A couple of days ago a friend of mine emailed to ask my opinion regarding new tires for his car. That car — pictured above — was my car and daily ride for four years and his inquiry reminded me of some of the pictures I had taken of it. I wrote that I was thinking about selling it when I posted this street scene from Paris a couple of years back. Shortly after that post I did sell it (obviously). I think I gave my friend a really good deal, but my wife thought we should pay him to take it off our hands. So, don’t tell her that I miss it!
As for the picture itself, first know that I wasn’t so into my car that I took pictures of it all the time. Rather, I occasionally used it as a test subject when I wanted to learn something new about photography. The picture above was taken in my driveway for a dailyshoot.com assignment — “mode of transportation”. I started out to make a “normal” HDR (if there is such a thing) but bagged that idea. Here’s what I wrote about it at the time: “Another opportunity to try for a decent shot of the car. From the beginning I intended to make a black and white HDR image so I took bracketed exposures. However, the tonemapped image (from Photomatix) was terrible and I quickly determined that the best image would come from the normal exposure with a few bits and pieces masked in from the over-exposed shot. Still HDR in the manual sense (manual processing), just not tonemapped in Photomatix (or similar software). Lots of room for improvement but there’s that real job thing…”. There *are* a few glaring defects in the photo but I like the overall look and decided to post it in spite of those.
For any car buffs out there, this is a 2000 BMW 540i with the six-speed manual transmission and sport package. I miss the power of the V8, the handling, and the six-speed manual, but not the constant repairs 🙂
On Wednesday I left work mid-afternoon — wasn’t feeling so great. I walked in the door at home, said ‘hi’ to my family while making a beeline to my bed. Three hours later I woke up to miserable aches and fever. While (barely) standing at the sink to get a drink of water I looked through the window and saw my daughter swinging. Loving that backlight from the sun, and remembering that the dailyshoot assignment was to take a photo using natural light, I grabbed the camera (which is always handy) and took this shot. I purposely included the window frame to give a sense of someone inside looking out. Headed right back to bed for the night at that point…
I had in mind to try and use the window frame in a rule-of-thirds mode but it just didn’t work out with the other elements in the frame as I tried options. Of course I only tried for about 30 seconds because I couldn’t get back to bed fast enough. I got a little lens flare…that’s OK sometimes and doesn’t detract from this shot IMO.
Finally processed the image the next day — picked a preset in Lightroom, added a bit of warmth and clarity — done.
My daughter and I recently took up the task of doing a daily shooting assignment handed out by the folks at http://dailyshoot.com. I’m finding many benefits to this:
– Simple ideas that challenge me to increase my photography skills.
– A project to do with my daughter
– Accountability (sort of)
Regarding the last point, while I have an assignment so to speak, I don’t *have* to complete it if I’m not interested in a particular one or if other obligations rule the day. I can put as much or as little effort into it as I’d like. I usually make a sincere effort to put thought into the idea and execution of an assignment. This includes thinking about ideas before pulling out the camera. Sometimes I never get time to actually set up and execute my planned shot and settle for something quick, but I believe that even just going through the thought process grows my creative skills.
Today’s @dailyshoot assignment was to take a photo that illustrates the coming of spring (for those of us in the northern hemisphere). Immediately upon reading the assignment I knew that I wanted to capture an image with a redbud tree as they are in full bloom this time of year. Since I had to get up at dark o’clock to help the family get off to Colorado, I decided to head out before the sunrise to work on another photo project I have going. This brought me near the Capitol so I decided to use it as a backdrop for my redbud shot. The shot above is one of my favorites and I hope you like it too.
Another favorite shot was from the assignment to make an image of something being made or fabricated. For a while I couldn’t come up with anything interesting but suddenly I remembered the longbow I had been making. I arranged the bow and tools on my workbench and sprinkled some of the sawdust around. I played with different perspectives and compositions. A friend had loaned my a couple of lights so I even spent time working on lighting angles and balance. I ended up with a very satisfying shot — I made the bow, and I created the image from start to finish. Here it is:
Maybe you should consider some type of dailyshoot/365 project…