Week 6 is “Artistic: Candy”
Candy, should be easy right? Turns out this week kind of fell between Halloween and Christmas. Only some bags of potato chips left from Halloween and no Christmas candy bought yet so actually there wasn’t any candy in the house that I could photograph. Bizarre. But my wife got a bag of Santa candy and I decided to use this as an excuse to go get some candy canes and try to put together something simple, who doesn’t love Santa and candy canes?
On the plus side I got to play a little more with the settings on my flash for “product” photos. The settings that work for portrait shots did not come close to working for smaller scale shots and in fact I had to dig out the manual for my camera to find the menu settings I needed to change. That’s the best part of doing something like this 52 project with set topics, I end up being forced to take photographs I don’t usually take and learn something new.
Week 5 is “Landscape: Black and White”
This week I had to take a Black and White landscape, I decided I’d take a wide angle photo of the statue of the Gaspar Corte-Real, the Portuguese explorer, with Signal Hill in the background.
It may not the traditional landscape to have a statue in the foreground but I wanted to try something a little different. By putting the statue to the left of the frame three quarters of the rest of the frame are a landscape and Corte-Real is looking over the island he is believed to have sailed to before the more famous John Cabot.
We drive past this statue every day and initially I thought it was a statue of Eric the Red, a Viking who according to the Sagas may have discovered Newfoundland. Molly still calls him “The Viking”.
Week 4 is “Portrait: Headshot”
We are back to the Portrait topic. This week it’s to take a headshot of someone else. This is John my sister-in-laws partner. I had to take a headshot and he needed a headshot so it was good timing. He also wanted one to match the one I took of myself so it was a good chance to make sure the first photo wasn’t a fluke and I could reproduce the look pretty much on demand. Some things changes though.
First it was night so the light coming in the windows make the background just that little bit darker, more black than very dark blue. Secondly John is a couple of inches taller than me, and that told with the height of my camera tripod. So sitting in my swivel stool I was able to look up just slightly at the camera and John was looking straight on. I’ll add a stool that swivels but also can move up and down to my studio wish list.
I’m actually quite happy with the Canon 50mm on my Canon 60D for portraits. It’s sharp and on the crop sensor camera it works out to be an 80mm which is close to the popular 85mm for portraits. I have an order in for some bits I want for Christmas photoshoots, hopefully it arrives next week so I can play and plan.
Separate to this project, it’s been a busy few weeks taking photos. I got back to the spot in Pippy Park where I took the landscape a couple of weeks ago and the scene was even better. The fall colours have lasted a lot longer than I expected and improved every day. I’ll have to start posting non 52 challenge posts to this blog and add a gallery to my related website to show some of those shots as well.
Week 3 is “Artistic: Red”
The three headline topics in the Dogwood Photography 52 project, and one of the reasons I picked it, are Portraits, Landscapes and Artistic. Week 3 brings me to the first of the Artistic shots. Artistic probably isn’t a genre I’m used to. I’m more used to documentary than artistic. Back in Dublin I loved nothing more than going to events, protests, parades or whatever was going on in the city and taking photos there. I even had some of my austerity protest march photos published. Same for my landscapes. My artistic photos not so much.
This category is probably going to take a bit more work to find inspiration every week. That said it’ll probably be easier to get subjects than for the portrait topic (I need to take a head shot portrait of someone else next week so I have to go look for a volunteer patient enough to sit for me).
For this weeks topic, Red, I walked around until I came across a red basketball court and thought there has to be something here I can shoot. The court has seen better days, they keep it painted but the concrete is getting weather beaten in the Newfoundland winters and is far past smooth, or even level in some parts. It is surrounded by trees and being autumn a fair amount of the leaves from those trees are now on the court. I found this spot with one old leaf on it’s own and made it the subject of my shot this week.
Week 2 is “Landscape: Traditional Landscape”
Ok so this might strictly speaking not be a traditional landscape in some peoples opinion but this weeks challenge coincided with the peak Autumn leaves in my area and there was a photo I wanted to try and take. Signal Hill seen in the distance but framed by Autumn trees in a park around Long Pond.
I stumbled upon this spot last year while walking at lunchtime but just had my phone with me so I took a photo and intended to come back with an SLR and tripod. Unfortunately that was the last good day weather wise for a while and when I returned it the leaves had changed to more Winter mud than Autumn. I had to wait a year to try again.
I’ll return to this spot later and see how it looks with snow.
Over the last year I’ve been busy with other stuff and while I was still out and about taking photos I stopped updating my blog. I had decided I wanted to only publish the best photos I could but that I wouldn’t publish photos I took of people for photoshoots etc. Unfortunately those rules plus my full time job and other commitments meant I didnt have time to work on personal photos that I could post here. Not good. I’m going to loosen those rules and post.
To get myself back in the habit of regular posting I’m going to start a 52 Project. One photo a week for a year. Not only will this get me back in the habit of posting but hopefully it’ll give me a chance to practice my skills and take me out of my comfort zone. After reading a few lists I found that the 2016 challenge list from Dogwood Photography was the closest to what I wanted to do.
Week 1 is “Portrait: Self Portrait”
This assignment gave me the opportunity to get out my flash gear. One speedlite with a soft box and the camera on a tripod. I was sitting on a bar stool about 5 feet from the (wall which was a medium to dark blue). The light was on the right and slightly above pointing down. It was also pretty close, I wanted to throw all the light on my face and darken the wall behind. Used a Canon 50 1.8 II on a Canon 60D. ISO 100, 1/200 sec at f/3.5. This is pretty much straight from the camera, just used Lightroom to keyword, add a watermark and export at a smaller size.