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Thread: Project 52 by Peter

  1. #1
    Ricco's Avatar
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    Project 52 by Peter

    I originally wanted to embark on this project to improve my photography and challenge myself. I find that I read too much and don't try enough. So through the year I hope to take more photos and put my work out for constructive criticism and strive to improve.

    I am going to go for a themed project. I am going to rotate between People, nature, animals and man made roughly following the themes of the cic forums. This will stop me relaxing in to a comfort zone of taking photos of my children.

    I also want to try different styles and techniques. Things that I want to incorporate by the time the year is out include:
    - in general, more black and white photography and specifically at least one black and white landscape or nature shot.
    - off camera strobe including trying to get a little more creative with the use of the strobe.
    - a few street shots
    - more planned shots, where I start with a concept and take it through to execution. I have one in my head for my first post which I will submit in the week.
    - at least one project with a series of images taken of a specific subject or subjects. A couple of ideas I have in mind is the people of the busselton jetty (a regular holiday spot) or "old Italians" borrowing off my mums friends and my relatives. These will probably be a but later in the year and may break the photo taken in a week guideline a little, but we will see how my ideas develop on this topic..

    Finally in terms of timing, I am going for the photo being taken by each Sunday with the editing and post complete by the Tuesday.

    So that's it. We'll see how this idea pans out. First post due in about a week.

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Project 52 by Peter

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricco View Post
    I originally wanted to embark on this project to improve my photography and challenge myself. I find that I read too much and don't try enough. So through the year I hope to take more photos and put my work out for constructive criticism and strive to improve.

    ~

    So that's it. We'll see how this idea pans out. First post due in about a week.
    Welcome to the project Peter (whose idea was this anyway )

    I wish you success with your endeavours,

  3. #3
    Ricco's Avatar
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    Despair

    Thanks Dave - good to see so many on board. Should make for an interesting project....

    So anyway, enough of the formalities, here is week one. I had originally planned to shoot this over the week and submit next week but the family is off (nothing to do with the title I assure you) and editing turned out pretty easy as the shot pretty much worked out of the camera. Unfortunately, that means for me week 2 is next Tuesday

    Project 52 by Peter

    What I love about this shot is that it is one of the few, if only, times that I have set out to create a specific shot and pulled it off. I had this shot in my mind, planned the lights and executed it.

    I have not posted Exif data because to be frank it was a lot of experimentation and I'm not sure the specific settings would help. However, the lighting setup is shown in the photo below. I sat on the stool, had a lamp at my rear and slightly high (probably between shoulder and eye level) providing the rim light and a bounce flash directed at the ceiling for fill light. The flash and camera were on manual and I experimented with different levels until I got the shot and the pose that felt right.
    Project 52 by Peter

    Editing was done in lightroom which started with one of the presets and then just a slight tweak of a things and selective darkening of things that showed up in the photo that shouldn't have.

    Would love C&C so feel free to jump in. A separate post below shows what I felt was a close second.
    Despair Mark II
    Last edited by Ricco; 3rd January 2012 at 11:43 AM.

  4. #4

    Re: Despair

    Great shot, and thanks for showing your setup, and providing the details on the setup. I know what you mean having to wait till next week to post again..

    Ryo

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    Re: Despair

    Great shot Peter and i too thank you for posting the details and setup.

    Wendy

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    Re: Despair

    Wonderful shot.

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    Re: Despair

    That's a fantastic shot Peter. It's great when something you plan actually comes together!

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Despair

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricco View Post
    What I love about this shot is that it is one of the few, if only, times that I have set out to create a specific shot and pulled it off. I had this shot in my mind, planned the lights and executed it.
    And that, by any measure, is the absolute measure of success. In many ways it is irrelevant whether I like it (I do, by the way). You achieved what you set out to achieve. That is brilliant.

  9. #9
    Ricco's Avatar
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    Week 2: Tangled

    So this week I'm on my nature theme and I wanted to get re-acquainted with my 100mm macro lens. I went for a wander around my local neighbourhood looking for flowers and brought home a few different varieties to photograph. The photo below were from an unidentified tree (I think it is a Robinia but am not 100% sure). I'm guessing this is about 1:2 magnification or there about.

    Project 52 by Peter

    I love the colours and I also like the little bursts of yellow at the end. The thing that maybe could have been improved is the composition. It is a relatively busy shot - I did try a lot of different angles and compositions and in the end settled on this one mainly because I thought the lighting was better than some of my other shots. Although I am relatively happy, I'm still not 100% convinced - I had other shots that were a little more dynamic in terms of the composition.

    In terms of shot details:
    ISO400
    f/10
    1/60 sec (tripod mounted)
    I also lit this with a flash camera left. Unfortunately no pictures this week but I'll try to describe it. The flash was shooting through my diffusion panel out of my reflector because I don't own a softbox (yet). Flash was connected to the camera by off camera cord. The panel was pushed up pretty close to the subject with the flash about 0.5 - 1m behind firing at roughly 1/32 power (I think?) to get a softer light.

    I experimented with other panel locations and with hard flash but this produced a more pleasing result. The above lighting picked up the yellow highlights on the tips which aren't evident on my other examples.

    So - in terms of the project from here.......

    My first two shots have a black background which I only realised after completing this weeks assignment. So I will steer away from this over the coming weeks. I will try for a man-made theme next week. Also - I am going to drop the "animals" theme which I originally committed to. I don't have enough access to animals and believe this will fall within the nature category.

    Hope you all enjoy!

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    Re: Week 2: Tangled

    Hi Peter, I really like the subject for this shot and I think you've done a good job critiquing it. I tend to agree that the composition is a bit busy, but other than that I think you've done an excellent job capturing the detail and texture of the flower. When I first scrolled down the page I thought it was a firework shot. The dark background works perfectly

    Wendy

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    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: Week 2: Tangled

    The composition may be busy but I think it works well against the background. I found myself getting lost in the detail of your subject - and actually wanting more to look at!

  12. #12
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    Week 3: NO GOMA

    So I have to admit to not being happy this week. My theme was "man made" and I had all the great intentions in the world of getting a cool photo. I had 2 things in mind, I either wanted to get a city scape or a photo of a local bridge near dusk but I was too lazy to get off my a*** (forever to be known as GOMA).

    As it was, I messed around the house during the week with my macro lens still on my camera from last weeks photo. I spent the first couple of days photographing some every day objects and found one that I thought "gee that is interesting". I found a subject, played more during the week and settled on the shot below.

    In terms of the final shot, I don't think it is terrible. I do like the abstract nature and the fact it portrays an ordinary object in a different way. I like the colours and where the DOF blurs them. Most other weeks I would have been reasonably happy with this photo but simply I do not like the fact that it didn't stretch me photographically which was my aim for this project. As such I am just not happy with submitting this but unfortunately I have run out of time as my next few nights are out of action photographically speaking.

    Project 52 by Peter

    So, my resolution for next week (people) is to not play it safe. To GOMA and actually stretch myself. To do something different that challenges me.

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    Re: Week 3: NO GOMA

    Very interesting Peter. I like the blend of colours. Not everyone could take this subject and come up with something interesting to look at. I'm not sure I'd hang it on my wall, but the large version looks better, and well, it's interesting.

    As for the GOMA syndrome. I hope we are allowed to have weeks like that, or I don't think we'll get through the year. A shot a week doesn't sound like much, but when you are trying to push yourself it is a lot. Some weeks have to be just for the fun of it.

    Wendy

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    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: Week 3: NO GOMA

    Nothing wrong with the "something out of nothing" theme (or is "No GOMA" now officially mean the same thing ).

    Very interesting take on a toothbrush - i would never have thought of it! I think it's striking enough to hold a viewer's interest and make them think about it.

    At least you didn't GOMA and still not get anything worth while this week!

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    Re: Week 3: NO GOMA

    I quite like the abstract feel, the way the colours blur, the light shades of blue and yellow work well with the white, Composition on the diagonal is good, couldn't work out what it was until Malcolm ID it.

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    Ricco's Avatar
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    Week 4: The Italian Table

    This weekend just gone my immediate family and their family (and a few hangers on) embarked on a trip down to Busselton with some visiting cousins from Italy. Seeing as this week coincided with my "people" theme I had a couple of ideas that I wanted to try for this week's entry.

    The shot that was my final selection was based on the Italian dinner table.

    My parents are both Italian and for whatever reason, coming together for meals seems to be how we usually get together. Typically every Sunday my mum cooks Sunday lunch which involves home made pasta and our family sitting together for the meal. In this occasion it was dinner and wasn't really home made but the company was great none the less.

    So in terms of the actual shot - it was quite dark so I had a bounce flash from the camera into the ceiling of the veranda. Technically, it probably wasn't ideal, it was a pretty deep scene and it was hard to get even illumination front to back which still didn't work out 100% right. I also would have preferred a bit more DOF but that is good in hindsight. I also would have like to portray the "busy-ness" of the table a little bit better.

    But having said all of this, technicalities aside, I love the photo for what sits behind it. I love the togetherness it portrays and how it represents a common pass time in our family. I love the contrast between some of the older and younger members of our family sitting across the table and dining together. So although I probably could have posted some more technically pleasing images, this is what I chose because it more closely represents me and where I've come from.

    I hope you enjoy!

    Project 52 by Peter

  17. #17
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    Re: Week 4: The Italian Table

    Quote Originally Posted by Ricco View Post
    This weekend just gone my immediate family and their family (and a few hangers on) embarked on a trip down to Busselton with some visiting cousins from Italy. Seeing as this week coincided with my "people" theme I had a couple of ideas that I wanted to try for this week's entry.

    The shot that was my final selection was based on the Italian dinner table.

    My parents are both Italian and for whatever reason, coming together for meals seems to be how we usually get together. Typically every Sunday my mum cooks Sunday lunch which involves home made pasta and our family sitting together for the meal. In this occasion it was dinner and wasn't really home made but the company was great none the less.

    So in terms of the actual shot - it was quite dark so I had a bounce flash from the camera into the ceiling of the veranda. Technically, it probably wasn't ideal, it was a pretty deep scene and it was hard to get even illumination front to back which still didn't work out 100% right. I also would have preferred a bit more DOF but that is good in hindsight. I also would have like to portray the "busy-ness" of the table a little bit better.

    But having said all of this, technicalities aside, I love the photo for what sits behind it. I love the togetherness it portrays and how it represents a common pass time in our family. I love the contrast between some of the older and younger members of our family sitting across the table and dining together. So although I probably could have posted some more technically pleasing images, this is what I chose because it more closely represents me and where I've come from.

    I hope you enjoy!
    Peter, I do enjoy! good job
    in my opinion it's a good pic, as I can "feel" the "family air" in it, I can understand what it means to you. perhaps because such tables are very familiar to me
    technically speaking, IMO, you could crop the wood beams directly lit by flash light at the roof. unfortunately the far end of the table isn't enough enlightened, as you told, because of the bounced flash on a low roof. Does your flash have the white bounce card? perhaps extracting it out could help to bounce some of the flash light straight to the far end of the table... finally I would like to see a wider view to don't cut the two persons in foreground
    hope this helps
    ciao
    Nicola

  18. #18
    Goldcoastgolfer's Avatar
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    Re: Week 4: The Italian Table

    I definitely think your photo has a warm family feel about it - I can see why you love it.

    Not really much to add to what Nicola has said. With the far end of the table, perhaps you could try a graduated tool to brighten the far end of the table.

  19. #19
    Ricco's Avatar
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    Week 5: Refreshing

    Thankyou very much for all the comments Malcolm and Nicola. The idea of the bounce card is something that didn't occur to me at the time and probably would have helped.

    On to this week. Straight off the bat, I did borrow this idea from the following - I watched this some time ago and thought I'd have a go myself:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqBVWlrHqG8

    What I liked about this photo was the process. I didn't actually realise when I started this project how hard it would be to take an image a week. It sounds so easy but it is a struggle. So the fact that I pulled the camera and all equipment out to get some snaps was a real positive for me. I am learning each week about different aspects. I should also say that I had a couple of different "projects" this week I was trying including some water droplets but this was the most successful. I will revisit the others in future weeks.

    Project 52 by Peter

    Set up as per following. The flash shot through a white sheet of paper to act like a semi-softbox and diffuse the light. Different shots had different flash positions. Otherwise most other bits were as per the link above.

    Project 52 by Peter

    In hindsight, the two things that didn't probably work that great was DOF and the background. The multi coloured background showed up in a few of the bubbles.

    All in all though, I am pretty happy with the final photo.

    I will start another thread with my images that didn't make my selection and link back here soon. Refer below.

    Project 52 - rejects

    Thanks for looking!
    Last edited by Ricco; 28th January 2012 at 07:48 AM.

  20. #20
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    Re: Week 5: Refreshing

    like it. The background in the drop is distracting. Have you tried raising the top edge of the background to take the it out of the range to show up. Thanks for showing us how it was set up.

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