Week 9 – Perspective

Going to have a lot of fun with this one. Unfortunately my head’s bursting with ideas, and that’s before I’ve looked anything up in the dictionary. Going to be a challenge to actually decide what I want to shoot form the list. This was a concept thing (to see if I could manage it on my own or whether I needed a model) and although lighting wise they’re shocking with a bit more effort to make sure that everything lines up where it should (and the shoes are cleaned) this could be an option….

Test Shots

Week 8 – ‘Fast’ – Submitted shot

Late submission, but in my head it still counts.
Wanted to try and stay away from the obvious again, and whilst not really pushing the limits in a photographic sense, I’m quite pleased that I managed to come up with an idea that was again a little different from the first thing that pops into my head. Wanted to capture the ‘fasting’ element with he empty plate and water, but thought about how dieting is almost a religion for some people as well (hence the tape measure).

Week 8 - Fast

fast   [fast, fahst]
verb (used without object)
1.
to abstain from all food.
2.
to eat only sparingly or of certain kinds of food, especially as a religious observance.
verb (used with object)
3.
to cause to abstain entirely from or limit food; put on a fast: to fast a patient for a day before surgery.
noun
4.
an abstinence from food, or a limiting of one’s food, especially when voluntary and as a religious observance; fasting.
5.
a day or period of fasting.
Origin:
before 1000; Middle English fasten, Old English fæstan; cognate with German fasten, Gothic fastan, Old Norse fasta

Week 8 - Fast

Week 6 Submitted shot – Every Day I Die a Little

Bit of a gaffe this week, work’s been an absolute nightmare and have been busy with Pumpkins and stuff indoors (no photos either). Had some really grand ideas for this week and unfortunately ended up rushing this in the last 20 minutes to get something submitted for tonight !! – Quite happy with it as a conceptual test shot but I can tell it was rushed so kind of spoils it for me. Aldso, it isn’t quite what I was after – Wanted me looking in a mirror, with the reflection half edited (so the real me looke whole and the reflection looked rotten). Would have also liked to have experimented a bit more with this to try and make the skin look mouldy and rotten but again, time stole from me again. That said, I can always go back and have a tinker another day.

Week 6 Supernatural - I die a little every day

Turning into a bit of a self portrait 52 this end, hopefully have something obscure for next week…..

If anyone’s interested, had an off camera flash, close and low/ Blended me with a stock photo of a skull (one of which is added to the Amazon wish list along with a smoke machine) .

Added the skull as a new layer and used Transform to get it into place.
Then added a layer mask and painted with a black brush so the background showed through.

Tidied it all up a bit, and then ran a Draganizer action that I’ve had for ages and never seen any need to use.

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 3 – Colour

Week 3 - Colours

Week 3 has been a slightly disappointing one for me as I had this idea from the outset and haven’t quite pulled off what I had in mind. I mentioned before that whilst this is a fun challenge, my personal aim was to try to push myself outside my comfort zone each week both creatively or technically. so far it’s all turned out OK, but with the shots this week I’m just not happy with what I got compared to what I had in mind. I don’t think it was down to the technical side of things as much as it may have been with my technique. Perhaps I rushed it a little. Perhaps I didn’t prepare properly. I do know that some of the shots were ‘missed’ because of the time it was taking for my flash units to recycle.

The idea was to have a tank of water with different coloured food dye dropped in at the same time. I’m not an octopus and didn’t have a helper to hand so I couldn’t do this. I did notice though that once dropped, the dispersal was fairly slow, so I could have got a few colours in one after the other and still got the shots I wanted (i.e interesting patterns in different colours). That said, I seem to have missed the ‘best’ patterns because my flashes were taking a long time to re-cycle. Not something that’s usually a problem as I tend to have them at lower power than i did for today’s shoot.

I’ve included some shots of the set-up this week if anyone wants to try to have a go themselves at a later date. Should have been fairly straightforward.

Flashed were aligned next to the vase aimed at a white background (both on about half power to assure an even spread with enough light to completely overexpose the background.
Camera was on the tripod, pre focussed about half wat through the vase (I dipped a straw in and focussed on that).
Shutter speed was 1/200 on some and 1/250 on others – That’s the maximum synch speed I get – So exposure was controlled by aperture.

It wasn’t a total fail as I learned a couple of things (about my patience) and how to perhaps improve for another shoot another day.

1) Preparation – Always make sure that all of your batteries are charged before starting
2) Position of lights – These should have been slightly behind the vase I think. This would have made the reflections easier to deal with on the curved vase.
3) Props – A square tank would have been better than a curved vase, reflection and imperfections are much easier to manage if the glass is square on to the camera
4) Props – eye droppers would have worked much better than manually tipping the colouring into the water. I never had any
5) Helpers – Always handy
6) Keep going till you get the shot you want. Whilst there was no real time pressure to end the shoot I stopped before I got the shot I wanted. Should have just kept plugging away till I was happy.

Week 3 - Colours

So, that’s week 3. Would appreciate any constructive crit from you guys as well.

Week 3 - Colours

Let the week 4 planning commence.

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