Friday, January 22, 2010

photo a day

on january 1, i decided to formalize my photo-a-day pledge that i pretty much embarked upon since buying my D60 in may 2008, and started the blog camp 365 project on flickr. here we are, not even a month in and i really love what the project is doing for me. in addition to learning a whole lot from the other group members and delighting in their pictures and their feedback, it's given me back a good measure of my photo mojo.



it's gotten me to take a harder look at processing my photos and helped me solidify what i like to do and what i don't. cropping and minor adjustments (like the antique feel i gave these photos) are ok with me, but i still much prefer straight out of the camera (SOOC). i'd rather try to compose the shot as i'm taking it, tho' sometimes, there are things you don't notice until you download the picture onto your computer, so sometimes you just have to crop. i'm finding myself thinking a whole lot more about photography in general. i'm rereading susan sontag's wonderful on photography with new eyes (and perhaps a new brain) that i didn't have when i read it in grad school. in fact, i'm going to build my photo-a-day in february around notions from the book. imagine that, me, planning ahead!



i think it's also significantly eased the pain of this dark time of year. because in looking for that daily photo opportunity, i've found out that the light isn't really as bad as i thought. i've been much more mindful of the qualities the light has and i'm much more aware of how rapidly it's changing at the moment. i've come to appreciate that the winter light can really be great for those SOOC shots i love if i use it at the right time of day. and if i want that yellow tone to my photos, i just use the artificial light in my yellow-walled kitchen after the daylight is gone. it's forced me to do a whole lot more experimenting with the settings on my camera and i've learned a great deal about how to get the shots i want, using the light at hand (since i continue to loathe flash).



but probably the best side effect is the one i'd hoped for the most. and that's noticing the world around me. on a snowy day, i wander through the house, camera in hand, thinking about what i can take a picture of today. yesterday, it was these brass ottoman "pencil cases." they're on a shelf in the dining room and i'd pretty much stopped seeing them. but yesterday, i looked at them. really looked at them. and thought about them and the experience of buying them. how husband and i played good cop-bad cop with the antiques dealer and husband played his bad cop part so well i began to believe myself that he was against my buying them (he wasn't, it was just an oscar-worthy performance). just snapping a few photos, i was transported back to that hot day in bergama, and the ruins we wandered before wandering the street of antique shops, our dinner at a sidewalk restaurant where a man actually tied his goat to a tree before going in to eat. i also appreciated for a moment the little tableau i'd set up with them, arranging them near some beautiful old books with art deco jackets from the teens of the last century and an old tin for turkish-macedonian tobacco that i found in a flea market. there must be value in taking a moment to notice and appreciate your own surroundings.

it's not too late to join the group, you can start your photo-a-day project anytime you want, so do come and join us. when you request the invite, please let us know you arrived there via one of the group member's blogs, as we are trying to keep it to the circle of those we know via our blogs, so it remains a manageable number of photos to keep up with and comment on.

21 comments:

Shokoofeh said...

Yes dear I really feel the same, and I am so thankful that you started this beautiful action! xo

Polly said...

Yes, it's been quite a journey, for me too! I can't quite believe how the way I look at the world has changed since I first picked up the camera less than a year ago.

The Explore thingymiggic really gave me a kick, even though it's only one silly photo. Maybe because it's the first one... I hope you don't mind but I was planning to blog about photo-a-day today too, pure coincidence inspired by Explore...

Lisa-Marie said...

This has been happening to me too! It's weird, the things you don't see from day to day.

I'm not doing so well with my art journal though, I think I have lost all of the ability I had.

Elise said...

your pictures are lovely, and you've written a great post again. Have a wonderful weekend

McGillicutty said...

I love how you express what we're probably all feeling! I too hate the flash and for now I'm stuck in an office during most of the good light so it's forcing me to look deeper into working with what I think of as bad light... it's character building!!!!

Elizabeth said...

What a fantastic post to read, you aren't tired anymore. Just to read that you are planning ahead for february already that is something of a chance. I wished I was a photographer than I would join. But hé someone has to make objects to photograph, big LOL.

Char said...

so far i'm sticking with the commitment but as you can see, for me too, it's slightly changing my style as i do not have the time to do still life set-ups or go on drives for my landscapes. it's forcing me to see the urban world around me. not sure if i like it, but i'm rolling with it.

love these boxes....no wait, it's stronger than that...i lust them.

Bee said...

I'm sorry that I didn't notice these . . . what rich stories attached to them. (Your home really is an Aladdin's Cave.)

You have reminded me that I've been meaning to order that Susan Sontag book.

marinik said...

i love these shots, and am to a flash hater, i also appreciate more the shots that come out of the camera, rather then photo shop, i'll have to go check out the group, i'd love to join but am a bit intimidated :)

Barb said...

I've had a great time with it this month too! I'm not a "photographer" but I'm learning and having fun. That's the important part! Thanks for getting it together!

Beth in Austin said...

I am amazed how I look at the world now with my eyes open to beauty in things that may not have seemed as beautiful before. I am really loving getting out there and looking for something to capture each day!

Marilynne said...

I love to put photos on my blog, but once in a while I feel guilty about the people who can't download them. Then, in a turnabout, I think about the people that will enjoy the photos and I put in as many as I want.

I like the stories you put with your pictures.

Writer Lady said...

One of the first things my teacher told us in watercolor class was that he was going to teach us how to see things differently. He did. I see your camera is doing that for you.

smith kaich jones said...

Again, one of my favorite posts. As you embrace photography, your heart opens up, and I read your words like a favorite book. And the colors in this post against those jewels in the previous post are pretty magical.

:) Debi

Joanna Jenkins said...

I am not a photographer but I'm enjoying your photos so much. The colors and textures in these are just beautiful.

Thanks!
jj

Trina S. said...

great shots!!!!!!

We had a crazy storm here last night so I snuck out of mom responsibilities today and headed out for photos! It was great and I took about 600 shots and got 41 great ones! hahah, The better you get the more critical pf your images you get... also... I feel the same about getting it right from the camera until! I found Adobe LR... changed everything! Happy shooting!

Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

These are gorgeous - both the subjects and the photos.

And I know what you mean, just said something similar in a post a few months back, when I had just moved back to Switzerland: that must be what an artist, a photographer see when they look at the world around them, so many opportunities, so much beauty in the simplest things. It made me more positive. I should take it up again, I haven't picked up my camera in forever.

Just Jules said...

I finally got into my flickr account yesterday - what a pain. now I have t find the motivation to get back into the photo a day....

kristine said...

I went for a little photography walk this morning - we had this gorgeous mist hanging over everything - and i was thinking about exactly the same thing. I have learned a lot, even though I have actually not done anything at all other than just take photos, comment on photos and receive (with much gratitude) constructive criticism. Its like a few things have been coming to me via osmosis - where before I would have to think "hmmm....large number = small aperture, ergo must do x, y and z" it is now a little more instinctive. I can look at the light and anticipate what I should do with shutter speeds. That type of thing. I still am totally just an enthusiastic beginner, but its all in the enthusiasm at the end of the day, isnt it?!

Oh - that susan sontag book is probably brilliant, but MAN, I have to read each sentence twice to even begin to fathom what she is on about. Less is more, Susan, less is more.

Kristina said...

Thanks for this really inspiring post! Love the photos you took and loved the good-cop-bad-cop story :))
I already take lots of photos, but I will try to take my camera with me even more from now on and take more time to really look!

prashant said...

I am so thankful that you started this beautiful action!

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