Photo-a-Day 2016: January
Day Ten - I've been looking towards other photographer's work that I admire for inspiration. The photo today is inspired by a facebook post that I stumbled across from an awesome photographer out of NYC, Syvonne Kozuch. It is also inspired by some recent discussions about my drishti jewelry (http://www.radiantmoonchild.com/drishti-jewelry.html) and options to further use that concept to make new products, including a semi-joking third eye pendant. This is a combination of my eye (taken today) and one of my drishti images. I like it, but it also creeps me out on some levels - so I guess I like it even more :)
Day Twelve - For today, I looked for something that I didn't feel would make a good photo subject and worked to capture something beautiful about it. The project started in my backyard with the turquoise silk threads tangled from my clothesline to a small tree nearby. They are there as a result of hanging some fabric out to dry on a windy day, and I'd yet to remove them. They'd actually been bothering me for a while - any time I'd venture out into the back yard, filled with browns and dull, dried colors of winter, the bright blue would stand out and the ugliness of it all would make me feel like cleaning the yard (unsuccessfully, apparently). So, today, I decided, after some time outside, that the tangled threads would be my subject. I shot them from a whole bunch of angles, and I liked the movement of this shot - the way the blurred edges lead the eye towards the center. It all seemed sort of elegant, if not a bit forlorn. From there, I moved on to other 'ugly' or lost things in the yard: the bent up wire fencing around the pond; the lost yellow notepad under the stairs with the water damaged pages looking almost like an unusual bloom; lost pieces of chalk hidden amidst the dried grass; two dead birds. It turned into a game - to see what I could find in the small surrounding area that would fit in with the lost/abandoned theme. All in all, I had a good time, and produced some strong and beautiful images (in my opinon) out of things that I would have thrown away on another day. (And aim to do so on another day, but today was not that day.) See more of the shots here: http://www.radiantmoonchild.com/e-journal/lost1
Day Thirteen - Today I tried to work with unusual compositions and played the "opposite" game in that I thought about how I'd usually take a photo, and then do something opposite from my regular actions (like over- or underexpose to a great deal; use selective focus and focus on the other things in the frame rather than what I was initially drawn to, etc.). There were some interesting results. I liked this one just because there is so much packed into the one shot (even though it looks very basic) and the chance capture was just perfect. It looks fake, as in more of a photo collage than an actual photo, though it was just the result of looking at things from a different perspective today - in this case, roosting pigeons through a hole in the side of the structure they were in :)
Day Fourteen - So far, today has been a full, fulfilling, and magical day :) As it was so warm and beautiful outside, we took the bubbles out and I practiced the equivalent of clay pigeon shooting with a camera - focusing on a small moving target, except in my case I hoped to shoot my target clearly *before* it exploded. Quite beneficial for enhancing my moving target manual-focusing skills. I liked this shot because of the purely accidental curved pattern to the bubbles :) Beautiful day with beautiful people - and more to come, so I'm off 'til tomorrow :D
Day Fifteen - I started out today with a seemingly very simple photo task: take some pictures of an object splashing into water. I figured it would be such a simple thing to accomplish, and having a full schedule today (one without much opportunity for on-the-go photos), I thought I'd knock this 'easy' self-assignment out quickly. I did learn that I have much to learn, which in and of itself is a good thing. I probably should have chosen a different, less chaotic backdrop (I feel like this one detracts from the splashes). I definitely needed different lighting - everything turned out too dark, and I just didn't have the opportunity to move my whole setup around (despite having a great little assistant who loved dropping the marble into the water for me :) ). I got a few shots of cool water drop formations, but none including the glass earth (and on that note, the glass earth added another dimension of having to get it right, because more often than not, it was at some strange rotation where none of the landmasses were recognizable, so it just looked like a strange, blotchy ball...). All in all, I don't feel that this 'assignment' was a complete failure, but I will probably try and revisit a similar scenario in the future. I chose this pic because it made me think of the scene in Apollo 13 where Fred Haise shoots his pee out of the spaceship - "the constellation urine". So yeah, there's that. <3
Day Twenty - "All photographs are self portraits." - Minor White - Though it was supposed to be 55 degrees, and most of the day felt lovely and warm, up in the foothills nearing dusk, the wind picked up and it was quite chilly. Still, I'd hate to waste an opportunity to clamber around the rocks just because it's a little cold ;)
Day Twenty Eight - Went on a search for a desk/table... Stopped by one of the surplus stores here in town. The child was not very happy, but I had a great time exploring out in the yard. Didn't find a desk...at least not one without extra buttons and hoods etc, that were really cool, but not exactly the function that I was looking for.
Day Twenty Nine - The photo series 'Humans of New York' has inspired me so much over the years. I've decided to embark on my own similar project, Humans of New Mexico wink emoticon I have several shots from this year for this series, though I am working on my people skills in more ways than one, as I am quite awkward at striking up conversations, especially with strangers. Most of the shots so far have been like this one, surreptitiously and from a distance. There have been a few embarrassing approach techniques (fail!) that I've decided not to continue using, but I also feel like I'm making progress in that area, and (most) people I've talked to so far are quite accommodating to having their photo taken when they know it's for a project. This woman was walking down Yale - I thought it was the same woman that I'd bought bread and organic veggies from, but it was a different lady, wearing similar clothing and pushing a similar cart...
Day Thirty One - The Dancing Trees - I was given a couple neutral density filters recently, so took them out to try and take some longer exposure photos of the windy afternoon. The goal was to capture the trees with the lighter, thinner branches moving around in the wind (so they would be blurry) and the thicker, heavier branches would be stationary (and therefore in focus)...
HONM progress report...
So, less progress on the Humans of New Mexico project than I'd like, but some progress is still moving forward, so I'll take it.
I worked on my approach today. As most people balk at someone coming up and asking "Can I take your picture?", I rethought how to introduce myself to strangers and ask politely for a photo. Compliments work nicely. So do the people who are so outgoing that they talk to me first.
We went to Piedra Lisa park to play and this father was there with his daughter. We talked quite a bit. He struck up the conversation, and I waited a while to ask to take their photo. He was happy to pose - he said he'd just bought the Best of Humans of New York coffee table book. I do need to think about how to record the quotes from the subjects. The following is paraphrased: "We're going on a tour of the parks I played at when I was a kid. This one I used to get in trouble at as a teenager... Best view of the city."
10' x 10' ...
The practice for today was to shot a roll of film in a ten-foot-square area. As I am currently shooting digitally, I took 24 shots, the equivalent of a small-ish 24-exposure roll of film. I chose a 50mm lens with macro capabilities in order to get the most out of a fixed focal length lens.
As I was confined to the homestead (by choice, for the most part), I picked a corner in the back yard without much prior thought, as I didn't want to have specific subjects in mind to photograph in a certain area. The chosen 10' x 10' space features a chain link fence on one side, a block wall on another, and a Rose-of-Sharon tree on a third. It is partially under the clothesline, and there are a whole mess of random plants growing in the area, in various stages. Most of the cold-hardy are in new growth stages, and there is a sapling peach tree there as well. A concrete step butts up against the chain link, flanked by a railroad tie. There is also a green inverted bottle, and the dogs wandered in and out of the space at will. The plane shot may have been a stretch, but I think it counts as it was taken on my designated swath of land.
I feel that in a non-wintry season there would have been more diversity in my set, due to additional plants growing and flowering, and the myriad of insects and other creatures who are hiding away until it warms again.
Overall, this was a fun experiment, and gives an opportunity to sit and observe things that may otherwise avoid notice. A myriad of photo possibilities present themselves within this finite microcosm, with new subjects presenting themselves as the light changes with the sun moving across its path in the sky.