52 Frames (December 2021)

✍️ 🕑 December 2021 • Series: 52 Frames • Tags: night photographyVolunteer Park

Here it is. My final blog post of 2021. And, unsurprisingly to anyone who has paid attention to my “last post of the month” for the last year, it’s a post about 52 frames.

I have now succeeded in completing 52… nay, 53 weekly photographic challenges.

I can crown myself a more experienced photographer who has tried and learned a few approaches.

Additionally I can appoint myself the role of “lazy bones” who sometimes puts in the bare minimum in order to complete an assignment. (Bet literally every teacher I’ve ever had, but particularly those from grades Kindergarten through 10 would agree…)

There are some weeks where my focus wasn’t really on photography, but there are some others with some good results. Generally the quality of the result was related to the quality of effort I put in.

Who’da thunk?

Speaking of which:

49. Common Object

I forgot I was supposed to take a picture this week.

Image On Where-Is-Steve

So what “common objects” did I have laying around? Well, I went for my coffee table (actually my landlady’s coffee table, on loan to me), my cell phone, which I set to look as if I was in the midst of taking a particularly bad selfie from an improbable location, a book, and a stuffed Yoshi toy that’s probably about as old as I am (and looked it.)

I was also too lazy to change the batteries in my camera, and had been starting to hit on a better composition featuring (oh yes) my pourover coffee maker. But the shots I did have were marred by the presence of a screw or something similar left on the coffee table from recent replacement of my turntable’s cartridge.

Well, changing my camera battery would have taken effort and I wasn’t going to put that in.

Not when I had other stuff I needed to go do that day.

50. Black & White Minimalism

The following week, I resolved to do better and did.

Image On Where-Is-Steve

I don’t know if it’s especially minimalist, but it is the ocean at dusk, with lots of fake film grain and blurred motion, and I found the style inspiring enough that I took many, many more similar shots.

51. In the Middle

On a walk to Volunteer Park Conservatory (and the duck pond) I was struck by this bikeshare bike, sitting… in the middle of the path.

Image On Where-Is-Steve

It has a really nice pop of color, and fit the theme well enough that I immediately submitted the photo, knowing I’d have nothing more to think about.

After that, I was free to listen to bawdy christmas carols, with nary a thought of photographic challenges…

52. Three or More Challenges

Oh, there have been countless memorable (and countless forgettable) challenges this year.

So, for the lazy photographer who wants to spend the week of Christmas… with family, not absconding to the woods to accost squirrels with a telephoto, this challenge was a real opportunity to present whatever piece of laziness I wanted to, and say “this’ll do.”

Image On Where-Is-Steve

You know exactly when, and at what kind of place this was shot.

Golden hour, 30th Street Station, Philadelphia, Exposed Platform, Boring Wait, iPhone.

The time was passed.

53. Break The Rules

In case you were wondering, there are 365.25 days per year. Divide this number by seven, and you’ll find that there are roughly 52.18 weeks per year.

Something must be done about the remainder, and yes, that something is the 53rd week of a 52 week challenge. The irony of which is not lost on the organizers, who deemed this a special opportunity to “break the rules.”

Again, this is a cellphone snap.

Image On Where-Is-Steve

I set out to produce a tilted horizon and thought I saw a good opportunity whilst crossing the street on my way to see friends in Phoenixville.

Given that I was in a cross walk and not insane I was aiming to cross when there were no cars coming, and hoping to be able to get the marquee of the nearby Colonial Theatre in the shot.

Well, there was a car coming. And I was not going to dilly-dally beyond very quickly framing my tilted horizon and slightly adjusting the exposure at photograph time.

As for the Colonial Theatre, the dynamic range wasn’t there. No matter the exposure adjustment in post, that panel was pure white. The colors were unimpressive, and I quickly figured the result would look far better in black & white.

The trails from the headlights are pure serendipity, but they add an unexpected drama. It would have been nice if they were angled similarly to some of the other lines in the photograph, e.g. the prominent street-spanning Christmas decorations.

But whatever.


And on that note, I bid this year’s set of challenges (and 2021 itself) farewell!

Join Me?

And incidentally, since I plan on continuing to do these things… for the foreseeable future, if anyone wants to join me, week one of 2022 is as good a time as any.

You can sign up at 52frames.com and drop me a line if you choose to.


Thanks for reading!

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