Thursday, December 27, 2012

2013 Goals

Self-portrait in the bell of a trombone

I don't know that I'd classify myself as a goal-oriented person.  But I recognize the value in setting goals.  I do need something to work toward in order to improve.  I like goals as a way of gauging my progress.  At work I have to write up To Do Lists a few times a week just to keep track of everything I have on my plate.

My mom sent me an article recently on the dangers of excessive goal setting.  I'm choosing to ignore the article and set goals anyway.

I think this will be the first time I've set a specific photography related goal.

After reading "Her View Photography's" free ebook, 10 Challenges, I am going to set a couple goals for myself related to the book.

1) Project 52 - one photo a week on a specific subject.  I'm choosing food.  It's the most consistent and interesting thing I can commit to for an entire year.  I'd like most of these to be with my SLR, but I will be content to use my p&s or even my phone in a pinch.

2) Storytelling, make a book - Being the unofficial-official church ministry photographer, I was thinking making a photobook that tells the story of the church would be fun.  And hard.  I still haven't figured out what story I want to tell.  But I know it will take several months to compile the right images to tell the story.  (And now that I have LR 4, which has a book module included, this should be even easier to accomplish)

3) Street photography - I'm intimidated by this one.  I admit it.  Which is why it's on my list.  I live near a great city for this goal.  I thought I'd start by visiting the local Farmer's Market.  Get a taste of street photography nearby.  Then when I feee comfortable enough with it, go to the city and do it for real.  Visit the tourist stops (so easy to blend in there with a camera) and then maybe venture off to the more local locales.  This could be another great book(s).  The various neighborhoods and spots.

That's it.  3 goals.  But they're daunting.  I need a plan still to accomplish said goals.  But I'll figure it out.  I also need to do a little more research for 2 & 3.  To really look at some storytelling photos and street photographs.  To get an idea of how to compose and how I want to do these.

I need to remember that I'm doing this for me.  My photography is for me.  I'm not selling it (although I've not eliminated it as a possibility).  I'm not trying to impress anyone.  I just like making art.

What if I don't succeed?
  • If I skip a week or two here and there on my Project 52, I'm OK with that.  I just want to keep going.  The idea is to challenge and stretch myself.  To not get bored and keep it interesting.
  • I'd like to get a good start on the Storytelling photos.  To really be in there taking photos and telling the story.  Even if I don't get it assembled, I want the photos there.  I may give myself 2 years to do this one fully, just because of the grand nature of this project.  And because it's my first one and I don't have lots of spare time.
  • Only laziness and fear will prevent me from accomplishing some street photography. This is one that can be crossed off in one day.  Just going out to do it.  So I just need to schedule a Saturday morning to go and then ... go!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Long Exposure and Christmas lights.....

Enjoying some fun with long exposure shots and outdoor lights.  I have so many more ideas in my head, but they'll have to wait until I have more time and can maybe pose the shots a bit.

Some are from church and some from home.


Advent Wreath at church with snowflake bokeh lights

Advent wreath and lights on stage

Candlelight Service

Candlelight service

Luminary lights


Advent Wreath again

Fireplace, mantel, advent wreath

Christmas scene


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Long Exposure and Candles

Due to a very tragic accident, there has been a candlelight vigil on my street this week.  Tonight I discretely (and respectfully) went out to try to grab a photo of the candles and practice some long exposure night photography.

The candles on my street, leading to the end of the street with the Christmas lights in the background.
Same photo with some decreased vibrance, a pseudo B&W effect
OUTTAKE: UPS truck drove down the street right after the shutter clicked open.  Cool effect, but not what I wanted.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Christmas Bokeh



I was asked to take some photos for a going away gift for our church choir director.  She is also an organist and is in love with our church organ.  So I took some photos of the organ.  So as not to have a boring photo straight on of a dark organ, I had to be arsty and make it a collage.  Here is the end result.

Organ collage

We printed it at 11x14 (or whatever size is one bigger than 8x10) and put a cream/brown matte on it.  Then all the members of the choir signed the matte.   It was quite lovely.

As a secondary gift and kind of a joke about our church building, I did a photo of the building.  I created an overlay collage, again to make it interesting.  I did a multiple exposure of the church name on the front door over a photo of the building.

We printed it 5x7 and framed it without a matte.  Just something small so she doesn't forget the circus tent church building.

worship center overlay