Thursday, July 2, 2009

Day 183 of 365

So today I mark the halfway point of my 365 Project. When I started on January 1 I didn't really know where I was going with this project. I just knew that I had to do something to get myself shooting again. Not only shooting again but to actually learn how to use my camera. Things were just not clicking into place for me in the little over a year I had the camera. I found out the reason was mostly due to not taking enough photos. I'd go out expecting to learn something by only taking a handful of photos and being really selective of what I was shooting. Sure, being selective is probably prudent somewhere down the road but when you're trying to learn something like photography I really think you need to take as many photos as possible and do try everything, regardless if it works or not. As I mentioned way back at the beginning, I had a professional artist tell my I needed to get out and sketch with my camera. I took that to heart :)

What have I learned over the last 182.5 days? I've learned my camera for one. I can work my buttons without taking my eye from the viewfinder. I understand the relationship between aperture and shutter speed. I don't have a bunch of different lenses so I've learned to make do with my 50mm f/1.8 and my 70-300mm f/4.0-5.6 Macro. I don't have a strobist kit so use cheap work lights from Home Depot and an almost 40 year old Vivitar flash that has one setting, full power. I've learned how to make do with minimal equipment and I can only think this has helped me become adaptive and flexible in my style. I do hope to purchase a basic strobist kit here soon, which will be one flash, flash stand, an umbrella and remote so I can do some off camera flash work.

Have I discovered what technique or style I'm best at? Well I can tell you that I really need more work with portrait, actually I just need to do them as I've kind of held myself back from that one style. I also find that landscape and wildlife isn't up my alley. I love looking at landscape photography and some of my favorite photographers are landscape photographers. I just don't have the eye for it. That and I'm too lazy to get up really early so I can catch the golden hour in the morning and don't feel like spending time in the evening for the evening golden hour. I guess I find myself drawn the most to macro and recently abstract. Macro appeals to my highly developed attention to detail honed from my years in the Army as a Cavalry Scout and just having an innate ability for it. Small details speak to me in a sense I guess so I think I need to see about developing my photography style around that.

Tonights photo was to be more playing around with the open shutter zoom technique. Instead I found myself playing with rotation. I taped a plastic cup to the back of the piece of paper and stood off to the side and rotated the paper while the shutter was open. I've included three photos tonight. The original I pieced together as my prop, the rotated version and what you will see more of in the second half, a photoshopped version. The edited version was three layers. The original, a black and white of the original and the top layer the color version again. The top layer was set to hard light so it brought so of the color back in but blended in with the black and white. It gives it a completely different feel.

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