps that you guys (and girls) are there to offer an opinion on these shots, good or bad and I’m hoping I can keep the momentum building.

Better yet – I just discovered looking at my flickr stats, that both Week 3 (colours) and week 4 Computers) made it onto Flickr’s explore pages. Been using Flickr now since early 2009 and never had so much of a hint of interest in anything. Just taking part in this group has somehow catapulted my images into a much wider arena….. Got some high standards to maintain now.

Onwards and upwards – who needs focus?

Lights........

“e-mail” – Week 4, Computer 52 Fun weeks………

The fun 52 Challenge isn’t so much fun, as a lesson in sheer bloody minded determination to produce a respectable image matching the theme each week that’s a little out of the box. As it turns out, the Flickr group that this belongs to are probably the most diverse bunch of people I’ve come across as not once so far in the 4 weeks, has anyone posted what I would have had as the ‘safe’ shot. It’s pretty inspiring, but I am beginning to wonder if we can all keep it up for another 48 weeks…….

It’s been really hectic this week with work and this weekend with life so had to take a flyer and decide whether to just submit the original concept shot or actually finish the idea that I had to start with. I went with the latter and although there’s room for improvement as always, that’s what keeps us all at it I guess. Otherwise quite happy with both the idea for this and how it turned out.

Emails - Week 4 Computer

Tutorial wise I’m not entirely sure what I did myself, but it did involce Photoshop’s quick select tool, a layer, a layer mask or two and some rubbing out. Then some adding back in again to fix the bits I messed up.

With regard to actually taking the photos, a very important lesson I (re) learned this week is that before every shoot you should always check your camera settings, particularly the white balance. In fact, it’s a good habit to get into to set your camera back to how you normally shoot before you put it away (eg Drive from self timer to single shot, white balance back to auto, manual focus back to auto and so on).

Anyhow – This is it for this week. Got a cracking idea for next week, but not sure if it will work as I don’t own a smoke machine………. yet.

Week 2 – Autumn

Right, week 2 and I found myself struggling. There doesn’t seem to be many trees about at the moment with Autumnal Leaves. Everything’s still pretty green. Additionally, whilst out and about most of the fields in darkest Essex have been ploughed, and whilst Autumna, aren’t that inspiring.

So, with options 1 and 2 out of the window (and with it a chance to improve my landscape shots) I was forced indoors again for the second week running.

With some help from the wife and kids I acquired some conkers (or chestnuts to the young and PC brigade) which inspired these. Hopefully it doesn’t look like they were just plonked on the bar indoors and next time I will take some setup shots to accompany the explanation.

Autumn - Week 2

Autumn - Week 2

Autumn - Week 2

Come into my parlour…

MacroSpider

Cross Spider Araneus diadematus
Also known as European garden spider, Diadem spider, or Cross Orbweaver
Family Araneidae (Orb Weavers)

Description: The Cross Spider or Garden Spider is a very common and well-known orb-weaver spider in Western Europe. Individual spiders can range from light yellow, to orange-brown or dark grey, but all European garden spiders have mottled markings across the back with five or more large white dots forming a cross. Usually, the cross-like markings are quite visible. The mother puts eggs in a small cocoon, which looks more like a little web.

How big are they? Adult females range in length from 6.5 to 20 millimeters, and the males are 5.5 to 13 millimeters long.

Range / Habitat: Introduced in the United States from Western and Northern Europe. The cross spider lives in parts of North America, in a range extending from New England and the Southeast to California and the Northwestern United States and adjacent parts of Canada.

The cross spider is common in a wide range of habitats, including gardens, meadows, woodland clearings and hedgerows. It is commonly encountered next to buildings with exterior lighting. The spiders can be found in lighted stairwells of structures in rural areas.