Throughout 2021, I plan to take part in 52 Frames, a collaborative creative exercise in photography with a weekly challenge, due at 11:59 PM each Sunday. Since there have been five Sunday's this January, I have had five contributions so far.
I've collected them, along with my reflection on each, in this post.
All of my submissions can also be found on my 52 Frames profile here.
I haven't taken too many self-portraits. For this one, I wanted to play with reflections, effectively taking a mirror selfie using the rear-view mirror of my car, whilst wearing mirrored sunglasses which provide another reflection, back to the camera.
This was a challenging photo to compose, firstly to get the angles right, but also due to the difference in lighting between the dim car interior, and the bright sunlight that was coming through.
I did some adjustments to get the lighting to a sensible level, but you can see some color fringing on the edge of the mirror. I removed this in post to the greatest extent of my ability.
I think this photograph would be better if I had cropped it to a more square-ish aspect ratio. I think the blue barrel in the background is a little distracting, as it's a pop of a bright color in a more muted pallet.
I probably also should have shaved or combed my hair, but hey, it is an accurate reflection of how I looked that day.
2. Leading Lines
Leading lines are an important compositional tool, as they're supposed to help lead the viewer's eye to the center point of an image.
They're also not a tool that I think I have always harnessed to my full ability. A friend critiqued an image I was quite proud of early last year for not utilizing leading lines effectively, and frankly it was totally merited, even though it's defo still a cool photo regardless.
So, I wanted to be conscious about the topic and use it in an interesting way.
At the same time, I didn't want to take a boring easy picture of a road or something, particularly without a person as a center point.
So this is what I happened upon and saw:
It's a flock of sheep, in a field near Hopewell Furnace. They're moving in one direction together, mostly pointed towards by the tree. They're also encircled by a fence.
I think it's a really cool image with some neat geometry. I wish I had been able to angle it to accentuate the lines to a greater extent, but to do so would have been to stand in the middle of a trafficked road.
So, in the interest of safety this is what I captured.
3. Get Low
I really enjoy shooting low to the ground. It's something that is really easy if you have a flippy screen on a camera. I have one, so I was hoping to challenge myself to think outside the box a little bit.
A trail runner in French Creek State Park saw me photographing lichen, and suggested that I might want to check out some of the lichen down at the Birdsboro Preserve.
That seemed like a good idea, so I decided to hike there, eventually coming across the reservoir and getting as low as possible to take this shot with an ultrawide angle.
I don't usually see water photographed from this sort of angle.
I had a lot of ideas of where to shoot water. I knew that one thing I didn't want to do was to use a long exposure and do something boring. I wanted to go for another hike, and I took this one near the Six Penny Trail in French Creek State Park.
One of the comments suggested that I crop the top of this to better focus on the water. I think that would be good.
This image has a lot of things going on it, and it feels a little unfocused, but to me, I also like that there are a lot of details that can pull on the viewer's attention.
Incidentally, I took this using a metal miniature tripod and metal lens, and gosh, I prefer having plastic against my fingers on a cold winter day.
5. Horizon Lines
I knew exactly what I wanted to do for this prompt. I wanted to go back to a place where I took a photograph that I was really proud of, but unfortunately due to inclement weather and procrastination, I didn't get the chance.
Due to inclement weather, I also didn't have the ability to see much in the way of horizon.
I took this shot during a snowstorm, when I could really feel stillness in the air and rustling in the trees. The horizon is mostly obscured, but present behind the snow.
It was really nice to be out and about in this weather and stillness, alone and hearing the sound of fluffy snow falling.
Overall, I'm enjoying these challenges so far. I'm a creative person, and if I think a prompt is a little boring, I can always think of ways to subvert the rules a little bit.
I don't think that these photos have been my best work. I think that these pictures would be better if I spent more time on them, rather than rushing at the last minute.
Hopefully, once there's more daylight and heat, I'll take advantage of the time to work on these earlier in the day, and earlier in the week.
And hopefully, I'll keep this up for February. Stay tuned.
Thanks for reading!
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