While on a brief excursion to Pasadena two
weekends ago, I took the above photo of some hub caps that were
adorning a railing outside a restaurant. I loved the urban look of it
and how the light was shining on it, and then the B&W version of
this photo just made it come together. So this week your challenge this
week is to photograph things, not people. Look at the things around you
and photograph them from a new perspective. Take a photo of a flower
from a bug's eye view. Commando crawl around your home and photograph
things from a crawling baby's point of view. Find letters, shapes and
faces in the everyday and take a photo. Take a photo of an interesting
reflection. Whatever! Just get creative and have some fun.
And to answer a few more photography questions from a few weeks ago:
I have six Canon lenses, and four that I use all the time. The 85mm
1.8, the 50mm 1.8, the 24-70mm 2.8L and the 100mm 2.8 macro round out
my collection of fabulous lenses. There are a few more that I'd like to
add to my stash but I'm happy with what I have. I store my Canon 5D and
my lenses in a Crumpler bag.
For creating black-and-whites, I use the Gradient Map. If I've edited
my color version of the photo well, using the Gradient Map for B+W will
not usually require any additional edits. There are four ways to create
a B&W in Photoshop or PSE: Gradient Map, Grayscale, Desaturate and
Channel Mixer. On my personal blog to the left, I've done a Q&A
post about these four methods. Click on the January 2008 link in the
Archives listing on the left and go to January 4, 2008. There I've
listed and demonstrated how each of the four conversion methods is done
and what they look like. Go check it out!
Actually, you've probably already met the Photo-A-Day project, because it's not particularly new. It is, however, exceedingly simple yet creatively challenging: take one photo every single day for a month. That's it. You can choose to write something about each photo the day you take it or wait until the end of the month; at the end of the month, you print your photos, organize them into a simple scheme, add your journaling, and TA-DA! You've made an album that is basically a real-time snapshot of your life.
I've done a number of Photo-A-Day projects since first being introduced to the concept at Two Peas in a Bucket. Up until last year, I always took general "slice of life" photos of whatever struck my fancy that particular day. In The Scrapbooker's Almanac, I included a Photo-A-Day album in the December chapter which drastically narrowed the scope of the project from whatever photo I felt like taking to photos specifically related to my daughter Gracie's life the month she turned two years old. I can't tell you how fun this project was to undertake, and how much I enjoy looking at the album now--especially since she is about to turn three years old next month. Where does the time go?
When you challenge yourself to take a photo every day, you pay attention to your surroundings much more than usual. You begin to understand your camera better, and you find yourself thinking about making a photograph instead of just snapping a photo. For a time commitment of approximately 1/125 a second, that's not bad return for your money.
So why do I bring up Photo-A-Day right as I asked you to share the ways in which you'll simplify life in December? It's such a valuable way to document all those things you want to do--crafting with your children, spreading out your unfinished Christmas gifts all over the table, heading to the post office to buy stamps for all those handmade and store-bought cards you mail with love, decorating your tree, whatever--these are the little things that make up the season, and there are definitely at least 31 simple photo opportunities out there in December. You can worry about what you'll do with your 31 photos come January; for now, consider leaving your camera within arm's reach this December and quickly capture all the ways in which you make your season meaningful each day.