Week 7 – Slow

Week 7 - Slow

Quite a poor showing this week. Certainly not a lack of insopiration but more a lack of opportunity. Quite embarrased to even have taken these ones (The iphone is a camera too right?) but kind of sums up the week really.
If I can’t get anything tomorrow then one of these will have to do, which will be disappointing to say the least. Already got some ideas for fast. Hopefully I’ll find the time to make them happen….

On the plus side – I haven’t missed a week yet

Week 7 - Slow

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 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 – submitted shot.

Again, I found it difficult this week, there are again so many interpretations but I didn’t really want to go for the ‘safe’ approach. The first thing that sprang to mind was to try and get a photo of a sportsman, or student concentrating on the task in hand, focussed if you like. But the usual lack of models and having no time to actually get out and find something to shoot due to work commitments kind of scuppered that. Think it would have been an interesting take, and no-one in the group so far has hit it from that angle. So, leaving that interpretation aside and concentrating on the literal ‘focus’ I went for something a bit more obvious (though in the back of my head, a portrait of an old person reading would have worked much better).

This was a lot more difficult than it looks and whilst I’m quite happy with it, it never really quite came out how I wanted it to.
Ideally, the glasses would have been sharper as well as the text in focus because of the glasses – Could probably have achieved this post production by taking one with both text and glasses in focus and then adding a ‘fake’ blur, but wanted to try and do it in camera.
Think the problem was that my arms just aren’t long enough for the 50mm, Might try later with the 17-50 instead to see if it works better.

Week 5 - I need focus !!

One of the safety shots (the “just so I have something to submit shot”) was this one

SAFETY SAFETY SAFETY

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