Monday, December 26, 2011

Week 12: Misc

Since I was traveling for the holidays, and would be taking photos anyway, I decided to skip the theme this week and just post seven of the pictures I took over the week.

Long exposure shot of some piano playing. I'm a big fan of long exposures in general.
I knew I said no cat shots on this blog, but this isn't one of my cats, so it's acceptable. I put a flash at the top of the stairs and just started shooting to see what I would get. Then the cat decided to pop her head into the frame. 
Trying to look distinguished while wearing my new favorite, ridiculous looking, hat. It really is a ridiculous hat, but I love it. 
I had my friend Gabe sit down in a chair while I had a flash and an umbrella set up. This was him trying to make a serious face after laughing too hard. I never really get a chance to shoot portraits of anyone else, so it was fun to get someone else in front of the camera. 
We were in Madison a week before Christmas for Amy's graduation. This is just a shot at the Kohl Center. 
Amy's brother lined these guys up with a note that says, "We want to eat Amy's brains", you see, because she's so smart. It's important to note that Amy's brother is 38. 
A final shot with Amy and her dad, both doctors. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

Week 11: Underneath

This week's theme was pretty straight-forward, and I felt a little sapped of creativity from the previous couple of weeks, so I took it fairly literal.

This first photo is the underside of our bathtub faucet.

The underside of our bathroom sink had some pretty neat patterns and the light from the bathroom was illuminating it from the back-side.
I thought it would be kind of neat to get a shot looking right up into this light fixture. It took me a few attempts to get the correct exposure I was looking for. I wanted just enough light to show off the ceramic fixtures, but give a sense of floating lights. 
I liked the geometry and lines in this shot. A tripod is so often a workhorse of photography and it rarely, if ever, gets to be the star of the show.
The bottom of my shoes are kind of gross when you get really close.
This is the bottom of a glass coke bottle. I really loved the texture on the bottom.
Again, I liked the geometry of this photo. For this shot I put an athletic cone right over my lens and shot into white tileboard, lit with a flash.
So, nothing too exciting this week, but that's not the point.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Week 10: Vegetables

When I found out that this week's theme was vegetables, I thought, great, for once I don't have to think about the theme a lot and I can just take some macro shots of vegetables. Easy. For the first couple of days I take some photos of seeds and vegetables, I even took a picture of pizza because it's now considered a vegetable, clever. Most of these shots were decent, if uninspired, but I was okay with that.

Then on Tuesday I notice a Mr. Potato Head, that sits in one of our offices at work, and I figure that I can pose him and take a nice classy portrait as one of my photos. As I think about the idea further I want to take more than just one photo, but it would look weird, thematically, to have a couple of pictures of Mr. Potato Head and then some other random photos of vegetables.

So I get the crazy idea to tell the story of Mr. Potato Head, in seven photos. I want the photos to tell the story so I'll try and give just a brief description of each photo. So without further ado, here is 'The Dangers of Drugs: with Mr. Potato Head'.

Mr. Potato Head had always been a pretty stand-up little guy, until the day he accepted coke from his friend Mr. Squiggly Arm.
Mr. Potato Head quickly becomes an addict.
Before he knows it, he's strung out, sleeping on a piece of cardboard in a crack house, and out of coke.
Mr. Potato Head gets the idea to steal some coke from the evil drug dealer Mr. Mustache, while he's sleeping.
The evil Mr. Mustache is angry that someone stole his coke, and he wants blood.
Things aren't looking so good for Mr. Potato Head.
Oh sweet muppets in space! This is what happens when you steal drugs from a potato named Mr. Mustache.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Week 9: Spirit

It's hard to believe I've been doing this for 9 weeks already. This project has been invaluable so far. My guess is that I would have barely touched my camera in the past 9 weeks, if not for this, and I think about how much I'm learning each week. It really is an incredible experience.

With all of that said, this was an incredibly challenging week. I had a really tough time with the theme and had to try and take photos while traveling for the holidays. I hit a frustrating creative block that was tough to crawl out of. I think I got some alright shots, but in general I was disappointed. It goes to show how my expectations have changed from the start of this project. The original goal was to just take a photo every day, and now I want every photo to be amazing. I have to try and keep the original goal in mind. Alright, on to the pictures.

Took the spirit theme quite literally for this one. I have a flash sitting on the table behind the bottles and I'm shooting through a bottle of Woodford Reserve and Bulleit Bourbon. Originally I shot it with just one bottle, but the color and light are much more dynamic using 2 bottles. I also really enjoyed the lens flares coming off of the sides of the bottle.
After that last shot I couldn't think of anything. I hadn't taken enough pictures earlier in the week and I was starting to feel the pressure of not having any ideas and running out of time. I decided to go back to smoke photography and see what I could get. I tried adding a second incense stick into the mix to make more interesting smoke, but that didn't really do anything, and I already did smoke last week. That's when I noticed the detail in the end of one of the sticks. If you look closely you can see the little strands running through the center, that I assume are where the actual incense smell comes from.
More playing around with smoke. I was hoping the smoke would be thicker in the glass, but it does give a nice kind of spirit effect the way it is. 
Finally, I got a picture that I liked. It took a lot of different tries and a lot of different ideas, but this one matched what I had in my head. I wanted to create a ghost-like image and I actually creeped myself out when I saw this one. I purposefully grained it up a bit to give that old horror kind of feeling.
This is the last remains of our old thermostat. Rest in peace little guy.
The spirit of compost. Doesn't look nearly as disgusting after it's been sitting in the machine for a while.
This is pilot for our furnace. It was hard to get a good shot through the grate, but I really liked the glowing end combined with blue flames. I believe this is about a 15 second long exposure.