Friday, March 27, 2009

Picture a Week Project - Week 4


Plain Tired

It has been quite a week. Work is killing me but I don't want to lose focus of my project commitment. So when I saw this picture after shooting some pictures of my son's Track-A-Thon (a fund raiser for his school) where he gets pledges to run around a track, racking up the dollars, I knew I had my picture for the week.

The above was taken at lap 68 with a minute and a half to go. My son committed to running 70 laps. Ya know what, in the remaining minute and a half he did it, he completed 70 laps exactly. He taught me a lesson, no matter how tired more can always be done. (I acknowledge this sounds a bit like a sports gear add.) Relating this to myself, no matter how much I'm working I can always shoot and find pictures which make me reflective, which teach me something, which force me to grow in something I love.

So while this weeks post is short, take a look and reflect about your passion, do you have the time, do you make the time, will you hit your 70 laps no matter how tired you are?

Week 3: Reading
Week 5: Victory is Mine!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Picture a Week Project - Week 3


Wanted to look at things a bit differently this week. Having started shooting back in the film days I was taught to always try and solve all issues in camera, to have the picture as taken represent what I want it to be. As a result it has always been a bit of a struggle for me to see an existing image differently as the result of post processing. This is due to my taking it as I want it to be and why you often see me saying that a picture required very little post processing.

When my wife and son were reading this past weekend I took the opportunity to take a quick shot as I thought it was cute how they were laying on the bed. Below is the picture I intended it to be, a nice traditional snap shot.

Jessie & Gustavo Reading

It is what I meant, clean and simple with a little bit of a knowing look coming from my son. Its that look where he is telling me to leave him alone and stop taking pictures already. :-) Yes, he is my favorite subject.

It was the look that made me consider another take on this picture. Looking at pictures processed at the dawn of color film and the styles of the 70's street photographers I thought that a LOMO based look with higher contrast and muted colors would be interesting. Below is what I came up with, a LOMO version of the same picture.

Jessie & Gustavo Reading LOMO

I'm not sure I'm in love the the above, but it is different and demonstrates as with last week's picture, that I'm seeing more than I initially would, this makes me very happy. Anyway, let me know which rendition you prefer, I'd love to hear the feedback.

Week 2: Transformer
Week 4: Tired

Friday, March 13, 2009

What The Duck

Been wanting to let everyone know about the cartoon strip 'What The Duck' for some time now. Published by Aaron Johnson this is a very entertaining look at photography illustrating its humor through our main protagonist, a duck...yes, I said a duck. Personally, I find this the perfect parody as photographers love to test new equipment by taking pictures of ducks. I don't know why this is, but its fun and makes for a great comic strip in Aaron's capable hands.

You can find information on 'What The Duck' by clicking here. If you want Aaron also publishes a weekly YouTube animated strip. You can find all the strips by clicking here.

Below is his most recent post on YouTube, enjoy....

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Picture a Week Project - Week 2


2009 Stingray

Okay, I'm not a guy that is excited by cars. They are nice to have, but I don't spend much money on them nor am I usually impressed by them. When I buy a car I buy it for utility, not because it is fast, or cool. Strange as this is to my family, I come from a family of car mechanics, a profession to which my Father and Brother both belong. So when my wife and I went to the Chicago Auto Show this year it was to research a new car purchase, not to just look around. As my wife will attest, I'm very task oriented at this type of event going with a list of cars to look at and as usual I wanted to review those and then leave. Nothing surprising, its my MO.

Then something unusual happened. I was walking by the GM display and came across the new Stingray concept car. It caught my attention, but not why you might think. I kept thinking how much like a Transformer (yes the Hasbro toy) the car I started taking some pictures. It didn't disappoint as the tail light reminds me of the eye, as if the Transformer is looking at me. I had a vision of the environment being dark with light showing the contours of the car. All of the above was done with available light and the only post processing I did was to boost the blacks a bit to darken the non-car areas of the shot.

What I like is that this showed that I was seeing something for more than it appears to be at first glance...seeing what something could be. To me this demonstrates that I'm using a new part of my brain, being less rigid than I normally am. So thanks to a car, something I'm normally not excited by, I've expanded and grown. Thanks GM. ;-)

As usual, take a look and let me know what you think. You can find the full gallery of Transformer shots on Flickr by clicking here.

Week 1: Three Friends
Week 3: Reading

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Picture a Week Project - Week 1

Three Friends:

Three Friends - Week 10

This is a picture that revealed quite a bit about the subjects to me. The shot is of my son Gustavo (center) and two of his best friends. The one on the right and my son are very close, they call each other best friend and how they are leaning into each other is typical. They have a genuine concern and caring for each other, typical of an 8 year-old friendship.

However, its the boy on the left that brings the story to the picture. He is a best friend of my son as well, but is a very independent spirit. He's a great kid, but you often see in his affect that he is independent and does not need anyone, that he is here by choice and could leave at anytime. He adds the character to the picture. The stark contrast of the two that cannot be separated juxtaposed to the one that is fiercely independent is fascinating to me.

I kept the processing simple, just doing some high contrast black and white. It allows the picture to remain simple while naturally placing the two close subjects brighter than the one off to the side. It just seemed to inherently exemplify the contrast (no pun intended) between the two themes.

Anyway, let me know what you think, the shot is far from perfect, but the story it tells is compelling to me.

Week 2: Transformer

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Picture a Week Project - Introduction

Work has is very busy lately and I find my shooting has decreased to the point where I find it concerning. Thus the Picture a Week Project is born. The projects objective is simple and while I intend for this to the first of many projects, it is the first so I need to make my goal achievable.

The idea is not to force myself to try new things as ideas are not the issue, but to force myself to take pictures. That is what I need right now, I need to take pictures plain and simple. This does not mean there are no parameters or controls to the project. The pictures have to meet two criteria.
  1. It got me out to take the picture.
  2. An either or...
  • That it tells a story about the subjects. or...
  • That there is a story as to how the picture came to be.
To me photographs are about stories so that is the purpose, that there be a story and I get off my duff and take some pictures.

So sit back and enjoy and let me know your thoughts. Also, don't be shy about letting me know when I'm late getting up submissions. I'll need your encouragement to make this happen. I look at this like a weight loss program but in this case I want to lose spare time not weight.

Click Here to see the Flickr pool of images.